BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Blue Tisdale ran for 140 yards and three touchdowns as Bowling Green beat Cooper 34-20 the KHSAA Class 5A state championship game Saturday at Houchens-Smith Stadium.
The title is the Purples' second straight and third overall.
"I'm tickled to death," Bowling Green coach Kevin Wallace said. "It's been a fun group to coach, and it's just an honor to be standing here with a great group of players and coaches.
"We might not have played our best tonight but we played well enough to win. We hung in there and we'll take the big trophy home."
Tisdale ran for both of Bowling Green's second-half touchdowns, including a 2-yarder with eight minutes left to put the Purples up 34-20.
He was able to gain yardage against a Cooper defense that was focusing more on shutting down the Bowling Green passing attack.
"They backed up and we were able to take advantage of it," Tisdale said.
Tisdale's last touchdown run came after an 80-yard Cooper touchdown drive had cut the Purples' lead to 27-20.
Bowling Green marched 59 yards in 11 plays, consuming 5 minutes, 48 seconds, before Tisdale punched it in on a run from the wildcat formation.
The Purples defense then clinched the win, forcing the Jaguars into a turnover on downs.
Safety Allen Gonsalves led the Bowling Green defense with seven tackles and two sacks. He was one of a group of seniors who finished their careers 30-0 over their last two years.
"Me being a senior, it's a great finish to my high school career," Gonsalves said. "Us seniors tried to incorporate what we learned last year, and we did it again."
Bowling Green outgained Cooper 396-248 overall.
Purples quarterback Devin Hayes was 9-for-15 for 173 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Receiver Nacarius Fant caught three of Hayes' passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. Fellow receiver Spencer Renfro added three catches for 51 yards and a score.
Cooper quarterback Tyler Morris was 14-of-27 through the air for 153 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran for two scores.
Wide receiver Aaron Morgan had nine catches for 101 yards and a touchdown.
The Jaguars, who finished just their fifth season of football, turned the ball over on their first two possessions and trailed 6-0 early.
"After the turnovers we just tried to stay calm on the sideline," Cooper coach Randy Borchers said. "We knew if we could weather it, we'd be all right."
Morris knotted the score at 6-6 late in the first quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Hayes threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Renfro and a 45-yard touchdown pass to Fant to put the Purples up by two scores.
But the Jaguars hung around, cutting the lead to eight right before halftime on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Morris to Morgan.
Tisdale ran for a 4-yard touchdown to open the third quarter, pushing the lead to 27-13.
A 13-yard Morris run cut the lead to 27-20. But that was the last score of the day for Cooper.