Lubbock-Cooper Pirates beats Rider Raiders in high school football

Runners coach Marc Bindel will be relieved when he doesn’t see Kyler Jordan and Kobie McKinzie lining up for the much-vaunted Lubbock-Cooper defense.

But Bindel and the Raiders plan to face Jordan and McKinzie with the Pirates at least once more.

Cooper’s dynamic defensive duo set the tone with hard hitting in the second half of Friday’s 3-5A District Division II game, pushing the Pirates to a 20-12 win over Rider at Memorial Stadium. The victory puts Cooper (6-1, 2-0) in position to win a fourth consecutive district title.

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“I thought our physicality was the key to the game,” Cooper coach Chip Darden said. “It was a very physical game, and I think we accelerated that in the second half. I think it has a lot to do with our home crowd. Rider was very crowded, but our fans traveled well. It felt like a playoff atmosphere.

“We needed a guy to make a play, and once he did, I think it kicked up the energy on the sideline, and then all of a sudden it kicked a ball. snow on the right side for us.”

Rider pushes his way into the end zone against Lubbock Cooper on Friday, October 15, 2021 at Memorial Stadium.

It was Cooper’s special teams that provided the game’s last significant momentum change.

Rider had just taken a 12-10 lead on a 10-yard run from junior running back Anquan Willis — his second touchdown of the game. Rider crushed the ensuing kickoff. Cooper sophomore Callan Ritz loaded the ball, got it and split the Rider’s coverage team for a 68-yard touchdown and a 17-12 lead with 1:59 left in the third quarter .

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Cooper’s defense took over from there, holding Rider to 28 total yards for the rest of the game. The Raiders had four first downs in that span. Three were courtesy of Cooper’s personal foul penalties.

“I think the kick return was a game-changer for the night,” Darden said. “They had just picked up momentum and we were able to turn things around very quickly. It was a huge game.

McKinzie had back-to-back hard hits on Rider’s ensuing drive, and Jordan pinned his ears back, tormenting the Raiders’ backfield. Jordan sealed the win with a hard sack from Rider quarterback Jack Pitts at fourth and long.

Judge Thomason of Lubbock Cooper avoids a Rider defender Friday, October 15, 2021 at Memorial Stadium.

“Defensively, they are still very good. They’ve always been good on defense it seems,” Bindel said. “Their physique maybe gave us problems at times, but I don’t think we backed down at all. We kept looking for it, but there are lessons to be learned from this game on both sides of the ball – really. , of the three phases.

“They were the most physical team in all three phases, and I think that was the difference.”

Cooper now holds a 5-2 lead in a budding rivalry that has become the most relevant in the I-5A Division II region. The Pirates won all four regular season games.

The two teams have met again in the state quarterfinals in each of the past three seasons. Rider has won two of those games, including last season’s, 21-13.

And while neither coach could afford the luxury of looking that far into the future, neither could they deny the possibility of another showdown.

“We hope to see them again in the playoffs because if we do, we’ll see them in the third or probably the fourth round,” Darden said. “Our theme all week was this is a big game. We know this is a big game. There’s more media to this game. There are additional things involved. But at the end of the day, whether we win or lose, it’s part of our process. We just hope to get to the point of having that game against them again.

Rider's Tyrone Morgan tries to block Lubbock Cooper's Hayden Brooks take on Friday, October 15, 2021 at Memorial Stadium.

Bindel acknowledged the possibility of a playoff rematch while addressing his team after the game.

“I hope we see them again, but you know, we have to hold our end of the bargain and get to the playoffs first,” Bindel said. “I’m proud of our guys for the way they fought because they’re a good all-court football team. We also have a good football team alongside us. There are only a few games left to play.

“And the physicality has to be increased.”

Lubbock-Cooper 20, Rider 12

Cooper 3 0 14 3 -20

Jumper 6 0 6 0 -12


LC–FG, Teagen Vann 28, 7:19

RID – Anquan Willis 11 run (blocked kick), 3:14


LC – Braydon Lewis 11 pass from Holt Gibson (Vann kick), 5:26

R – Willis 10 points (blocked kick), 2:09

LC – Callan Ritz kickoff return 68 (Vann kick), 1:59


LC–FG, Vann 26, 6:47


First tests: (LC) 14; (R)15

To rush : (LC) 34-152; (R)26-99

Who passed: (LC) 16-23-0-189; (R) 15-28-0—168

Platforms: (LC) 2-43.5; (D) 4-37

Smokers : (LC) 2-1; (R) 0-0

Penalties: (LC) 7-77; (R) 5-49


PREVIOUS – (LC) Judge Thomason 25-122, Cutter Douglas 1-12, Cooper Morris 1-12, Holt Gibson 2-9, Kaleb Stripling 1-6, Caden Stanzione 2-0, Team 2-(-9); (D) Anquan Willis 17-67, Jack Pits 7-29, Jordon Gibbs 2-3.

WHO PASSED – (LC) Gibson 16-23-0-189; (R) Pitts 15-28-0—168.

RECEPTION – (LC) Hayden Brooks 6-92, Morris 6-48, Thomason 1-28, Braydon Lewis 1-11, Sam Marcinkowski 1-7, Brady Barnett 1-3; (R) Kaden Jones 4-99, Tobias Oliver 5-34, Reese Frantom 4-25, Willis 2-10.

RECORDS – Lubbock-Cooper 6-1, 2-0; Runner 6-1, 1-1.

Earnest L. Veasey