AMARILLO, Texas — Lubbock-Cooper’s season ended Friday evening at the hands of a familiar foe.
The Pirates matched up with Wichita Falls Rider in the regional final for the third time in as many years. It was the teams’ sixth time facing off in three years.
Wichita Falls Rider knocked Lubbock-Cooper out of the playoffs in 2018, but the Pirates got their revenge in 2019. Friday, Rider won the rubber match 21-13.
The game was originally scheduled to be played in Abilene on Thursday, but was relocated to Amarillo due to bad weather.
After a scoreless first quarter, Wichita Falls Rider got on the board first by taking advantage of a Pirate miscue. Raider cornerback Dominique Horton picked off a Cooper LaFebre pass and ran it home down the sideline untouched, giving his squad a 7-0 lead.
After that, the Pirates steadied themselves. They picked up a key first down with a fake punt and converted the drive into points when LaFebre hit Cason Leech for a touchdown.
The game went into halftime tied 7-7, and the Pirates jumped ahead in the third quarter on a touchdown from LaFebre to Ben Marcinkowski. However, Cooper missed the extra point, keeping their lead at 13-7.
That’s when Rider quarterback Jacob Rodriguez took over. The Virginia commit rushed for back-to-back touchdowns, the second of which was an 18-yard scamper on fourth down. Rodriguez’s scores gave the Raiders a 21-13 lead in the fourth quarter.
Down one score, the Pirates had two opportunities to tie the game but both fell short. The first drive resulted in a turnover on downs and Horton iced the game with his second interception.
Lubbock-Cooper finished its season with an 11-2 record. The Pirates beat Wichita Falls Rider in the regular season, but fell to the Raiders in the postseason for the second time in three years.