It was more than just about football Friday night for the Fife High Trojans.
It was about honoring their late assistant coach C.J. Cooper, who died unexpectedly last weekend at his home.
So the grandstands for the Trojans’ home game were packed, and coach Kent Nevin and his staff wore Hawaiian shirts and knee-high socks on the sideline — just like Cooper did for every home opener since 1985.
Fife got a victory, too — 41-8 over Evergreen of Seattle.
“He loved this place,” Nevin said. “All week, we were in a fog. We were just expecting him to be there.”
Cooper missed the Trojans’ season-opener at Shadle Park last weekend. Nevin found out that his running backs coach had died.
Fife canceled practice Monday, instead meeting in the library to talk about losing a beloved coach.
Because Cooper was in charge of charting the players’ conditioning, players asked for extra weightlifting and running late this week, just to honor him.
“I think our players responded beautifully,” Nevin said. “We did not play our best game, but we never stopped. We did not want to let Coop down.”
At Gonzaga Prep 17, Bellarmine Prep 0: The 10th-ranked Lions knew coming in that Bullpups standout defensive lineman Evan Weaver was a force, and they were correct.
Weaver blocked a Mathew Philichi field goal attempt midway through the first quarter and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown, and that was the game-winning score for the No. 8 Bullpups in Spokane.
Graham-Kapowsin 35, at Jefferson 14: Trevor Asbjornsen’s 22-yard strike to Austin Ewell with five seconds to go capped the No. 3 Eagles’ 28-point outburst in the second quarter, and the reigning SPSL South champions won at Federal Way’s Memorial Stadium.
Jefferson took a 7-0 lead on Mason De La Cruz’s 15-yard scoring pass to Kenneth Turner in the first quarter before the Eagles’ explosion.
Battle Ground 38, at Spanaway Lake 29: The Gunner Talkington-to-Chris Waters connection netted four touchdowns, including the game-winner with less than five minutes to go as the Tigers won at Art Crate Field.
Lakiem Williams’ 39-yard touchdown scamper closed the deficit to 31-29 for the Sentinels with 7:23 to go, but the Tigers went 85 yards on their next drive, eating up 2:34. Talkington finished it off with a 5-yard scoring toss to Waters.
Union 24, at Curtis 7: Two trips in six days to SPSL country, two wins for the No. 2 Titans, who beat the Vikings in University Place.
Caleb Browning’s 61-yard punt return for a touchdown gave Union a 24-0 lead late in the third quarter.
Wilson 43, at Stadium 12: Free safety Brandon Scarpaci seems to know where a lot of passes are going. And he is picking them off, too.
Scarpaci had two more interceptions Friday — the last one with 0.5 seconds remaining in the first half that set up Julius Yates-Brown’s 52-yard touchdown pass to AJ Ruffin on the final play in a victory at Stadium Bowl.
Peninsula 43, at South Kitsap 0: The Seahawks bounced back from their last-second Fish Bowl loss by pounding the Wolves in Port Orchard.
Major Ali paced the attack with 163 rushing yards on 25 carries — with 155 coming in the first half. His 2-yard touchdown run with one minute to go in the first half gave Peninsula a 17-0 lead.
At Gig Harbor 52, Auburn Riverside 0: Quarterback Davis Alexander passed for 156 yards, rushed for 120 and accounted for three touchdowns as the Tides posted the shutout at Roy Anderson Field in Purdy.
Running back Adrian Valona scored three touchdowns as well. Gig Harbor has scored 72 unanswered points in the past three halves of football, including the last 20 in its crazy 30-29 Fish Bowl victory a week ago.
At Capital 17, Olympia 7: Conner Kennedy scored on two short touchdown runs in the second half, and the Cougars won the annual Spaghetti Bowl rivalry game at Ingersoll Stadium.
At Sumner 51, Shelton 14: There is a new Wedington scoring touchdowns for the Spartans, and his name is Connor.
After older brother Tristan led Sumner with 12 touchdown receptions last season, Connor — one of the new starting running backs at Sumner — tallied his first four career rushing scores as the Spartans won a cakewalk at Sunset Chev Stadium.
At White River 26, Lindbergh 16: Dustin France’s two first-quarter touchdown runs gave the Hornets the lead, and they held on to upend the ninth-ranked Eagles in Buckley.
At Eatonville 56, Charles Wright 6: George Tomal scored twice, one on an 8-yard run and another on a 20-yard pass from Jacob McCormick, and the seventh-ranked Cruisers won at B.W. Lyon Field.
Washington 32, at West Seattle 22: Kody Martinez made big plays on both sides, rushing for 185 yards and two scores, and returning a pair of interceptions for touchdowns as the Patriots won at West Seattle Stadium.