08-30 Cooper football

Cooper quarterback Jaxson McGuire evades a would-be tackler in his team’s 54-0 win against Grand Saline. McGuire had a stellar game, throwing for 100 yards and rushing for 144 more.

The Cooper Bulldogs proved they were ready to put 2019 in the rearview mirror after they started their 2020 campaign with a dominating 54-0 shutout against a solid Grand Saline Indians team Friday night.

The points came early and often for Cooper, though most of the damage was done in an explosive second quarter. The team came out of the gate with 13 first quarter points, stretched their lead to 34 at halftime with 21 in the second quarter, then added 13 in the third quarter before finishing the game with another touchdown for good measure.

“Our guys were flying around, executing extremely well and our offensive line also did a great job of giving them lanes to get clear,” head coach Rod Castorena said.

The offense was helmed by senior quarterback Jaxson McGuire, who ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns. He didn’t turn to the passing game often, but when he did, he was effective. He completed poth his pass attempts for 100 yards and another touchdown.

“With Jaxson, I’ve got to brag on him,” Castorena said. “His attention to detail and precision is basically unmatched. And he didn’t just do it on offense either. He came in on D and did a great job there too, so he definitely deserves to get credit for that too.”

Behind McGuire, Thomas Mattson finished with the second most yards, tallying up 95. Markel Smith had 84 rushing yards, Jayden Limbaugh had 41, Keywine Denson had 37, Colin Ingram and Matthew Langley each finished with 20 rushing yards and Chase Morales had 30 yards.

Smith, Limbaugh, Mattson, Morales and Denson all ran for touchdowns.

Defensively, Noah Ramos and Landen Houchins each racked up seven tackles. Langley and Alfred Wilkerson had six apiece. Colin Ingram had four tackles to go along with a forced fumble and an interception.

“We didn’t just bring it offensively, but on both sides of the ball,” Castorena said. “Colin had those two forced turnovers, and those were huge for us.”

Cooper will next take the field Sept. 4 in Collinsville.

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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