Cooper’s big day helps Bucs in victory
Published 12:32 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Bowling Green School’s Steven Scott Cooper had a big night in the Buccaneers’ final regular season game, accounting for four touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions in a 34-0 victory over Sylva Bay Academy at home Friday on Senior Night.
Cooper scored the touchdowns in various ways. He opened the scoring with a 45-yard punt return for a touchdown, he ran for one touchdown and threw two touchdown passes to Cade Knight. Cooper threw to Knight for a two-point conversion and Knight threw a pass to Cooper for another two.
Cooper passed for 256 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also had a big day on the ground, which included a 48-yard touchdown run.
Cooper and Knight had a solid connection all game. Knight had 129 yards receiving and two touchdowns along with a two-point conversion receiving and a passing two-point conversion.
“I’m not the greatest passer, so we figured that out, so I decided to use my speed. They did a great job of blocking, the O-line, receivers, everybody did a great job,” Cooper said.
Defensively, Bowling Green’s unit was solid all night.
Sylva Bay reached the red zone just once, which was midway through the fourth quarter. That drive ended in a turnover when Brayden Edwards intercepted a pass off the tip drill after Matthew Downs defended the pass.
“After everything, coach (Justin) Garcia, coach Shaan Duke, coach Gino (Guarino) along the defensive side, they got those boys to play for them and play hard and they know what they’re supposed to do, they do their responsibilities and it shows what happens when you’re disciplined and you do your responsibilities — you pitch shutouts,” Bowling Green coach Riley Boudreaux said.
On the opening drive, the Buccaneers threw an interception on fourth down.
Sylva Bay took over at its own 5 and went three-and-out. Cooper fielded the punt at Sylva Bay’s 45 and took off running. He went up the left sideline and he went the distance for the score. Cooper hooked up with Knight for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead with 7:44 left in the first quarter.
“That got us going,” Boudreaux said. “It was a little slow, a little quiet, it was Senior Night, that took a long time. I think we went three-and-out and then the defense got a good stop and they punted to us. You give him (Cooper) the ball in some space and he can make things happen. He’s a special kid. That helped our offense get going and then we didn’t stop really from there.”
The lead stayed that way until the midway through the second quarter.
Cooper completed a pass to Knight. Knight juked defenders and scored the touchdown, putting the Buccaneers up 14-0 with 6:28 left in the first half after the two-point conversion was no good.
It was 14-0 at halftime.
Bowling Green changed the score, making it a three-possession game with 5:19 to go in the third quarter when Cooper and Knight hooked up for a 19-yard touchdown. The Buccaneers switched things up on the two-point conversion when Knight threw to Cooper to make it 22-0.
Bowling Green scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Cooper got loose on a 48-yard run with 10:35 left.
Two plays following Edwards’ interception, Wayne Ray got in the open field and up the right sideline and he scored on a 70-yard touchdown run at the 5:09 mark.
Neither two-point conversion was successful in the 34-0 win.
Bowling Green finished the 2019 regular season with a 1-7 record after having to forfeit six games earlier this season.
Boudreaux praised his senior class.
“They’ve been through ups-and-downs and battled and have won the battle for the most part. I told them they’ll always be champions in my eyes,” he said. “They’ve been great leaders and they are going to help again after last year and then this year building off of that. Our goal is to make Bowling Green relevant again and that’s what we’re striving for and I think we’re doing a good job of that.”