Lone Star Gridiron

Eagles are Kings of Abilene for a Year

Good Ol' Fashioned Texas High School Football Rivalry

Texas High School Football

Abilene Cooper vs Abilene High

The landscape of Texas high school football is filled with rivalries, and the rivalry between Abilene High and Abilene Cooper is up there with the best. Since 1961, when Abilene Cooper had their first varsity season, this game has split the town and made for some great games. Historic Shotwell Stadium fills up with north Abilene on one side and the south on the other side. The Eagles and Cougars haven’t always been in the same district, or classification, but with town bragging rights on the line the games never seem to disappoint. After Friday night’s game the Cooper Cougars still hold an overall record lead of 32-21-1, with the last five games going to the Eagles 3-2. Going into the game the Abilene Eagles, coached by Steve Warren, had a 2-0 record, while the Coach Todd Moebes led Cooper Cougars were 0-3.

With the success the Eagles have had running the ball with sophomore running back Abram Smith and the low 50s with a little drizzle weather; one would think Abilene would rely on running the ball to win. However, after talking with Coach Warren he said “We try to be very balanced on offense regardless of the weather, if possible”. This was reflected in junior quarterback Derek Scott finishing 15-22 for 180 yards, and a 28 yard touchdown pass to senior Reese Childress. Abilene’s balanced offensive attack set the running game up to do the majority of the scoring damage, with both Smith and Scott having a pair of rushing touchdowns. Smith’s two touchdowns helped the Eagles jump out to a 21-7 first half lead.

After giving up an early touchdown to the Cougars, the Abilene defense bared down for the rest of the game, rarely letting Cooper get within scoring range. Senior Quaivion Logan and Junior Ronnell Lewis were flying all over the field, combining for twenty-one tackles. Making it difficult for Cooper’s offense to start any positive drives. Lewis has been the definition of consistency this season, averaging 10 tackles a game, through Abilene’s first three contests. While talking with Coach Warren I asked him if this sort of solid play has garnered Lewis any attention from college coaches. “Ronnell is receiving attention, but doesn’t have any offers yet” Warren told me.

When the clock read zeroes at the end of the 4th quarter the Abilene Eagles came away with a 38-7 victory, and their third victory of the season. The team is off to a strong start, with a balanced offense and ferocious defense, and look poised to be playoff contends a season after losing seven games and missing the playoffs. Coach Warren attributes this turnaround to “great team chemistry and leadership developed throughout the offseason that has carried over into the season”. The Eagles can celebrate in being kings of the town, at least until next season’s rivalry game rolls around.

by Drew Schackmann

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