Class 5A power too much for Cowboys in nondistrict finale

Cowboys seeking better offensive execution entering bye week


Meer Mahfuz

Coppell junior quarterback throws it away to escape defensive pressure from Highland Park senior defensive lineman Jack Curtis on Friday at Buddy Echols Field. Coppell fell to Highland Park, 28-13, in its last nondistrict game.

Meer Mahfuz and Olivia Cooper

Hosting the No. 4 Class 5 A team in Texas was never going to be a walk in the park for the Coppell football team. And despite starting the game off strong, the Cowboys were never able to recoup after facing down a 21 point deficit at halftime.

After last week’s loss, the Cowboys had to take a reality check and put in the work to prepare for Highland Park but they’d soon realize that, while the preparation was there, the execution was not.

The thing is, it’s all about execution, you got to be able to execute down there and we didn’t quite execute the way we should have or the way we wanted to,” Coppell offensive coordinator Jay Jones said. “When you’re down there everything tightens up, so you [have] to have your execution right.”

Highland Park swiftly dominated and the Cowboys lost, 28-13, last night at Buddy Echols Field in its last nondistrict game.

Coppell (1-2) rebounded from its defense performance last game, making several defensive stops early on. However, a busted coverage during the first quarter which left Highland Park senior running back Ben Croasdale wide open for a touchdown to cap off a 94-yard drive by the Scots severely hurt the Cowboys’ rhythm. 

“We got to move the ball, we gotta start strong on offense,” Coppell freshman safety Weston Polk. “There were more people in the right spots and we were more locked in as a team. Everyone was taking the game more seriously, [but] we need to get sharper overall, we need to work on those little mistakes.”

Highland Park (2-1) would later go on a 21-0 run through the rest of the first half.

Despite extended training on the offensive side of the ball through the week in preparation for Highland Park, the Cowboys failed to carry out several key plays when it mattered most. 

The Cowboy offense wasn’t in rhythm throughout the game and a lack of execution in the red zone severely hurt the Cowboys’ attempt to get back into the game. In the fourth quarter, Coppell pushed on strong during a 65yard drive, but multiple incompletions from Coppell junior quarterback Jack Fishpaw saw the Cowboy offense with nothing to reward themselves with.  

“We moved some guys to different positions and there were some guys who had never played a position before,” Coppell coach Michael Dewitt said. “We need to keep getting better at running some of our schemes.”

The Cowboy offense did get some momentum coming out of halftime with Fishpaw’s 3-yard rushing touchdown getting Coppell on the board for the first time of the night and capping off a 83-yard drive. And with 55 seconds left in the game, Fishpaw’s 15yard touchdown pass to Coppell junior wide receiver Zach Darkoch gave Coppell its second touchdown of the night.

Coppell will have a bye week next week in which it will prepare to start its District 6-6A campaign against Plano on Sept. 24 at Buddy Echols Field, with kickoff at 7 p.m.

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