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October 26, 2023

‘Great day to be a Cowboy’

Cowboys wrangle Warriors in first road test
Coppell+junior+quarterback+Edward+Griffin+drops+back+to+pass+against+South+Grand+Prairie+at+Gopher-Warrior+Bowl+on+Friday.+Coppell+defeated+the+Warriors%2C+44-34.
Ainsley Dwyer
Coppell junior quarterback Edward Griffin drops back to pass against South Grand Prairie at Gopher-Warrior Bowl on Friday. Coppell defeated the Warriors, 44-34.

GRAND PRAIRIE – The Coppell football team arrived in Grand Prairie last night prepared for battle and though battered and bruised, emerged victorious by night’s end.

Last night, the Coppell football team defeated South Grand Prairie, 44-34, at Gopher-Warrior Bowl in Grand Prairie. 

“It was a great game,” Coppell junior quarterback Edward Griffin said. “South Grand Prairie is a great team so all week we’ve known that we’ve had to prepare hard, but practice this week was a lot better than last week but we’re starting to click.” 

Less than four minutes into the game, Griffin rushed into the endzone for the first touchdown of the night, a play that the Cowboys had been working on all week in practice.  

As the Cowboys set up for the next play, they decide to go for the two-point conversion. Griffin located senior wide receiver Baron Tipton slipping out of reach from the Warrior’s defense and connected, the Cowboys now leading 8-0. 

Coppell scores the next touchdown of the night as well, with Griffin throwing a 22yard pass to Tipton in the endzone, 4:19 remaining in the first quarter. Junior Bryson Patton kicked the extra point, Coppell extending their score to 15-0.

Leading up to last night’s game, Coppell’s main strategy and focus during practice was deterring South Grand Prairie sophomore quarterback Jaden Stanely as much as possible and preventing him from running the ball. 

Less than two minutes later, Stanley slipped through a hole in the Cowboy’s defensive line, sprinting 36 yards to score a touchdown and shrinking Coppell’s lead to 15-7. 

The Cowboys returned the ensuing kickoff from the Warriors, with senior Ayrion Sneed taking the kick 60 yards to set up another Cowboys score. Senior wide receiver Luca Grusoli brought in a throw by Griffin with a leaping one-handed catch for a touchdown.

A two-point conversion extended the Coppell lead to 23-7. 

Midway through the second quarter, Stanley slipped through Coppell’s defense again for his second touchdown of the night, running 20 yards into the endzone and bringing the score to 23-13. Stanley attempted the Warrior’s first two-point conversion of the night, but was deterred by the Cowboy’s defensive line. 

With 5:49 left in the third quarter, Coppell senior running back Xavier Mosley rushes for a touchdown, extending the Cowboy’s lead to 30-13.

Less than a minute later, after Coppell changes its defensive formation, South Grand Prairie sophomore running back Josiah Lucas broke through Coppell’s defensive line and score a 59yard touchdown, the Warriors closing in on the Cowboy’s lead, 30-20, with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter. 

Coppell senior middle linebacker Lucas Fredrick and junior safety Alex Krauss swarm South Grand Prairie sophomore running back Riley Calvin as he tries to take the ball downfield during the Coppell football game on Friday at Gopher-Warrior Bowl on Friday. Coppell defeated South Grand Prairie, 44-34. (Ainsley Dwyer)

Just as the Warriors began closing in on the Cowboys again, Coppell junior running back O’Marion Mbakwe rushed for a touchdown, leaving the final score of the third quarter at 37-20. 

Only 30 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Warriors found themselves four yards away from the endzone on their third down. Stanley held the ball and located the gaps in Coppell’s defense yet again, sliding through to the endzone for another touchdown, the score now 37-27 Coppell. 

Tension rose throughout the stadium when about a minute later, after a 15yard penalty was called on the Warriors and South Grand Prairie senior Alijah Murrell received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and was ejected from the game. Shortly after, South Grand Prairie senior defensive end Cayden Mcgriff is ejected as well. 

“It’s a lack of discipline,” Wiley said. “Our kids did some things that were uncharacteristic tonight and we’re going to address that because I don’t play around with that. Their players got ejected and I hate that it happened to them, but that’s part of being able to keep your composure and not doing things that shouldn’t have any business on a football field.”

The Cowboys’ offensive line stands four yards away from the endzone with 7:11 remaining in the game. Coppell junior wide receiver Tucker Cusano catches a pass from Griffin, scoring the Cowboys’ final touchdown of the night, putting the score at 44-27 Coppell. 

South Grand Prairie middle linebacker Leo Morris is able to break through Coppell’s defense and score a touchdown before the clock runs out, but it’s still not enough to defeat the Cowboys, the final score of the night at 44-34. 

As the Cowboys return home after the game, they plan on being more consistent with their defense and cleaning up little mistakes made throughout the night. 

“One week at a time, one win at a time, that’s what we’re chasing,” Wiley said. “You can’t worry about next week until we take care of this week. We just have to keep going, keep stepping forward and our kids took a step in the right direction tonight and it’s a great day to be a Cowboy.”

Follow Ava (@avakjohnson4) and @SidekickSports on X. 

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About the Contributors
Ava Johnson, Sports Assignment Editor
Ava is a senior and the sports assignment editor for The Sidekick. If she’s not working on a piece, you can find her reading, spending time with loved ones, or listening to music. You can contact her at [email protected], or through Instagram at (@heylolitsava).
Ainsley Dwyer, Entertainment Editor
Ainsley Dwyer is a junior and the entertainment editor of The Sidekick. In her free time, Ainsley enjoys theater, enjoys singing, playing the guitar and binge watching TV shows and her favorite movies, Dead Poets Society, Almost Famous, Scream, Maurice and more. She is typically found listening to Taylor Swift, The Beatles, The Mamas & Papas, The Doors, Elvis Presley, Fleetwood Mac, Amy Winehouse, Deftones, Coldplay and Evanescence. She’s born and raised in Coppell. Both her parents and families are from Colorado, and she frequently visits them every year. She plans to attend the University of Missouri to double major in history and journalism. Ainsley has two dogs named Blue and Rouey who are part lab and part pointer. Her favorite place she’s traveled to is New York and would love to live there when she's older. She also dreams of traveling across Europe. Ainsley is a big soccer fan, and her favorite player is Luka Modrić so she loves to root for Real Madrid and Croatia’s National Team. Ainsley also has a deep fascination with pop culture from the 2000s as well as pop culture from the 1960s and 70s. You can contact her on 'X'  (@ainsleydwyer).

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