After a slow start, the speedy Hawks exploded with a 22-point barrage in the second half.
The classic tortoise vs. hare children's story was recast Saturday night with a gridiron theme. St. Anthony, methodical and precise, on one side. Host Cooper, explosive to a fault, on the other.
And, for the first half at least, the outcome was identical. But Cooper's speed wrote a new ending to the story, using big play after big play to run past the Huskies 42-21 in the Section 6, 4A semifinals.
Cooper scored quickly in the first half, on a 65-yard run by Ashanti Payne on its first play from scrimmage and a 90-yard kickoff return by Billy Kellogg, who broke at least four tackles en route.
By contrast, St. Anthony took the slow and steady path, putting together drives of 13 and 10 plays that resulted in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Nick Kampa to Billy Johnson and an 8-yard run by Zach Siggelkow in the latter stages of the second quarter. St. Anthony led 14-13 at halftime.
The Hawks, the No. 2 seed in the section, began writing a new ending in the third quarter. Quarterback Briceon Scott-Burch raced through the Huskies defense for a 65-yard score, Payne scored on a 52-yard run and Scott-Burch lofted a perfect pass to Khavon Hawkins for a 66-yard touchdown. All of a sudden a close game was a rout. Cooper led 35-14, all five touchdowns on plays of 52 yards or longer.
"There are two halves to a football game," Cooper coach Willie Howard said. "We showed a lot of resolve. We always want to start fast but finish faster."
St. Anthony, shell-shocked by the 22-point barrage, managed a touchdown on a 2-yard throw-back pass from Siggelkow to Rush, but it was little more than salve on a wound.
Cooper (8-2) recovered the ensuing onsides kick and scored again, this time on a 31-yard run by Scott-Burch.
"We didn't take them seriously in the first half," Howard said. "St. Anthony is a good team. We had to find that out."
|Houston||7||Bottom 9th Inning|
|NY Mets||5||Top 9th Inning|
|Boston - WP: M. Ott||4||FINAL|
|Minnesota - LP: M. Hoffman||3|
|Cincinnati||0||Top 1st Inning|
|Chicago WSox||0||Top 1st Inning|
|Kansas City||0||Top 1st Inning|
|Milwaukee||0||Top 1st Inning|
|Seattle||0||Top 1st Inning|
|San Francisco||8:05 PM|
|LA Lakers||8:30 PM|
|San Jose||6:00 PM|
|NY Rangers||7:00 PM|
|Purdue||54||2nd Half 5:10|
|Fordham||67||2nd Half 3:57|
|St Johns||44||2nd Half 8:13|
|Wake Forest||39||2nd Half 9:45|
|Utah||15||2nd Half 15:29|
|Cal Poly||48||2nd Half 12:47|
|UC Santa Barbara||31|
|Oklahoma State||32||2nd Half 15:55|
|Utah State||21||2nd Half 15:45|
|San Diego St||47|
|TX-Pan American||39||2nd Half 14:08|
|Utah Valley U||58|
|Rutgers||16||1st Half 3:13|
|Sacramento St||13||1st Half 13:00|
|South Carolina||3:15 PM|
|Old Dominion||3:30 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||4:30 PM|
|Long Beach State|
|Florida A&M||5:00 PM|
|Penn State||5:30 PM|
|Northern Colorado||5:30 PM|
|Savannah State||7:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Oral Roberts||7:30 PM|
|Sam Houston St|
|Alabama A&M||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Mich||8:00 PM|
|UC Riverside||8:00 PM|
|Georgia Tech||8:00 PM|
|Rhode Island||8:00 PM|
|Portland State||8:00 PM|
|Fresno State||8:00 PM|
|Miss State||8:25 PM|
|West Virginia||8:30 PM|
|Boise State||10:30 PM|
|New Mexico St|
|Miss Valley St||68||FINAL|
|(22) Middle Tennessee||69|
|William & Mary||65|
|Toledo||66||2nd Half 0:54|
|Savannah State||68||2nd Half 6:59|
|Sacramento St||24||1st Half 7:42|
|Montana State||5:00 PM|
|Alabama State||5:30 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||6:00 PM|
|Southern Ill||7:07 PM|
|Idaho State||7:30 PM|
|Old Dominion||8:30 PM|
Poll: How many games will the Gophers win in the Big Ten tournament?