The Wylie Bulldogs and the Cooper are 24 and a half hours from meeting in the 4th Southtown Showdown.
For the first time, the Southtown Showdown this ’22 season means something.
Wylie quarterback KJ Long said, “In the past few years it’s always meant something; the pride, but it didn’t actually mean something.”
With the district championship title on the line as well as playoff seeding, both Cooper and Wylie will face in a battle they’ll never forget.
“Now that it’s a district championship, week 11, everything’s on the line, I think you can’t ask for a better scenario,” said Long.
Although the Southtown Showdown hasn’t been around that long, the players think of it as a rivalry.
Cooper quarterback Chris Warren said, “When you have two teams, well really three teams in the same city, one wants to be on top. So, we all want to be the best in our city, so I feel like that’s what makes it a rivalry.”
“It’s a new rivalry obviously now that we’re in 5A we play them every year, but I think the intown aspect of it definitely going to bring something to the table that maybe us playing rider wouldn’t. We know those guys; they know us and so just all those things that go into consideration for that,” said Long.
This year Wylie comes in with a four-game winning streak, Cooper riding a three-game winning streak.
Wylie’s Ryan Price said, “Just the fact that we’re able to compete for a district championship and it’s against Cooper is one of the best things you can ask for.”
Cooper wide receiver D’Andre Ralston said, “It’s a pretty big game with a big thing on the line, so it’s going to be really interesting and we’re going to have to execute.”
If Wylie wins, the Bulldogs claim their first outright football title as a Class 5A team with an undefeated district record.
“It’s Cooper, it’s one of the biggest games in Abilene, I think. It’s a rivalry game, we’re kind of new to playing them but we’re ready to get after it. It’s the Southtown Showdown so we’re ready to get after it,” said Price.
But if Cooper wins, it will be a three-way tie between themselves, Wylie, and Wichita Falls Rider.
It’s really going to come down to execution and who can execute the best. I feel like they’re a good football team, but I think we’ve prepared really well for them coming into this game,” said Warren.
Both teams meet at Sandifer Stadium Friday, with kick off set to begin at 7 p.m.