By Tom Mark
ADEL -- With less than 90 seconds remaining in the game, Charlton County quarterback Jeremy Privett orchestrated an 11-play, 75-yard drive culminating in an 11-yard touchdown pass to Tristan Bridges giving the Indians a 20-16 win over the Cook High Hornets in Region 2-AA action here Friday.
Cook came into the contest with a perfect 6-0 record and a number-four ranking in the AA state football poll. Charlton, at number seven, was 4-2, but also sported a perfect region record.
The game-winning drive was the second opportunity Charlton had in the fourth quarter as the Indians stalled on the Cook 34 with 4:55 showing on the clock.
Cook then went to the ground taking the ball to the Indian 25.
After throwing an incomplete pass, Privett found Harry Martin for a 37-yard gain to the Cook 38. Two more misses followed before Privett found Martin again for a 12-yarder to the 26. It was Privett to Martin again for nine more where Privett spiked the ball, stopping the clock with 23 seconds remaining.
Charlton elected to go for the field goal, but before the ball was snapped, a Cook defender jumped offsides giving the Indians a first down on the 11.
Penalties plagued the Hornets all night as they were flagged 13 times for 76 yards, with nearly 60 coming in the first half.
Indians quarterback Privett was coming off of a 331-yard performance against the Berrien Rebels last week. Against the Hornets he put the ball in the air 36 times for 276 yards and two touchdowns.
Trailing 16-6 Privett found receiver Justin Williams in traffic for a 19-yard scoring strike with two minutes showing in the third quarter.
The Indians got on the board first when running back Lemuel Walker ran in from the five in the first quarter, but the PAT run by Privett failed. Cook answered and took the lead later in the first with a five-yard touchdown pass from Thomas Arnold to Anthony Morris and a Matt Dobbins PAT kick.
After kicking Charlton deep on the kickoff, Privett was caught in the end zone for a Cook safety. The Hornets padded the lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter when Privett fumbled and ball was picked up and returned for a touchdown by Tommy Goins.
"Our defense played great tonight except for a couple of breakdowns," said Cook High head coach George Dean, but added that Charlton was given too many opportunities. "Charlton has a great football team, you just have to take away their chances."
The defense continued to pour on the pressure in the third quarter as cornerback James Smith intercepted a Privett pass on the Hornet nine. Later in the quarter, Goins recovered his second fumble of the night stopping an Indian drive at midfield.
Cook was led on the ground by running back Cedric Mason who carried the ball eight times for 70 yards. Brian McCall rushed for 68 yards on 19 carries.
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