Antelope Valley Gets Help From Diminutive Duo


In football parlance, wide receivers Lamart Cooper and Nate Williams of Antelope Valley College are smurfs.

Cooper is listed at 5-foot-6 and 145 pounds but is closer to 5-4, and Williams reportedly tilts the scales at 5-11 and 160.

But Saturday night, they were the little big men in Antelope Valley's 28-14 victory over visiting Desert in a Foothill Conference game.

The victory snapped the Marauders' six-game (0-5-1) winless streak against the Roadrunners and improved their record to 7-1, 5-1 in conference play.

The win kept Antelope Valley in a first-place tie with San Bernardino Valley, which hammered Victor Valley, 52-6, Saturday.

Cooper, a freshman from Palmetto High in Miami, gained a team-high 57 yards in seven carries and scored on a 25-yard touchdown run in the first half to give the Marauders a 13-0 lead, but his biggest play might have been his 29-yard pass to Williams on a reverse with 12 minutes 32 seconds to play.

The touchdown gave Antelope Valley a 27-14 lead and Tom Leite's conversion kick gave the Marauders their margin of victory.

"That's a play we practiced all week long," Cooper said.

"They kept biting on the sweeps, so we thought it would work."

Williams, a sophomore from Northeast High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., had only two receptions but both went for touchdowns.

His first was a 50-yard bomb from quarterback Marty Washington with 10 seconds left in the first half that gave the Marauders a 19-7 lead. Washington's conversion pass to tight end Thomas Reimer gave the Marauders a 21-7 lead at intermission.

Williams does not catch the ball much in Antelope Valley's ball-control offense, but he makes the most of it when he does. His two receptions Saturday gave him 14 for 412 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

Desert (3-4-1, 3-3) trimmed its deficit to 21-14 on Mike Criner's six-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rick Matthews with 2:19 left in the third quarter.

Washington completed four of 16 passes for 117 yards, and running back Greg Graham added 52 yards in 10 carries for Antelope Valley.

Antelope Valley had 356 yards in total offense, compared to Desert's 267.

Yero Craig led Desert with 81 yards in 16 carries.

Cooper entered the game as the Marauders' sixth-leading rusher, but he gained a team-high 64 yards in six carries in the first half.

On Cooper's touchdown run in the first half, he ran around left end and broke three tackles, including one by defensive back Uriah Shaw at the Desert 10-yard line.

Desert scored on the ensuing kickoff, however, as Mike King returned the ball 95 yards, cutting from the middle of the field at midfield to the right sideline for the score.

Antelope Valley, which outgained Desert in the first half, 245 yards to 127, took a 7-0 lead two seconds into the second quarter when Al Dawkins scored on a one-yard plunge on fourth down.

Dawkins' run capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive.

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