LEONARD — The Leonard Tigers remained undefeated in district play, by the slimmest of margins, after taking a 31-30 victory over the Cooper Bulldogs that clinched a playoff spot in 6-3A (II) action.
The key series took place with 9:14 left in the contest. Cooper (3-5, 2-2) had fourth and goal from the 7 and ran a sweep around the left end but fell a foot short of the goal line. Leonard (5-3, 4-0) then marched 85 yards for a score and Ronnie Hart drilled a 31-yard field goal to put the Tigers up 31-22 with 2:25 remaining.
That proved to be the difference as Cooper had a touchdown pass from Mitchell Green to Greg Holcomb with 59 seconds left and the two-point conversion had the Bulldogs within a point. Leonard recovered the onside kick to preserve the victory.
Hart was 11-of-14 passing for 225 yards and a pair of touchdowns while running for 98 yards on 18 carries and J.J. Brian added 10 carries for 82 yards and a score.
Leonard got on the board first when Byron Bolin caught a 62-yard touchdown pass from Hart.
Cooper answered with a 25-yard TD run by Brayden Toon. Green ran for the conversion to give the Bulldogs the early lead.
The Tigers hit paydirt when Brian broke free on a 62-yard touchdown. Hart connected with Michael Shulze for the two-point conversion. Early in the second quarter Bolin and Shulze caught passes on a drive culminating with a 22-yard touchdown grab by Bolin, who finished with three receptions for 103 yards.
Toon then made it a 22-14 margin on a 16-yard run with 7:04 remaining in the half.
Leonard had an answer as it drove 56 yards for the next touchdown. Shulze caught a 20-yard pass on this drive and Tanner Young made it into the end zone from the seven-yard line.
Cooper went 82 yards for a touchdown to get within a score as Toon capped the drive from eight yards out. Holcomb ran in the conversion and the Bulldogs were down six in the middle of the third quarter.
Leonard will travel to Paris Chisum this week and a win would set up an undefeated district showdown with defending state champion Gunter for the final game of the regular season.