Coppell High School Athletics


District Win in the last 30 Seconds


Tanishq X Akasapu | 1/31/2024


On a brisk Tuesday night, the Coppell Cowboys played their third district game against the Marcus Marauders. The match was full of twists and turns, and ultimately the Cowboys were able to scrape out a 3-2 win in what was a very competitive match.

The Cowboys have struggled to start games strong all season and that trend continued with Marcus starting off on the front foot. From the get-go, the Marauders piled the pressure on the Cowboy defense, suffocating the back line and forcing turnovers. The Marauders were eventually able to seize this opportunity as they would score the game’s first goal. The Marauders’ winger played an early cross that was cleared only to an awaiting Marauders’ attacker on the edge of the box. With the ball falling perfectly to him, he rocketed the ball into the top left corner on the half-volley.

Trailing by a goal, the Cowboys slowly but surely were able to pick themselves up and recover. Eventually, the Cowboys were able to create attacks of their own. Midfielder Srikar Mulukutla would come close to scoring off a corner, but his header would crash off the crossbar and away from goal. The Cowboys would continue to work tenaciously for the equalizer, and it would finally come midway into the first half. Forward Gareth Meza was able to beat his defender on the wing and play a low cross into the six-yard box. The cross was blocked but fell to the feet of forward Sam Stone, who calmly placed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.

As the two sides evened out, the game began to open up, leading to the game becoming a bit chippy. The game continued to get more and more physical, which led to some yellow cards handed out and some controversial no-calls. The game continued to remain even in the second half, with both teams having their runs of momentum. After remaining in a deadlock for 20 minutes, Marcus would put themselves ahead once again. A corner was played into the box and inexplicably found its way into the back of the net without any other contact.

Once again the Cowboys found themselves trailing with time ticking off the clock. Coach Morris looked towards the bench for a spark of creativity, bringing on forward Maddox Matute. The Cowboys would continue to create chances as they searched for the equalizer again. Midfielder Nathan Eppelman would hammer a ball laid off to him from twenty-five yards out. The ball swerved away from the kicker and looked to dip into the goal, but once again the ball would crash off the crossbar. The Cowboys would progressively chip away at the Marauders’ defense, and would finally bring the game level with ten minutes left in the match. Forward J McGill sent in a long throw into the box and Matute was able to flick the ball over the keeper and into the goal with his head. With only ten minutes left in the game, the win was up for grabs.

Suspense continued to build as the game became more end-to-end with both teams searching for the winner. Marcus would find themselves in a 3v1 off of a counterattack, but defender Manav Kapadia was able to smartly foul the attacker and concede the yellow card. In the dying embers of the match, McGill would play a chipped ball too close to the keeper, but Eppelman was able to outjump the keeper and keep the attacker alive. The ball would continue to bounce around in the box before finding the head of Matute. Matute was cleated in the head, earning the Cowboys a penalty to win the game. With only 30 seconds remaining in the game, this penalty essentially held the game in its hands. Stone would step up to take the kick and all the pressure that came along with it. Stone’s initial shot would be saved by the keeper, but Stone was able to finish off the rebound to put the Cowboys ahead for the first time in the match. It truly was quite an unbelievable win.

The Cowboys displayed true grit in this match, as when it seemed like the walls were caving in they were able to overcome the odds. What separates the good teams from the great is the ability to overcome adversity. It is the ability to take whatever obstacles that are thrown at you; dig deep into the dirt; and grind out a result no matter how much blood you have to shed. The Cowboys will look to climb even further up the district table as they face Plano East on Friday.