Matt Stubbs, email@example.com
QUITMAN -- Brooks County's Region 2-AA opener against Cook High turned out to be a tale of two halves.
Brooks won the first half, but Cook was able to come back in the fourth quarter with 14 unanswered points to win 17-14 at Veteran Stadium.
"We told our defense to stay with their assignments, never give up," Cook head coach George Dean said. "Just keep busting them and eventually good things are going to happen."
Brooks (2-3, 0-1 region) dominated the first half with defense by holding Cook to only 19 yards on the ground and three points in the first 24 minutes. The Hornets, however, had an answer for the second half. Cook managed to outgain the Trojans 88 to three and outscore them 14-0 in the third and fourth quarters.
"We have got to be able to come out in the second half and do what we did the first half," Brooks' head coach Ryan Branch said. "I told them at the half that the second half is more important than the first of any football game."
Cook (4-2, 2-0 region) got its chance trailing 14-9 with 8:01 left in the fourth quarter when the ball was snapped over punter Micah Edwards' head from the 35-yard line giving the Hornets the ball inside the Trojans' 10.
Two plays later Andrel Lane took the ball in on a 3-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Ty Goff ran around the left side of the line for a successful two-point conversion to take the lead, 17-14, with seven minutes left in the game.
Earlier, on the opening drive of the fourth quarter, Edwards fumbled on the second play from scrimmage giving the Hornets the ball on the Brooks' 18-yard line. Two plays later Lane took it in from 15 yards out. The missed two-point conversion left the score at 14-9 in Brooks' favor.
The third quarter was dominated by the Cook offense. The Hornets kept the ball for eight minutes, driving 60 yards on 15 plays taking over eight minutes off of the clock but were not able to get any points.
Branch decided to take a chance on fourth-and-18 on the Cook 20-yard line, but a perfect pass from Edwards to Joseph Huewitt in the back of the end zone was nullified by a holding penalty.
Then, with the Trojans facing fourth-and-29 from the Cook 31, he went for it again with the same result, only this time no flag was thrown. The extra point put the Trojans up 14-3 with five minutes left in the half.
Huewitt finished the night accounting for over half the Trojan offensive production with five catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
"Joe is going to be hard to stop by anybody," Branch said. "We have got to figure out a way to play around him."
Cook will celebrate its homecoming next week in Adel against Albany while Brooks goes on the road to continue region play with Thomasville.
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