WEST WINDSOR: Cooper, Pirates run wild


By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
Even as the losses mounted, the West Windsor-Plainsboro High South football team never stopped working to get better.
Last Friday the Pirates saw their efforts pay off with their best performance of the season, topping Princeton, 42-18, thanks to an explosive game from the offense and a strong effort on defense.
“We’ve played a lot of tough teams this year with different styles of football,” said South senior quarterback Scott Cochrane, who had big games on offense and defense. “We have been working really hard and now it all finally came together. We were able to block well and run the ball well.”
The Pirates received their biggest effort from running back Zyion Cooper, who carried the ball 32 times for a school-record 370 yards and three touchdowns as South improved to 2-4 on the season.
“Zyion had a great game,” Cochrane said. “They ran a defense very similar to ours so it was a little easier to pick the blocking schemes to use against them. It was easier to set our offense up for success.
“We made a really good adjustment in the second half to stop the power that really killed us in the first half. Our coaches recognized how they were beating us and that really helped.”
The Pirates led, 14-12, at halftime and pulled away by scoring on each of their first four possessions of the second half.
“The mentality got a lot better this week,” said Cochrane, who completed five of his 10 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. “We came into a bunch of these games knowing how good the teams we were playing were. Nottingham was a good team. It really just kind of came together tonight.”
Cooper had a breakout performance for the Pirates, rushing for over 180 yards in each half.
“This game definitely goes to the offensive line,” said tight end AJ Austin, who caught a touchdown pass and also had a strong game on defense. “They were setting their blocks all over the place. Even against plays that had never worked before we were setting blocks and getting yards out there.
“With Zyion, if you give him a little hole he is just gone. He is a difference maker.”
After being outscored, 75-7, the last two weeks, the Pirates put it together in front of a huge crowd at Princeton’s Homecoming.
“I felt our players faced adversity in many respects at Princeton,” said WW-P South coach Skip Edwards, whose team will face Hightstown tonight. “It was Homecoming and Community Day and so on. They rose to the challenge and played outstanding. The coaches made a couple of adjustments at halftime and that worked well.”
Of course, having a player like Cooper made quite a bit of difference.
“I felt all along that he is a very impressive running back and with our two wins he has played a big role along with his teammates,” Edwards said.
Princeton received a big effort from sophomore running back Carson Giles, who carried the ball 21 times for 223 yards and scored a touchdown. The Little Tigers fell to 1-5 with the loss. They will play at Northern Burlington tonight.
Montgomery evened its record at 3-3 with a 24-8 win over Warren Hills. Mike Patrizio threw a pair of touchdown passes to Daniel Young in the win.
The Hun School stayed unbeaten with a 41-12 win at Hill. Pat Holly threw for 331 yards and five touchdowns, hitting five different receivers for the scores.
WW-P North fell to 2-4 with a 48-38 loss to Lawrence. Brian Murphy threw four touchdown passes, including a pair to John Owens. 