COPPERAS COVE — Jaylon Hannah did not want the ball.
Early in the fourth quarter, Copperas Cove held a healthy three-score lead, and it appeared the advantage was about to inflate further as Tim Edwards broke free for his third touchdown of the contest on a 77-yard outburst.
But the play was negated due to offensive holding.
Moments later, Hannah was instructed to take the next handoff.
“I told the coaches to keep Tim in and let him get another touchdown,” the Bulldawgs senior said. “They were like, ‘No, Jaylon, go in.’
“I asked if they were sure because I wanted Tim to get another one. That’s just how we work. We all want to do good for each other.”
Reluctantly, Hannah followed orders and it paid off as he ran for a 79-yard touchdown, helping Copperas Cove earn a 42-10 victory against El Paso Franklin.
In total, the Bulldawgs produced 463 rushing yards as Hannah totaled 199 yards, while teammate Cain Garner added 105 and two other players — Jaylen Smith and Edwards — contributed more than 50 yards apiece.
Although the rushers received the glory, Copperas Cove head coach Jack Welch believes another player earned the yards.
“Our fullback Ronique Williams,” he said, “he’s not going to get any credit because he never carried the ball, but he was a blocking machine. He was the one spurring them on out there, and that makes a huge difference when you’ve got a bulldozer like that.”
Franklin opened the scoring as Isaac Garcia made a 38-yard field to cap off the game’s first possession, but the Cougars would not score again before halftime.
After turning the ball over on downs inside the red zone and losing a fumble on its second drive, Copperas Cove (2-0) finally responded as Edwards, a junior, broke free for a 7-yard touchdown with 8 minutes, 9 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
On their following possession, Hannah pushed the Bulldawgs’ lead to 14-3 thanks to a 77-yard run into the end zone to cap off the half’s scoring.
“That’s just what Jaylon does,” said Edwards, who had 67 yards on 13 carries. “He’s fast, quick and smooth, and I like that.
“Some plays are meant for me and some are meant for him, and that’s fine with me.”
After the teams swapped scoreless possessions to start the second half, Edwards ended the drought, powering in for a 1-yard score, but the Cougars answered, needing just 2:06 to reach the end zone and make the score 21-10.
Franklin (0-3) would not get any closer, though.
Garner broke free for a 60-yard touchdown before Hannah added his second long score, and with 6:04 remaining, Edwards crossed the goal line for a third time on a 13-yard run.
In the end, however, both Hannah and Edwards praised teammates for their success.
“A running back is nothing without his offensive line and the other 10 players on the field,” Hannah said.
“Our defense stepped up big time for us,” he said. “The offensive line did a great job, the fullbacks stayed on their blocks, and the running backs just followed their lead.”