Georgia Force's Markeith Cooper named AFL Offensive Player of the Week
ATLANTA, GA. The Arena Football League announced today that offensive specialist Markeith Cooper was named the leagues Baby Ruth Real Deal Offensive Player of the Week. Coopers efforts last Friday on the road helped the Force defeat the defending AFL World Champion Tampa Bay Storm 70-62. This is the first weekly AFL award for Cooper and the fifth time a Force player has captured such an honor.
In addition to the AFLs Offensive Player of the Week, Cooper was named the Player of the Week by the board members of the Arena Football League Writers Association (AFLWA). The AFLWA, founded at the start of the 2004 season, is a national organization made up of media members who cover the Arena Football League.
Cooper (5-7, 175, Auburn) set a new Force team record for most single game all-purpose yards with 270 against Tampa Bay. He had 132 receiving yards on five receptions and four touchdowns through the air and added 138 kickoff return yards on five returns against the Storm. With eight seconds remaining in the first half, Cooper returned a kickoff 55 yards to tie the score at 35-35 at the break and keep the Force in the game. His five touchdowns on the night were a new Force team record for most all-purpose touchdowns in a game. Following the contest, he was awarded the games U.S. Army Ironman of the Game.
Cooper is currently tied for second in the AFL for leading scorer with 42 points through two games. He is also tied for the AFL lead for most points scored in a game with 30. Listed at 57, Cooper is one of the shortest players in the Arena Football League. In 2002, he earned a roster spot with the team from the clubs open player tryouts. Cooper was working for UPS at the time loading trucks, and impressed the coaching staff with his 40-yard dash and big-play abilities.
The victory was the Forces first over the Storm in five tries and the 70-point scoring output by Georgia tied the second highest point total in club history. The 70 points were the second-most points ever given up by Tampa Bay in their 13-year history and marked just the second time the Storm have given up 70 or more points in a game. The Storm also lost for the first time ever when scoring 60 or more points.
The Georgia Force returns home this week to host Southern Division rival the New Orleans VooDoo on Sunday, February 22nd at 3:00 p.m. at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on NBC. A network-TV sport, the AFL celebrates its 2nd season on NBC in 2004. Season tickets and flex packs are on sale and can be purchased with a credit card by calling (770) 813-7610 or visit www.georgiaforce.com. Force individual game tickets are available by calling TicketMaster at (404) 249-6400 or visit www.ticketmaster.com or by purchase at the Gwinnett Civic Center Box Office.
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