WOODROW — Adding a new offensive wrinkle in the third week of the season, the Lubbock-Cooper Pirates showcased a three-running back offensive set as they coasted to a 45-14 non-district win Friday night over the Frenship Tigers at First United Park.
Pirate tailback Jacob Dennis scored three touchdowns — two on the ground and one through the air — to lead the Pirates, who improved to 3-0 on the season. Frenship, which was held to just seven first downs and 211 yard of total offense, fell to 1-2.
Pirate coach Max Kattwinkel said his team ran the three-back formation a few times last week against Coronado and decided to feature it a bit more this week.
“We decided to expand things and find a way to utilize all three of our weapons, because we have several really good backs, and it worked well tonight,” Kattwinkel said. “I also feel really good about how our defense played tonight, getting us some turnovers and winning field position for us. That was huge.”
The Pirate defense kept pressure on Frenship quarterback Austin Phillips, who was intercepted three times.
The Pirates finished with 350 rushing yards on 47 attempts, led by Isaiah Johnson’s 138-yard effort. Dennis tallied 79 yards on 11 carries and added a 29-yard touchdown reception.
Lubbock-Cooper owned the momentum from the opening minutes, capitalizing on a turnover to take control in the first quarter. Pirate defensive back Gabe Reyna intercepted Phillips on the Tigers’ first play from scrimmage, and the Pirates drove 57 yards in just three plays for the opening score, a 17-yard touchdown pass from Brenden Mehl to Dennis.
On the Pirates’ next possession, they again sliced up the Frenship defense, driving 68 yards for their second score. A 1-yard plunge by Dennis, with Brock Thompson’s extra point, but the Pirates up 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
But Frenship’s offense, held to just 15 yards on its first two possessions, flexed its muscle on the Tigers’ next possession, with tailback Daniel Ramirez bolting 58 yards up the middle for a touchdown. Cage Jones’ extra point cut the Pirates’ lead to 14-7, but that was as close as Frenship would come.
Neither offense mounted a serious threat in the second quarter, but the Pirate defense put six points on the board when cornerback Sean Radle intercepted a pass by Phillips in the right flat and raced 51 yards to put Lubbock-Cooper up 21-7 at the 4:16 mark of the second quarter.
Dennis and Johnson added rushing touchdowns in the third quarter to help put the game away. Frenship’s Max Rowley hauled in a touchdown pass from Phillips early in the fourth quarter to narrow the gap to 35-14.
The Pirates will again face a Lubbock opponent on Sept. 21, taking on Monterey at home before traveling to Clovis, N.M., on Sept. 28 for their final pre-district game. Frenship will take a long bus drive on Friday to face El Paso Andress.
LUBBOCK-COOPER 45, FRENSHIP 14
LC — Jacob Dennis 29 pass from Brenden Mehl (Brock Thompson kick), 10:32
LC — Dennis 1 run (Thompson kick), 6:42
FREN – Daniel Ramirez 58 run (Cage Jones kick), 4:50
LC — Sean Radle 51 interception return (Thompson kick), 4:16
LC — Dennis 4 run (Thompson kick), 7:28
LC — Isaiah Johnson 5 run (Thompson kick), 1:56
FREN — Max Rowley 13 pass from Austin Phillips (Jones Kick), 8:45
LC — Robert Mott 48 run (Thompson kick), 8:34
LC — Blake German 21 field goal, 0:39
RUSHING: Frenship, Daniel Ramirez 4-66, Erin Brown 8-32, Skyler Newsome 4-32, Brady Wolfe 3-8, Drew Hocutt 3-7, Colton Brown 1-10, Jordan Maden 2-2, Jonathan Hargrove 1-1, Austin Phillips 3-(-12); Lubbock-Cooper, Isaiah Johnson 15-138, Jacob Dennis 11-79, Robert Mott 4-62, Tyler Hairston 7-45, Brenden Mehl 6-18, Haden Ashford 3-8, Carson Smith 1-0.
PASSING: Frenship, Austin Phillips 8-19-3—65; Lubbock-Cooper, Brenden Mehl 8-13-0—107, Brock Thompson 0-1-0—0.
RECEIVING: Frenship, Drew Hocutt 4-37, Max Rowley 2-17, Skyler Newsome 2-11; Lubbock-Cooper, Jacob Dennis 1-29, Ty Carter 2-25, Robert Mott 1-23, Tyler Hairston 1-15, Carson Smith 1-13, Cole Carter 2-2.