In a matchup of coaches leading their squads for the first season, it was Abilene Cooper’s Aaron Roan that got the best of Lubbock High’s Shane Stephen on Friday night at PlainsCapital Park at Lowrey Field.

Cooper’s 49-7 win over the Westerners allowed Cooper to punch its playoff ticket while officially eliminating Lubbock High.

“We play hard, but we get tired because we don’t have that many bullets. We just shoot what we’ve got,” Stephen said. “We are overmatched a little bit. We just go with what we’ve got and the kids fight and I’m proud of my coaches and kids. We gave them all that we had.”

For the first time in the seven meetings between the two squads, Lubbock High held a lead after going 73 yards in 10 plays before quarterback Noah Gutierrez finished the drive off with a five-yard touchdown run just over five minutes into the game.

“We are trying to develop a culture and that’s part of the process,” said Stephen. “It’s just going to take some time.”

The Cougars wasted no time in responding — needing just 13 seconds to equalize the score at 7-7 after Daelin Campos went 64 yards on the first play on a shovel pass from Aiden Thompson.

In a game that was expected to be a blowout for Cooper, the Westerners kept the score the same the rest of the quarter after controlling the ball.

Cooper took the lead for the first time on Thompson’s touchdown pass to Mason Reynolds from 16 yards out with 11:45 left in the first half.

The Westerners drove into Cooper territory on the ensuing possession but turned the ball over on downs at the Cooper 34.

Four plays later, Noah Garcia took a carry around the left end and raced 50 yards for a touchdown with 4:12 left in the half to extend the Cooper lead to 21-7.

After the Cooper defense forced a punt that Campos returned to the LHS 22, Garcia picked up his second rushing touchdown of the night to make it 28-7 with 2:00 to go until halftime.

The Cougars led 35-7 at halftime before adding 14 more points in the final two quarters en route to the victory.

“They’re really good and if we give them the ball, they’re going to score a whole bunch,” Stephen said. “Part of the game plan was that we knew we had to limit them.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Aiden Thompson, Soph., QB, Cooper — Thompson was 12-of-19 passing for 265 yards and four touchdowns in leading a quick-strike Cooper offense.

NOTABLE

Cooper put up 35 points in the first half despite only being on offense for 4:20.

WHAT’S NEXT

Cooper has its open week while the Westerners head north to face Amarillo High.