Cooper making deep run in state playoffs

Photo by Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald Robbinsdale Cooper Head Football Coach Willie Howard leads the Hawks on the field to face Robbinsdale Armstrong on Friday, September 17 at Cooper Stadium. Cooper is in the AAAAA state playoffs. The players wore chains to pay tribute to their strength and conditioning coach Andrew Ariegwe, who passed away unexpectedly in August at the age of 27.

What a season it has been for the Robbinsdale High School football team and Coach Willie Howard as the Hawks, for the first time since 1996, qualified for the Class AAAAA state playoffs with a 14-13 victory over archrival Robbinsdale Armstrong on Friday, November 5 at Cooper Stadium.

It’s quite a feat for Cooper, who went on to defeat Alexandria 21-17 Saturday afternoon, November 13 at Osseo High School in the quarterfinal to earn a trip to the semifinal against Mahtomedi at US Bank Stadium Friday, November 19.

The Hawks came back from a 17-7 halftime deficit with touchdown runs from quarterback Joe Russell and running back Andre Reese and a shutout performance by the defense.

To get to the playoffs, receiver David Connors caught a pass for a touchdown and ran for another, and Leo Garcia added an extra point kick to both scores to take a 14-0 halftime lead.

Armstrong came back with two scores of their own in the second half to get within one point, but that is as close as they got.

Cooper currently has a 9-2 record and defeated Armstrong 49-14 on Friday, September 17 at Cooper Stadium.