ADEL - The Cook High Hornets got a tough one out of the way early last week with a trip to Cairo to face the highly touted Syrupmakers. The outcome of the match up, however, was not what head coach Michael Pollock had hoped for for the two-time state semi-finalists.
Cairo capitalized on its depth and a couple of ill-timed Cook mistakes to win the non-region tilt 33-19. The loss was Cook's second in as many years under second year head coach Pollock.
Last year the Hornets were unbeaten until losing to eventual state champion Americus in the semi-finals in the Georgia Dome.
Against the Syrupmakers Friday, the Hornets started strong taking an early 7-0 lead. But, before the half ended Cairo, had come back to take a 13-7 advantage. According to Pollock a Hornet drive late in the half stalled when the offense came up short on a fourth and two.
"We were about an inch short," Pollock recalled.
Cook's bad luck continued in the second half when the opening kickoff was fumbled and Cairo recovered on the Hornet 20. It didn't take long for the Syrupmakers to score.
Before the end of the third quarter Cairo would score again, this time on a long touchdown pass reception.
"I think Cairo was able to take advantage of a momentum shift," said Pollock. "We could feel the wheels coming off."
However, the Cook squad did not fold as Cornelius Brown returned the ensuing kickoff to midfield. Quarterback Thomas Arnold would eventually score bringing the score to 26-13. The Cook signal caller then pulled the Hornets even closer with another fourth quarter touchdown.
Cook had one more shot to catch the Syrupmakers, but according to Pollock the drive stalled after a flag was thrown for blocking in the back in the Hornet backfield. The penalty occurred on a long gain and after the penalty was assessed from the spot of the foul, it cost the Hornets 20 yards.
"As young as we are, we still had an opportunity to win the ball game," Pollock said. While Pollock would not say that the competition gets easier, he did admit that the Hornets would not face anyone bigger than Cairo throughout the rest of the regular season.
Cook has this week off and will be back in action next week hosting the Pelham Hornets at Memorial Field.
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