Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

QB Battle Goes to Jackets; Cooper Proves Too Much for Tebow, Nease

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

QB Battle Goes to Jackets; Cooper Proves Too Much for Tebow, Nease

Article excerpt


To most fans, St. Augustine High School's Quinterrance Cooper entered Friday night's football game with Nease as "the other quarterback."

Few quarterbacks opposing Panthers star passer Tim Tebow ever receive any more recognition than that, but by the end of the game, more Nease fans knew Cooper's name than ever cared to.

The Yellow Jackets junior threw touchdown passes on his first two attempts, covering 103 yards combined, to lead St. Augustine to a 20-14 road win over county rival Nease.

"I had a point to prove tonight that I could play this position, too," Cooper said. "I don't know if I did everything he [Tebow] did, but I know we did the job in the end."

Cooper, the younger brother of former Yellow Jackets star and current Miami Hurricane Willie Cooper, found Kevis Streeter for a 61-yard score on his first pass, and connected with Brandon James from 42 yards to spark an early 13-0 lead that the vaunted Nease offense was unable to overcome.

"One of those touchdowns they threw it out of a formation that they always run the counter with," Nease coach Craig Howard said. "That was the first time we'd seen them throw out of that set, so you have to credit the play call there."

Nease fell to 2-20 against St. Augustine all-time.

Trailing 20-14, Nease forced a punt with 2:11 remaining and Ryan Ellis returned the kick into St. Augustine territory to set up Tebow with a potential game-winning drive. Nease was penalized for running into the punter, however, giving the Yellow Jackets the first down they needed to run out the clock.

"That was a big mistake there," Howard said. "We thought we had Timmy set up in great position for a comeback, but it just didn't happen for us."

Leading 20-7 at the half, St. Augustine took the opening drive of the third quarter 43 yards in 12 plays but failed to score. …

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