Robbinsdale Cooper did more than defeat St. Louis Park 35-7 — behind the outstanding play of quarterback Trashawn McMillan and running back Nascier Borden — in the Class 5A Section 5AAAAA semifinals last Saturday.
The Hawks not only showed that they were deserving of the number-one seed, but they avenged a surprising 13-12 loss to the Orioles in the 2017 section championship last season.
Cooper fans and St. Louis Park supporters remember what happened. The Hawks were undefeated and among the top-ranked teams in the state and had defeated the Orioles 40-17 in the regular season before both reached the section title game.
The 2018 season nearly mirrored last season. McMillan and Borden led Cooper past St. Louis Park 42-14 in the second game of the regular season and — despite losing the last regular-season game 41-13 to Irondale — were awarded the number-one seed after compiling a 7-1 record.
A St. Louis Park victory over Minneapolis Southwest set up the rematch with the Hawks. Only this time around, it was the semifinals and Cooper players made sure there would be no repeat of last season.
Borden got things going with a four-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and McMillan followed with a one-yard run of his own to make it 14-0 in the first quarter.
McMillan connected with receiver Adrian Adams (33 yards) and Borden (26 yards) for two scores for a 28-0 halftime lead. Borden’s 58-yard touchdown run in period three put an exclamation point on the victory.
Alexis Martinez connected on all five extra-point attempts for the Hawks.
Minneapolis North victorious
Zach Yeager, Kehyan Porter and Omar Brown led Minneapolis North to a 32-8 win over Maple Lake in the Class 2A Section 4AA semifinals. Yeager, a 6’-0” sophomore quarterback, scored twice on a run (27 yards) and a pass completion (14 yards) to Brown, a 6’-0” senior receiver who also scored on a 54-yard run. The 5’-10” 210-pound Porter, a senior, scored from 34 yards out to put the Polars on the board in the opening period.
Johnson reaches important mark
Tyler Johnson (Minneapolis North) just keeps going and going. The 6’-2” 200-pound junior receiver caught his 100th pass along with two touchdowns in the University of Minnesota’s 38-31 victory over Indiana University in Big Ten action last week. He caught an 18-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to reach the mark.
Suggs leads SMB
Jalen Suggs scored on a one-yard run and pass for a 52-yard score, leading St. Paul Academy/Minnehaha Academy/Blake (SMB) to a 19-15 victory over Orono in the Class 4A Section 5AAAA football semifinals last week at Blake High School. The 6’-3” junior is one of the nation’s top basketball prospects for Minnehaha Academy.
St. Paul Johnson one game away
Seniors Teon Dean (defensive back), Luke Moberg (wide receiver), Rance Jones (running back), Demarion Nelson (running back), and sophomore Joey Moberg (quarterback) have St. Paul Johnson in position to earn a berth in the state football playoffs, their first since 1981, after leading the Governors to a 28-0 triumph over Hill Murray last week in Class 4A Section 3AAAA semifinal action.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.