Turnovers on their first two offensive plays from scrimmage put the Cooper Jaguars in a hole they were never really able to dig out of as they fell to the Bowling Green Purples 34-20 in the Kentucky Class 5A state championship game on Saturday at Western Kentucky University.
The victory was the 30th in a row for Bowling Green (15-0) and gave them their second consecutive state championship.
Cooper (13-2) shook off a bad start and tie things at 6-6 when Tyler Morris scored from a yard out with just under four minutes left in the first quarter.
The Purples immediately flexed their muscles and went 60 yards for a score on five plays in 2:07. It would be one of four touchdowns that Bowling Green would score on long drives of 60 yards or more. Each lasted 2:17 seconds or less and all occurred before two minutes of the third quarter were over.
Morris would play pitch-an-catch with Aaron Morgan nine times for 101 yards, but they could only get to the promise land once and against a Hunter Rogers led secondary for BG. Morgan, who got the crowd buzzing with and 88 yard kickoff return early in the tilt, amassed 253 all-purpose yards. Morris accounted for three touchdowns (two rushing and one passing).
Blue Tisdale won the game's MVP honors as he rushed for 140 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Devin Hayes threw touchdown passes to Nacarius Fant and senior Spencer Renfro. Hayes finished with 40 touchdown passes. Tisdale completed the year with over 1,100 yards on the ground while finding the end zone 25 times. Fant caught 70 passes for 1,335 yards and 19 scores. The trio returns next fall looking for the three-peat as seniors.
Just hours before the game Cooper head coach Randy Borchers watched former teammate Eddie Eviston bring home a state title to their alma mater, Newport Central Catholic. Unfortunately his fate would not be the same as his friend. Nevertheless, Borchers and his squad far exceeded everyone's expectations in 2012.
In just their fifth year of existence the upstart Jaguars won 13 tilts after amassing 14 combined wins over their first four campaigns.
The hometown team, BG played like they had been there before and it was the difference in the outcome.