ASHBURN, Ga. – A tale of two halves told Cook's story of a second straight loss to start the season.
Playing at Turner County Friday night, the Hornets surrendered two second-half touchdowns, fumbled six times, including two that were lost, and were penalized for 75 yards in a 21-7 defeat.
“For whatever reason, that's twice for back-to-back weeks, we've played pretty good in the first half. We haven't played real good in the second half,” Cook coach Jamie Rodgers said. “We'll try to figure out why not.”
Cook (0-2) dropped its opener last week to Westover 47-16.
Cook controlled the first half with running back Jamarion Walker and Kenneth Mathis pacing the rushing attack. The game was tied 7-7 as Walker paced the Hornets with 90 first-half rushing yards, including a sensational 30-yard touchdown gallop in the second quarter. The Rebels were held to just 17 first-half plays.
But the Hornets' offense stymied after intermission. It was hurt by bad snaps, costly fumbles and an inability to throw the ball. The Hornets ran 42 times compared to just five pass attempts.
“We littered them on offense tonight. The defense played a really good football game tonight for most of the game,” Rodgers said. “We just got wore down a little bit towards the end because we were on the field so much.
“It was an improvement from last week, our effort was much better. We'll try to build off that.”
Turner County quarterback Karmello Lawson finished with 116 passing yards. The Rebels' Demarcus Barnes iced the game in the fourth quarter with a six-yard touchdown run up the middle. That followed a long 38-yard fumble return by the Hornets' defense.
After three straight weeks on the road, including its scrimmage at Lanier County, Cook will return to the field next Friday at home for the first time to play Early County.
“I got here Jan. 27 and I haven't even been in the stadium for a football game. Spring was away, scrimmage was away and the first two weeks (of the regular season) were away,” Rodgers said. “It's going to be good to get home and play in front of the home crowd.
“We were better from week one to week two. Hopefully, we'll get better from week two to week three.”