High school football: Cooper Bateman leads Cottonwood past West
MURRAY — Cottonwood took advantage of Cooper Bateman's four touchdown passes as the Colts moved to 6-0 on the year with a 37-20 homecoming victory over West.
"It was an ugly game," said Cottonwood coach Josh Lyman. "We were able to come out strongly in the second quarter."
Neither team managed to move the ball during the first quarter and through most of the second. West managed only two first downs in the period, while the Colts picked up just one.
In the second quarter, Bateman provided the first points, finding a West's Tonga Angilau, who intercepted the pass at his own 35-yard line and took it the distance for a touchdown and a 6-0 West lead with 7:25 to play.
Bateman fumbled on the Colts' next possession as well, but the defense held and forced a Panthers punt. That's when the offense woke up.
Bateman, who finished with 15 completions on 26 attempts for 246 yards, started the drive at his own 47. Cottonwood also used running back Nadan Hosea, who carried 20 times for 135 yards and a score.
Hosea scored on a 20-yard run to give the Colts a 7-6 lead with 1:59 left in the half. The Panthers then punted away after going three-and-out in 20 seconds.
Cottonwood took over at its 34 and Bateman completed a 26-yard pass and a 40-yard touchdown strike to Misi Sundin for a 14-6 lead with 53 seconds to play.
The Panthers fumbled with 38 seconds to play and Cottonwood took over at the West 28. Bateman then hooked up with Inoke Loueluel for a 28-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds in the half. The Colts led 21-6 at halftime.
In the third, Bateman again hit Loueluel for a score. This one was a 29-yarder with 6:18 to play to give Cottonwood a 28-6 lead.
West finally answered when Anetipa Vaisagano, who carried the ball 25 times for 145 yards, found the end zone from 5 yards out. His score capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive and cut the lead to 28-14.
Bateman responded with a 41-yard touchdown to Hunter Hanks with 57 seconds left in the third.
"It meant a lot for us," Hosea said of the win. "Everyone has been trying to stop me all year. I have a big target on my back, but my o-line keeps helping me get yards."
Lyman said he was proud of his defense for holding West without a score during the first half.
"It took us four quarters to put them away, but we did and I'm proud of them," he said. "It was a good win. West is a tough team. They played us hard."
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