A failed fourth-down conversion with under two minutes left allowed Chanhassen to hold on to a 34-30 victory over Robbinsdale Cooper in a Metro West Conference showdown that spoiled the Hawks’ homecoming before a capacity crowd at Cooper Stadium.
The scoreless first quarter was highlighted by a Cooper defensive goal-line stand led by defensive backs LEVI CASE-ALLEN, MOSES NYAGACHA, ETHAN WHITE and JACHAI MCNEAL, linebackers ADRIAN JACKSON, JOHN JANSSON, and ALONZO HOLLIE, and linemen JOE ALBERT, ROBERT WATSON and WILLIE STAPLES.
Chanhassen struck, built a 13-0 lead behind two touchdown runs courtesy of running back COLE KIRCHOFF, but the offensive unit consisting of quarterback PHIL HOWARD, running backs LEVONTE TAYLOR and Hollie, receivers MELVIN NEWBERN, JORDAN MARSHALL and ARMANY SMITH, and linemen TONY MADISON, JAYLOND JOHNSON, WILL WRIGHT, ERIC ABOJEI, GREG OGBORU and TRENT HELLEN helped the Hawks respond quickly.
Howard connected with Marshall for a score. Taylor followed with two scores of his own and provided a couple of two-point conversion runs (Howard provided the other) to make it a 24-13 game at halftime.
The Storm responded with two touchdown runs by DREW HEYER and Kirchoff to take a 28-24 lead.
Taylor came through for the Hawks again with a two-yard touchdown run to start the quarter, but Kirchoff countered with a score of his own in the next possession to put Chanhassen up for good.
Fab Four facts
Former University of Minnesota and NFL defensive back TYRONE CATER, who held a football camp at Cooper during the summer, was on the sidelines giving Hawks players encouragement.
Newbern is the son of former University of Minnesota and NBA basketball player MELVIN NEWBERN.
The Cooper coaching staff, led by WILLIE HOWARD, is stacked with former Gophers football players.
“We can’t cry now, we’ve just got to keep playing.” —Taylor to his Cooper teammates after Chanhassen scored to go up 13-0.
It was the 50th Homecoming for Cooper High School, which opened in 1964.
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