Offensive MVP from last year's state game enjoying new role this year

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Havelock’s Pharoh Cooper is all smiles as he embraces fans and poses for pictures Friday night. The senior quarterback has helped lead the Rams to the state 3A championship game.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 01:27 PM.

Pharoh Cooper learned an early lesson about football while playing in youth leagues. It’s a lesson he carries with him each time he steps on the football field as quarterback of the Havelock Rams, and it will no doubt be there as he leads the Rams against Concord in Saturday’s state championship game.

"Part of playing football is don’t let anybody touch you," he said.

Few have been able to get their hands on the senior quarterback, which is one reason why the Rams are back in the state championship game.

Cooper’s elusiveness has been on display throughout the year, eluding tacklers in the pocket, avoiding defenders while running the option and escaping from others on punt returns.

"I just thank the Lord for giving me the ability to do that," said Cooper, who has committed to play college at South Carolina. "I’m very grateful to have that ability."

Cooper started in last year’s state championship game, but in that one, he was catching passes as a receiver from record-setting quarterback Garrett Crowe. Cooper caught four passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns in being named the Offensive Most Valuable Player for the game.

His role will be much different against Concord in this year’s state title game as he leads the team from the quarterback position. Cooper has thrown for 2,798 yards and 23 touchdowns on the season with just six interceptions.

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