After several postponements due to Hurricane Irma, football returned to South Florida once again. Friday night lights returned for Cooper City High as they faced off against the Oxbridge Academy High Thunderwolves on September 22.
Oxbridge Academy High came out strong in the first quarter, appearing to do as well as they did in their season last year. They were able to put 33 points in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Cowboys played better defense and held Oxbridge to just six points, while they tried to find some offensive rhythm. The Cowboys offense played well against teams in their district in the past, but this game was a different story.
Oxbridge Academy High is ranked 21 in the state of Florida, which is very high considering the amount of talent in Florida for football. This team produces many Division 1 athletes, and obtain many current Division 1 commits. Although Cooper City knew they were facing a talented team, the Cowboys kept their heads held high and got ready to try to change things around in the second half.
In the second half, the Cowboys finally found the end zone with a deep pass from senior quarterback Michael DiLiello, to the senior wide receiver, Mark Brent, coming off the slot position. This seemed promising against a defense such as Oxbridge Academy’s, and the Cowboys only allowed eight points in the third quarter. However, the Cowboys still had a mountain to climb in the fourth quarter if they wanted to win this game. The Cowboys held Oxbridge Academy High to just six points, but weren’t able to put up any points on the board, and ended up running out of time and lost 53-7.
When the game had ended, the teams walked over and shook each others’ hands out of respect. Although the Cowboys had lost, the game gave them an understanding of what other teams are like and how they play. They will look back at this game and use it for motivation for the rest of the season. The Cowboys look ahead to practice next week and use this game as a learning experience, as they have their bye week and then will return home to have two games, one on Monday October 2, and one on Friday October 6.
“Although we lost, playing good teams like Oxbridge and Lakeland better prepares us for the teams we play later in the season and our district,” Brent said. “Oxbridge and Lakeland are the two best teams we face all year, so it only gets better.”
Final score: Cooper City 7, Academy High 53
Photo by Thomas Emoff