BY KAYLA GATES
Final Score: Cooper City 36, American 35
In the midst of a tropical cyclone, the Cowboys continued to display their pride both on and off the field at Friday night’s home game. The CCHS varsity football team claimed victory over American High School. The 36-35 win was met with support from the spirited crowd at Best Buddies Night.
The Cowboys took on the Patriots on September 13 at their fourth home game of the season. A 7 p.m. kickoff brought fans from around the community to Billie R. Gill Stadium that evening.
The first quarter opened with a relatively slow pace. Both teams struggled to move the ball into the end zone. However, with five minutes left in the quarter, receiver Corey Silverberg was able to run for a touchdown. The extra point was secured by kicker Brenden Omalley.
“It took the offense like two drives to really get going, but we got our stuff together and kept going,” Omalley said.
With the Cowboys finally on the board, the defense attempted to maintain their lead. Their effort was quickly countered by a 30-yard touchdown by the Patriots. However, in their attempt to secure an extra point, the Patriots’ kick was blocked by the Cowboys’ defense.
With under a minute left in the quarter, the Cowboys attempted to punt to their opponents. However, an off-center snap prevented Omalley from receiving the ball, resulting in a fumble. The Patriots recovered the ball on the 30-yard line. Nevertheless, the Cowboys’ defense prevented any further scoring, ending the first quarter with a 7-6 lead.
“The defense did a great job on holding them off to get the win.”
As the second quarter began, the Patriots lined up with a short distance to the end zone. Their optimal field position allowed them to score once again. In an attempt to regain their lost point, the Patriots went for a 2-point conversion. An incomplete pass gave them no gain.
After a number of failed drives, the Cowboys managed to reach the end zone once again with a 70-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Peyton Monaco. They sought out another extra point. However, Omalley missed the kick, resulting in a score of 13-12.
As the second half approached its conclusion, the Cowboys were faced with a minor obstacle. With less than a minute until halftime, players from both sides were called off the field by the sound of a lightning alarm. Due to the weather, the game was delayed for nearly an hour, only resuming once the storm had passed.
Following the setback, the Cowboys returned to the field ready to play. They began the third quarter with a 30-yard run to the end zone after recovering a fumbled punt. Once again, Omalley was able to complete a kick for the extra point, making the score 22-12.
With the third quarter coming to an end, the Cowboys worked to maintain a strong line of defense. A mishandled snap by the Patriots allowed the Cowboys to recover the fumble and run 25 yards to the end zone. The successful Pick 6 and extra point gave the Cowboys a 29-12 lead.
As the game neared its end, both teams began to gain speed. A touchdown and an extra point in the middle of the fourth quarter left the Patriots trailing by 10 points. The Cowboys countered their attempt to close the gap by scoring another 7 points. A handoff to running back Isaiah Janvier resulted in a score of 36-19.
“We had an amazing time cheerleading and watching our football team.”
With only minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Patriots returned for one final play. After securing another touchdown, the team completed a 2-point conversion. This play closed a significant gap. However, a final fight by the Cowboys’ defense kept the score at 36-35. As the rain poured down, the Cowboys left the field with another victory under their belts.
“The defense did a great job on holding them off to get the win,” Omalley said. “Don’t forget about the kickers, because the game came down to an extra point.”
Off the field, students and staff participated in another spirit night. A unique theme had been assigned to each of the home games featured on the CCHS football schedule. This week, students were encouraged to dress in neon attire. The result was a sea of bright colors consuming the student section throughout the game on Friday evening.
Students also celebrated Best Buddies Night. Members of Best Buddies had the opportunity to witness the game up close. They chanted and danced alongside the cheerleading team. The event evoked smiles throughout the stands.
“We had an amazing time cheerleading and watching our football team,” Best Buddies member Skylah Klein said. “It just goes to show how inclusive CCHS is.”
Throughout the eventful evening, the Cowboys experienced success both on and off the field. A memorable victory and supportive crowd created another Friday night to remember.
Photo by Anabella Garcia