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Wildcats’ comeback attempt falls short in overtime

Jimmy Trodglen/


By Riley Grubbs

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.- Clarksville High endured an emotional first-round 5A playoff loss to Southwind, falling 28-27 in overtime.

Down 21-9 in the fourth quarter, and with starting quarterback Ford Cooper dealing with a separated shoulder, the Wildcats mounted a comeback for the ages and Cooper was the reason why.

Cooper re-entered the game, throwing a touchdown and running for a score. The Wildcats had an opportunity to win in regulation, but Southwind blocked the extra-point attempt. It was one of two blocked extra points by Southwind, with the Wildcats missing on three extra-point attempts.

“I don’t know exactly what happened, but something up in my shoulder kind of popped out and it hurt.” Cooper said.

Cooper’s entry back into the game left a lasting impression on Wildcats coach Isaac Shelby

“It’s the most courageous thing I have ever seen in high school football.” Shelby said. “His whole shoulder was just hanging out of his socket. He (Cooper) was just begging back in and he came back in and played like, just a man.”

Clarksville High’s first drive started at Southwind’s 10-yard line after the Jaguars fumbled the snap on a punt.

Clarksville High’s Tyler Pena converted a field goal after the Southwind defense held.

The half ended with Clarksville high holding a 3-0 lead.

Midway through the third quarter, backup quarterback Colby Cook fumbled the ball near Clarksville High’s 10-yard line. Zachariah Fenceroy returned the fumble for a 10-yard touchdown.

Before the third quarter ended, Colby Cook scrambled for a 17-yard touchdown. The score was 14-9 at the end of the third after a missed extra-point.

Clarksville High fell behind 21-9 when Southwind’s Steve Guy plunged ahead for a 1-yard touchdown run.

Cooper re-entered the game on the next drive. He went two-for-four on the drive and found Donte Hurt for a 35-yard touchdown.

Clarksville High had the ball with two minutes remaining in regulation, down 21-16. The game appeared to be over after Cooper threw an interception. The call was overturned because of a roughing the passer. Cooper ended the drive with a 4-yard run for a touchdown.

A missed extra-point sent the game to overtime tied at 21.

Clarksville High scored first with Michael Kennedy hitting the end zone on a 1-yard run. The extra point was blocked, giving the Wildcats a 27-21 lead.

Southwind’s Geoffery Williams scored on a 2-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

Despite the loss, Clarksville High never relented.

“It’s the best team I have seen at Clarksville High since I was 17-years-old.” Shelby said. “It’s the most resilient team I have ever been around with the best leader in high school football I have been around.”

Riley Grubbs is an intern for Comments or questions can be directed to