STATE FOOTBALL: Taylor twins anchoring the Rabbits on both sides
WABASSO – Since the 2016 season, the Wabasso Rabbits have gone 24-2 with two trips to the state tournament. This past Saturday, the Rabbits defeated Ada-Borup/Norman County West 21-13 to advance to the 1A state title game for the first time in program history.
“It felt really good,” Cooper Taylor said. “Our school had never done anything like that before. To be able to do that and make school history was a lot of fun. It was a goal of ours since we were in fourth grade.”
It’s a Rabbit team with plenty of senior leadership. The Taylor twins are two of those seniors. Cooper and Colton Taylor combined to score all three of Wabasso’s touchdowns during their semifinal victory on Saturday.
The performance from the Taylor twins have the Rabbits on the cusp of winning their first state title in program history. It’s something the Taylor twins have dreamt about since they started playing backyard football with their four older brothers.
“We’ve been playing football since fourth grade,” Cooper said. “We were probably five or six years old playing with our older brothers in the front yard. We’ve been playing for a long time. It would mean a lot for the team and the community if we win on Saturday. It would mean a lot for us to make some history. It’s something we’ve thought about since we starting playing.”
Cooper and Colton are two of 11 seniors that start on defense for the Rabbits. The Taylor twins man both cornerback positions. It’s a defense that is giving up just 8.6 points per game this season. The Rabbits have pitched four shutouts and haven’t given up 20 or more points in a game since the first week of the season.
“The big guys up front play a huge role for us,” Cooper said. “Our defense is one of our strengths.”
That defense will be tested on Saturday in the 1A state title game when the Rabbits square off against the Minneota Vikings. The Vikings have a potent offense that can attack you in a variety of ways.
“We have to stop the run,” Cooper said. “We have to make them throw. They have big guys up front. We have to stop Isaac Hennen. Isaac is a really good player. He’s a good friend of ours, but when it comes to football, you have to look past that and stop him.”
Cooper recorded one interception in the regular season. On offense, Cooper led the team with 1,179 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.
“You don’t want to get him angry,” Colton said. “If you do, he becomes a little harder to bring down.”
Colton finished the regular season third on the team in tackles. On the offensive side of the ball, Colton led the team with 22 receptions for 359 yards and three touchdowns.
“Colton does a bit of everything,” Cooper said. ” He’s got good strength and he’s very fast. He’s probably the fastest player on our team. If he gets out in the open field, good luck to the other team trying to catch him.”
Colton catches those passes from quarterback and fellow senior Nick Altermatt.
“He’s a leader,” Cooper said. “He knows exactly what the offense is doing. He knows every position. He knows what they are supposed to do on each and every play. He’s a very smart kid.”
Like many siblings, the Taylors admit that they are extremely competitive with one another. Cooper said that competition brings out the best in both of them.
“We push each other in the weight room,” Cooper said. “We push each other to be the best that we can be. Having each other to push one another really helps.”