PREP FOOTBALL: West Point drops regular season finale to Cordova 20-7

West Point's Will Cochran (10) threw for 147 yards and a score, plus 49 more on the ground during the Warriors’ 20-7 loss to Cordova. (Sammy Confer for The Cullman Tribune)

CORDOVA, Ala. – The West Point Warriors looked to end the season at .500 Friday night when they traveled to Walker County to take on the Cordova Blue Devils, but unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan as Cordova defeated West Point 20-7 to finish the regular season.

Some big plays by Cordova on its opening series moved the ball to the 28-yard line, but West Point forced a fumble, which was recovered by Cooper Couch. The Warriors, though, were forced to punt on their opening drive. The defense forced yet another turnover when Alfonso Perez picked off a Blue Devil pass. Will Cochran found Kobe Bowers for a 15-yard gain and a first down, but their drive stalled after that when Cochran fell a yard short of getting the first down on a fourth-down play.

Each team punted on its next series and Cordova started out the second quarter by getting a holding penalty, but West Point’s defense didn’t take advantage and the Blue Devils gained the yardage back and then some to put themselves at the 5-yard line. Another holding penalty quickly stalled Cordova’s drive as Perez added another interception, this time in the end zone.

A big 12-yard run by Kelton Washington on second down, followed by a 33-yard pass from Cochran to Bowers quickly put the Warriors in business at the 29-yard line, and a pass interference penalty on fourth down helped keep the Warriors’ drive alive. However, West Point couldn’t capitalize as Cochran got sacked and the Warriors were forced to turn the ball over on downs. Another Cordova punt gave the Warriors the ball right back with a chance to put up the first touchdown of the game.

A Cochran 13-yard pass to Jacob Dye, later followed by an 11-yard run from Levi Farley, quickly put West Point at the 30-yard line. A flag on West Point stalled the drive and the Warriors turned the ball over on downs, leaving things scoreless at halftime.

West Point started out the second half strong as a 23-yard pass from Cochran to Bowers quickly put the Warriors past midfield at the 44-yard line. A block in the back penalty on third down pushed the Warriors back to the 47, but they struck gold on the next play when Cochran found Couch all alone for a 47-yard score to put West Point on the board first with 10:04 remaining in the third.

Both teams traded punts on their ensuing possessions. West Point looked to get a huge stop on fourth-and-3, but a 37-yard pass kept the drive alive for Cordova and the Blue Devils ended the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7 with 4:09 remaining in the quarter. Big runs by Cochran and Brody Rusk kept the drive alive on multiple occasions for the Warriors, but they quickly went backward and failed to convert on fourth down.

Another crucial fourth-down conversion by Cordova kept it going and West Point’s defense on the field. The drive ended with a 3-yard run that gave the Blue Devils a 14-7 lead with 6:12 remaining in the game. A huge 34-yard pass from Cochran to Dye started off the next Warrior drive and gave them a chance to tie the game. Cochran picked up a pair of critical first downs, including one on a fourth-down play, to set West Point up at the 3-yard line, but Cordova picked off a Cochran pass and returned it 89 yards for the score to seal the game for the Blue Devils, handing West Point a 20-7 loss in its regular season finale.

Cochran finished 9-of-30 for 147 yards and a score, plus 49 more on the ground. Perez finished with a pair of interceptions on defense, and Couch added a touchdown reception and a fumble recovery.

West Point finishes its regular season at 4-6, and 13 players played their final game for the Warriors, but some great talent will be back next season in 2020.

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