Coach’s Corner: Hancock’s Matthew Strong talks Copper Bowl victory

High School Sports Zone

HANCOCK, Mich. (WJMN) – The 2021 Copper Bowl game between Houghton and Hancock had everything you would expect in a big-time rivalry matchup.

The Bulldogs edged their cross-bridge rival Houghton, 20-17. Shane Aho found the endzone in the fourth quarter to give Hancock the lead. Then, the Bulldogs defense stepped up with Chad Nordstrom sealing the game with an interception. The interception capped off an eight turnover night for Houghton.

Hancock’s assistant coach, Matthew Strong, said the win told him a lot about his team who are getting better by the week.

“We went in there and we knew it was going to be a hard-fought game, it always is every year,” said Strong. “We were talking about the history of it and it is a big time historical game for both programs. We just said guys go out and make your own history, one way or the other. Those guys came out and fought and it was an emotional battle up and down.”

This was the 68th meeting between the schools. Hancock leads the series with a 43-23-2 record.

“Super proud, I mean we came out and it was all them. They put the work in during the week and they came out and hit hard, stayed focused, they knew exactly what they had to do on defense and they did it.”

Hancock welcomes Westwood to McAfee Field Friday night.

“We got a lot of confidence going into Westwood,” said Strong. “I just hope we play them tough and give them our best. I mean, hats off to them they got a great program there. So, we’re just going to give it everything we’ve got.”

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