Eastlake Wins an Epic Area Round Playoff Game Over Lubbock Cooper
Lubbock Cooper came into the SAC for their Area Round playoff game against Eastlake with one goal in mind; win, and get redemption for a playoff loss to the Falcons in last season's post season. Eastlake had other plans though by handing the Pirates a heartbreaking 24-21 defeat for the right to play Dallas Lake in the Regional round of the Texas high school football playoffs.
Eastlake blew a 14-0 lead early in the contest thanks to twelve penalties for 83 yards and a negated touchdown. Lubbock Cooper scored to cut the Falcons' lead in half just before the first half expired as QB Jarret Doege converted a fourth and 5 with a touchdown pass to Kyle Reedy. The Pirates were exceptional on fourth down converting three of them throughout the game.
The fourth quarter was memorable for various reasons, especially what occurred in the final few minutes, which will resonate in the minds of Eastlake fans for years to come. Cooper looked to be on their way to a victory after they took a 21-17 lead when MLB Jr Erwin intercepted a Tarango pass and took it to the house for the pick six.
Eastlake got the ball back with 1:54 left in the game, and had 80 yards to go in order to take the lead and potentially advance to the Regional round of the playoffs. The Falcons performed as clutch as a team could possibly be in a pressure filled situation, and remained as cool as a cucumber when Tarango found his bread and butter wide out Isaiah Holguin for a 43 yard reception to get Eastlake into Cooper territory. Tarango found Holgiun again a couple of plays later for a 10 yard touchdown reception that put an exclamation point on a remarkable drive.
Cooper had one final gasp of life left in an attempt to tie the game or score a game winning touchdown. Eastlake's defense performed brilliantly though by making a tremendous stand as they tackled Pirates' QB Jarrett Doege at the 29 yard line as time expired in the game to secure the victory. The Falcons moved to 11-1 on the season with the victory, and will travel to Midland to face Dallas Lake next Friday at 3 p.m. at Grande Communications Stadium.