Cooper comes up short in championship

Cooper comes up short in title game

LEXINGTON, kentucky – Deuce Bailey threw for three touchdowns and overcame three interceptions as Bowling Green got past Cooper to win the KHSAA Class 5A state championship. It was the eighth title for the Purples in school history and first since 2020.

Bailey finished the evening with 199 yards passing, 70 yards rushing and touchdown tosses to three different receivers. Teammate Jaxen Smith caught one of those touchdown passes and ran for another. Trevy Barber has game highs with nine receptions and 114 yards receiving with a score for the victors.

It was Bowling Green’s relentless defensive pressure that was a key factor in this win. The Purples held the Jaguars to -27 yards rushing on 23 carries. The unit also tallied six sacks and had an interception.

This was the second state championship game appearance for Cooper who lost to Bowling Green in the 2012 finale, 34-20. The Jaguars were led by sophomore quarterback Cam O’Hara who threw for 220 yards and a pair of touchdowns despite being under constant unrest all night long. O’Hara finishes 2023 with 3,361 yards and 47 touchdowns passing. Juniors Isaiah Johnson and Austin Alexander each had a touchdown catches in this affair. Johnson ends the season with 76 receptions for 1,372 yards and 21 touchdowns. Alexander had 67 catches for 1,138 yards with 19 trips to the end zone. He also had 19 sacks on defense.

Cooper 7-0-0-7-14
Bowling Green 14-7-7-0-28

B: Matthew Klein 31 pass from Deuce Bailey (Braden Widener kick)
B: Trevy Barber 43 pass from Bailey (Widener kick)
C: Isaiah Johnson 24 pass from Cam O’Hara (Carson Taylor kick)
B: Jaxen Smith 8 pass from Bailey (Widener kick)
B: Smith 1 run (Widener kick)
C: Austin Alexander 11 pass from O’Hara (Taylor kick)

RECORDS: Cooper (12-3); Bowling Green (12-3)

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