Cooper made the most of its chance for redemption against St. Louis Park on Friday, defeating the Orioles 42-14 behind strong performances from its defense and senior running back Nascier Borden.
Borden rushed for three touchdowns and Cooper's defense held St. Louis Park scoreless for more than three quarters.
The Hawks (2-0) avenged an upset loss to the Orioles in last year's Class 5A, Section 5 championship.
"They beat us last year so we had to get redemption," said Borden, adding that Cooper "worked hard as a team" and noting the Hawks' mentality of going 1-0 each week.
Borden, who's about 5-6, led an offense that accrued more than 450 yards, rushing for more than 200 yards himself. Senior quarterback Trashawn McMillan added 230 passing yards, throwing touchdown passes to Pedro Amoussou and Dkyzian Clay and rushing for another.
Cooper, No. 7 in Class 5A, went a combined 15-1 during the 2016 and 2017 regular seasons but lost in the Section 5 championship game each year. Coach Willie Howard said the team is focusing on improving upon last season.
Sajid Nathim rushed for two touchdowns for the Orioles (1-1), who forced three Cooper turnovers and recovered an onside kick.