Key to the game: Cooper’s defense. The Hawks are known for their athleticism on offense, but it was the defense that set the tone. They forced two turnovers and only allowed Armstrong’s offense one trip into the red zone until late in the fourth quarter, when the outcome was already determined.

 

Quote: “I grew up playing ACYFA [Armstrong/Cooper Youth Football Association], so I knew everyone on both sides of the ball. We really wanted to beat them, but at the end of the night, it’s nothing but love for both teams.” — Cooper safety Moses Nyangacha, who had two interceptions.

 

One thing to know: There was a nervous moment in the third quarter when Cooper quarterback Phillip Howard lay prone on the field after breaking up a pass. Howard limped to the sideline and never returned to the game. Afterward, he said it was nothing serious, just cramps.

Jim Paulsen