The amazing run by Cooper Jaguars continued as they beat favorite Franklin County at their own game, big offense, as they rolled to a 40-27 road victory.
In an affair that saw plenty of early fireworks, Cooper (12-1) established the fact that their offense was up to the task of their highly touted foes. Senior AJ Collins ran for 172 yards on 26 carries with the final three of Cooper's five rushing touchdowns. The ground game was so dominate that it hit the Jags per game average (216) by halftime and closed the night going 5-for-5 on two-point conversions via the run.
Franklin County (12-1) opened the game with a touchdown, but Cooper answered with a 95-yard drive and a two-point conversion to give the Jaguars 8-7 advantage with 4:07 left in the opening period.
The Flyers found their quick strike offense and added two more scores just 12 seconds into the second period to take a 20-16 lead behind Mr. Kentucky frontrunner Ryan Timmons and quarterback Logan Woodside. The game was frenetic at this point with 26 total points in 12:12 to start. Timmons had scored on a 23-yard pass from Woodside and a 57-yard run to give him 42 total touchdowns on the season.
The Jaguars then went to work on defense from there. Cooper held the Flyers scoreless for the next two and a half quarters building a 33-20 lead in the fourth quarter. An Aaron Morgan interception flipped the field allowing Cooper to build the 12-point cushion.
Woodside would throw his 41st touchdown pass of the year to pull Franklin County to within five at 32-27 less than two minutes into the final stanza. That would be it for FCHS as three interceptions by Cooper, including two by Morgan and another from Tyler Morris, were too much for Woodside to overcome. As good as things started for Timmons he finished the tilt with 120 total yards of offense. The Flyers who came into the contest averaging 59 points were held to a season-low 27.
The Cooper offensive line controlled the clock and picked up every big yard they needed along the way. Collins has been sensational in the postseason with 563 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing in the team's three wins. He now has 1,627 yards rushing with 19 touchdowns on the season and a team-leading seven picks on defense.
In just their fifth season of varsity football, Cooper has set school a record for victories and captured their first ever regional title. They are heading to Harlan County (11-2) next to take on the Black Bears next Friday in a state final four game.