ADEL — There is no better way to start off the new football season than playing your rival, and that’s just what happened Friday as the Cook Hornets hosted the Brooks County Trojans for a pre-season scrimmage.

“We were real excited about not hitting each other,” said Cook head coach George Dean after the game.

“They (Brooks) are our favorite people down the road. We want them to win all of their games — well, except the ones against us.”

The two teams went four periods that started with the varsity squads and worked through the junior varsity and second team varsity units. The varsity squared off first and last.

“I’m proud of everyone tonight,” said Brooks head coach Ryan Branch.

“We had a lot of young guys that got a good test tonight. Quarterback Jeremy Cody looked real poised tonight. We’re real excited about him.”

In the first period, Brooks and Cook took two three-minute periods on offense. It wouldn’t be until the fourth series, in which Cook had the ball, that someone would get on the board.

On the Hornets’ last possession of the first period, they managed to put together a scoring drive in 35 seconds. The drive started on their own 31-yard line after a Brooks punt.

On the first snap, quarterback Ty Goff handed off to junior David Arnold, who plowed 39 yards down the field. On first and 10 from the 30 yard line, Appolo Harris took the hand-off and ran the ball 14 yards down the field to the 16-yard line.

With the ball on the 14-yard line, Goff took the snap and ran up the middle and bounced to the outside for the first score of the night. The extra point was blocked and the varsity ended the first period with Cook leading 6-0.

Both junior varsity squads took the field for the second period, but neither would score. The first half of the scrimmage was in the books, and the Hornets were still the only ones to score.

“Thad Williams had a good game tonight, and so did T.J. Johnson blocking,” said Dean.

Cook’s second team offense started the second half, but fell short of a score after six plays. On the Trojans’ first drive, they would get their revenge.

On first and 10 from their own 35-yard line, running back Arlestor McKinnon took what looked to be a loss, and turned it into a 65-yard touchdown run for Brooks. A missed extra point gave the Trojans second team a 6-0 lead.

The third period ended with the Trojans’ second team holding a 6-0 lead.

“We had a lot of young guys that played hard out there tonight,” said Branch. “We spread it around a bunch.”

The fourth period kicked off, literally, right afterwards. The Hornets started the fourth period with a live kickoff to Brooks County. Running back Melvin Cason returned the short kick 15 yards to Brooks’ 46-yard line.

Despite the good field position, the Trojans were unable to score and were forced to punt on fourth and 15. The Hornets took over on their own 22-yard line.

After two runs by David Arnold, the Hornets had the ball on the 38-yard line with first and 10. Goff dropped back and threw a high pass over the middle, which ended up being picked off by the Trojans.

“We had an all new linebacker corps out there tonight that played really well. None of them had started varsity before,” said Branch. “Christopher and Tim Mobley both had good games tonight for us.”

The Cook defense stepped on the next Trojans’ possession and held them to a quick three-and-out. On the Hornets’ next series, they went back to the end zone.

“I’m really proud of Nick Summer and Ryan Johnson,” said Dean. “We had some questions, but they stepped it up tonight.”

After big runs by Arnold and Trenton Payne and after a Goff pass, the Hornets were in a tough situation. Cook had the ball in Brooks territory, but it was fourth down with 12 yards to go.

So in came the punting unit. They lined it up, the ball was snapped, but it went to the running back, Arnold, who ran it 33 yards down to the Trojans’ 11 yard line.

Two plays later, sophomore Michael Henley ran it in for the second score of the night. Sophomore kicker Will Dobbins converted the extra point and gave Cook a 7-0 lead.

After a couple of plays by the Trojans, the night was over. Both teams scored, and nobody was injured.

“It was a good scrimmage,” said Branch. “It’s good to do these scrimmages where we get to look at people and nobody gets hurt. Especially when you go against your rival.”

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