Cowboys ‘win one for J-Lo’ over Flower Mound, 27-18

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Senior center Leighton Light stands ready to snap the ball across from the Flower Mound Jaguars defensive line. Photo by Rinu Daniel.

By John Loop
Sports Writer

Somewhere, Jacob Logan is celebrating in heaven.

The Coppell Cowboys eked out a win on Friday night against the Flower Mound Jaguars, 27-18.

Before the game, sophomore Jordan Logan, Jacob’s sister, joined the captains at midfield for the coin toss. Although the Cowboys lost the toss, luck would prove to be on their side for the night.

A moment of silence was also observed in the stadium. The eerie stillness encapsulated the entirety of what the hearts and minds of the Coppell community had been like all of this week.

The student section stayed loud and proud all night, rallying around the voices of the Silver Spurs, who also lost one of their own, senior Jonah Blackwell, this week.

Following the kickoff, Flower Mound junior quarterback Connor Wanhanen marched the Jaguars down the field at a quick pace on the first possession of the game. The Cowboys forced their first turnover of the night one play later, an interception by junior safety Chris Adkins off a deflection.

As the offense trudged onto the field, ten players lined up on the line of scrimmage. Logan’s position at wide receiver was left vacant in his memory.

Senior quarterback Colby Mahon, who finished 7 of 14 for 109 yards and one touchdown, immediately connected with senior wide receiver Cameron Smith on a 55-yard bomb that brought the ball all the way down to the Jaguar 3-yard line on the first play.

After a couple of running plays were stuffed behind the line of scrimmage, Mahon then hooked up with senior Henry Busch for a 5-yard scoring toss, which put the Cowboys in front early in the first quarter, 6-0. Junior kicker Adam Centers’ extra point try was blocked.

“That first touchdown was for J-Lo,” Mahon said. “Both the Lord and J-Lo.”

Flower Mound junior kicker Andrew Hitscherich booted a 25-yard field goal at the beginning of the second quarter to make the score 6-3, still in favor of Coppell.

But then the Cowboys opened the floodgates.

McDaniel took the handoff at the 11:56 mark of the second quarter and found himself in the endzone 12 seconds and 75 yards later.

The Cowboy defense then proceeded to sack Wanhanen and force a fumble.Coppell recovered deep in Flower Mound territory at the 15-yard line of the Jaguars.

After a methodical run-heavy, four-play drive, McDaniel punched the ball into the endzone again on fourth down and goal from seven yards out.

Coppell seemed to be running away with the game at this point.

“It was real important to us [to start the game like that] because of how hard this week has been,” McDaniel said. “We were ready for the game, but you still don’t know how you’re going to respond.”

The Cowboys entered halftime with a comfortable lead, at 20-6 after Hitscherich converted a 28-yard kick as time expired in the first half.

The Coppell marching band put an emphatic stamp of support on their usual halftime showcase, performing a rousing rendition of “Amazing Grace” for the Coppell fans.

As Coppell kicked off to the Jaguars to start the second half, things began to go downhill for the Cowboys. Mahon threw his first interception of the season, and both junior right tackle Bill Weber and senior inside linebacker Aaron Gonzales both exited the lineup with injuries. Weber returned later with his ankle tightly wrapped.

The third quarter produced a lull in the action, but the going got tough for Coppell in the final period of play.

Flower Mound senior running back Cole McKeel caught a screen pass from Wanhanen and raced up the sideline for a huge 54-yard gain to set up the Jags inside the Coppell 10-yard line.

Within the next few plays, Wanhanen found the endzone on a nine-yard designed quarterback draw. The junior waltzed in, practically untouched, through the middle of the offensive line for the first Flower Mound score of the night.

After the Jaguar defense prevented the Cowboys from converting a fourth down and ten that could have ultimately sealed the game, Wanhanen went to work again.

This time, he connected with McKeel on a 55-yard pass to narrow the lead to 20-18, with only five minutes left in the final quarter.

And just like that, the Jaguars were about to comeback and beat an undefeated Coppell team on homecoming night.

“Our coaches tell us every week before each game that turnovers and pre-snap penalties will end up hurting you,” Mahon said. “We made turnovers and we had pre-snap penalties and that allowed them to get back in it.”

But the Cowboys didn’t stop battling as they rambled to the Jaguar 22-yard line on a perfectly timed reverse to Cameron Smith for a 51-yard gain.

Henry Busch then handled his second score of the night, throwing a 19-yard bullet pass to senior running back Luke Jenner on a double pass, which dashed any hopes of a Flower Mound comeback.

After the game was over, both teams met in the middle of the field. McDaniel and junior defensive end Solomon Thomas said prayers, and head coach Joe McBride commended the Flower Mound team for their level of play, but also the way they carried themselves.

“Honestly, it is hard to care about football,” McBride said. “But we have got to do our job and move forward.”