PALATINE – There were several players who made big contributions to Edwardsville's 38-35 Saturday afternoon win over Palatine in the second round of the IHSA Class 8A football playoffs.
Two big contributions came from junior defensive back Jalen Cooper – a blocked conversion attempt following a Pirate touchdown that kept the Tigers in the lead late in the third quarter, then a final-quarter interception of a D.J. Angelaccio pass that led to a Dionte Rodgers touchdown run that gave the Tigers a 35-27 lead midway through the period.
“They ran a fade and an out-route,” Cooper said. “One of our linebackers tackled the (intended receiver) and it went right through the guy's hands and it landed in mine. Hats off to the defense; I don't see that as me making the play, I see it as the entire defense making the play. It was a whole team effort.”
The win over the Pirates sent the Tigers to the quarterfinals this week against Minooka. The game will be played at 4 p.m. Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
“It feels good to come back home,” Cooper said. “Coming up north, there's some hard teams; we'll just take it one game at a time.”
Coming down the stretch, the Tigers knew what they had to do. “You just have to make sure that you don't make mistakes you've already made,” Cooper said. “Coach (Matt) Martin and the other coaches always say 'learn from your mistakes' and that's what you've got to do – learn from your mistakes and fix them.”
SEE VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH COOPER BELOW:
Feeney, 56, is a native of Granite City and graduated from Granite City South in 1978. He was a part-time writer for the old Granite City Journal from 1979-84 before attending Eastern Illinois University in Charleston,
from which he earned his BA in journalism in 1988. He has worked for newspapers in Sikeston, Mo., Rocky Mount, N.C., Seneca, S.C. and in Charleston-Mattoon. He also worked for the old St. Clair County Suburban