Cowboys to take revenge against Highland Park in final nondistrict game


Meer Mahfuz

Coppell senior defensive lineman Carlos Maldonado defends against Plano Prestonwood Christian Academy in the third quarter on Friday at Buddy Echols Field. The Cowboys host Highland Park in the final nondistrict game tomorrow at Buddy Echols Field, with kickoff at 7 p.m.

Meer Mahfuz, Staff Writer

Nondistrict games are meant to be tune up games for district play; a way to feel your competition and to tell where one’s team’s strengths and weaknesses are early on in the season. 

But, for the Coppell football team, Friday’s game presents a unique opportunity for revenge for the Cowboys.

It’s 7 p.m. clash against Highland Park, the state’s No. 4 ranked Class 5A school, at Buddy Echols Field will provide the Cowboys a chance to right the wrongs after the Scots ended their sensational comeback attempt last year at Highlander Stadium. 

The preparation phase of this week’s practice has been highlighted after last week’s Plano Prestonwood Christian Academy loss

“Everybody learned that if you don’t prepare well during the week then it will show on Friday night,” Coppell coach Michael DeWitt said. “Especially being a young team, that’s a lesson that all young teams have to learn and we’re pretty young in a lot of spots but our guys have responded the right way”

Film study has identified a star player on the defensive side of the ball: Highland Park senior defensive end Jack Curtis, a returning District 7-5A-I first team all-district selectee and a three-star who lists offers from numerous Division I schools. 

Practice this week has seen the Coppell offense, led by junior quarterback Jack Fishpaw, getting numerous looks at different defenses that the Scots will present, from blitzes, straight-man coverage and defensive pressure to two-minute and redzone practice.

The win over Sachse eluded to a passing game while the loss to Prestonwood was a running game-minded approach. While having a game plan that has a perfect pass and run scheme is the goal, the Cowboys work to take advantage of the opposing teams defensive weaknesses.

“We are going to take what [Highland Park’s defense] is going to give us,” Coppell offensive coordinator Jay Jones said. “I would love to have 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing, that’d be awesome but really, for us, we go in and say ‘this is our plan’ and once we get into the game, we’ll see what’s’ going to work. It’s all about winning, if we have to throw it 40 times to win then we’ll throw it 40 times and if we have to run it 40 times then we’ll run it 40 times to win.

Friday’s game will be the annual powder game for the Coppell student section and will see many fans come down to watch Coppell play as a major underdog in its quest for revenge.

“It’s going to be a great atmosphere and what we are going to talk about is that that stuff is just white noise; when I’m calling plays on the field, I don’t hear it or feel it at all,” Jones said. “We try to put them in situations during practice that make it tough and stressful so that when they get in a game, they don’t feel that stress.

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