By Mike Kays
By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor
BROKEN ARROW — Trae Cook’s ability as a high jumper helped him as a football player Friday night.
Cook, who high jumped 6 feet, 8 inches at Tahlequah High School last year, hurdled a would-be tackler and took care of the final two yards of a game-capping touchdown that gave Muskogee a hard-earned 22-16 victory over Broken Arrow in front of a sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium.
MHS came into the game ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press class 6A poll. Broken Arrow is No. 4.
Cook had just scrambled for a first down on a fourth-and-four play at the Tigers’ 25, breaking linebacker Terry Williamson’s grasp near the line of scrimmage in carrying the ball to the 16. Two plays later, he ran it in from 15 yards out, giving Muskogee a 22-13 advantage with 3:03 to play in the game.
“I didn’t know I was going to make the end zone, but I jumped over that guy and fell in. I got lucky,” Cook said.
Playing his first game as a Rougher, Cook was 21 of 34 for 190 yards. He threw for two touchdowns, one a four-yarder to Colton Archer following one of three Broken Arrow turnovers. Cook also connected with Shjuan Richardson on a 6-yard scoring pass. Cook finished with 75 yards rushing.
Richardson also had a big night on defense from his cornerback spot. His fumble recovery set up the first touchdown after defensive end Stacy McGee jarred running back Chris Ford from the football at the Tiger 19. Richardson returned it to the 9, and Archer, running out of a full-house backfield, took it in four plays later.
Richardson also came up with one of two interceptions for Muskogee on Broken Arrow’s second possession of the second half. On the first possession, Roughers Andre Anderson picked quarterback Cale Fulps on the second play of the half.
“We just shot to the football and made plays,” Anderson said. “Defense came up big.”
In both cases of the defense gaining momentum, Muskogee couldn’t capitalize. The first drive stalled after a delay of game penalty on fourth-and-one from the one, and John Crank’s 22-yard field goal attempt missed wide left.
A false start penalty on another fourth-and-one closed short the second drive when Cook’s fourth-and-six pass to Anderson fell incomplete.
But in the end, Cook made good on a fourth-down play, then took it to the house, giving MHS coach Matt Hennesy a victory over his mentor, former Roughers coach Ron Lancaster. Hennesy was Lancaster’s defensive coordinator at Muskogee and also on his staff at Jenks. Lancaster was making his debut as Broken Arrow’s coach.
“So much was made about two guys that didn’t play one play and we don’t even call our plays anymore,” Hennesy said. “This was about those kids.
“Everyone on both sides played hard, but there’s no one tougher than a Rougher. They made mistakes, we made mistakes, but I’ll tell you, everyone who played this game is worn out right now.”
Peter Jessee’s 30-yard field goal with 56.9 seconds to play put the Tigers within a possession of the lead, but procedure calls hampered two onside kick attempts. The first nullified a recovery by Broken Arrow’s Trevor Morgan.
Jameel Owens caught four passes for 78 yards.
The Roughers (1-0) travel to Norman North next Friday.