QUITMAN – The Brooks County Trojans (1-1) notched their first win of the 2021 football season, defeating the Cook Hornets 42-20 behind the arm and legs of junior quarterback Jamal Sanders.
The loss dropped the Hornets to 1-2 on the year.
The Trojans kicked things off with a bang, scoring on the first play of scrimmage via a long run. The defense matched the effort on the ensuing Hornets’ drive – one that would last for 7 minutes, blocking a field goal to keep Cook off the board.
The teams then traded turnovers. After picking off Hornets freshman quarterback Brant Dobson, the Trojans fumbled the ball, resulting in a scoop and score for the Hornets.
After that, the night belonged to the Trojans within the packed confines of Veterans Stadium.
A pair of touchdowns from Sanders – one through the air and one on the ground – put the Trojans up 20-6. With just under a minute to go in the first half, senior running back Omari Arnold returned a punt 68 yards to give the Trojans a commanding 27-6 lead.
“We did a good job playing aggressive defense and solid on offense early to make [the Hornets] change their game plan,” Trojans head coach Maurice Freeman said.
The second half belonged to the Trojans’ defense. Dobson and senior running back Jamarion Walker were repeatedly met in the backfield by the Trojans’ swarming attack.
Even after the Trojans went up 34-6, the Hornets were able to hang around and drive the ball down the field thanks to a slew of penalties called against the Trojans. The most notable of those penalties was a roughing the kicker penalty that gave the Hornets a fresh set of downs.
“I didn’t like the penalties at all,” Freeman said. “We need to get that cleaned up.”
However, the Hornets’ last gasp for a comeback was extinguished following a goal line stand by the Trojans.
At one point, the Trojans were up 42-6 before the Hornets scored a couple of touchdowns late in the game.
This game marked the first game for the Trojans since Aug. 20, when they lost to the Thomasville Bulldogs in Thomasville. Their Aug. 27 matchup against Cairo was cancelled due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
“We had a couple of weeks to prepare for this game, so we were conditioned to go out and play tonight,” Freeman said.
Next week, the Trojans will travel to Camilla to take on the Mitchell County Eagles. Meanwhile, the Hornets will travel to Cuthbert to take on the Randolph-Clay Red Devils.