Cooper head coach Aaron Roan’s team went toe-to-toe with the Permian Panthers on Friday night, but the Panthers pulled away in the second half for a 56-28 victory.

That was Cooper’s final non-district game of the season, so from this point forward, the games count.

The road to the playoffs is open.

Cooper played five non-district games to get ready, and Roan says they got all they can out of the preparation time.

Roan said, “I think our kids have worked to go compete every single week. That’s what we want to look into doing each week. I think we’ve gotten better each week. When you evaluate last week’s game through the scope of the last five weeks, I think we’ve gotten better as a football team. I think we’ve progressed each week, and that’s the important thing do, I feel like in non-district play, is to get better.”

Cooper returns to the field in their District 2-5A Division II play on October 7.

They take on preseason district favorite Wichita Fall Rider in Wichita Falls.