Yes, he earned the emphatic periods after trucking Science Hill for 321 yards on 26 carries and scoring three touchdowns, leading Daniel Boone to a 35-28 football win Friday night at Tipton Stadium.
So dominant was Boone’s ground game, Cole and teammate Easton Harrell combined for nearly 500 yards rushing before taking 13 yards worth of losses on the final four plays to finish with 479.
Boone improved to 4-1 on the season while the Hilltoppers slipped to 2-4.
“We had a great week of preparation, and the kids played hard,” said Boone head coach Jeremy Jenkins. “Our kids did a great job on both sides of the ball. It was just our night. They tied it a couple of times, but we came back and that’s the mark of a great football team. I’m really proud of our guys and really happy for our football community.”
Cole did it with brute force most of the night — getting three, four, five yards after almost every first contact. But his athleticism was never more evident than his second-half touchdown runs of 85 and 80 yards. Both were tie-breaking scores and back-breaking for the Hilltoppers.
“Peyton Nickles did an amazing two blocks right there,” said Cole, whose rushing total was a Tipton Stadium record, breaking the mark of 304 set by Jaylan Adams against Dobyns-Bennett in 2016. “And I just ran up the sideline. That’s all it took for me.
“The line did an amazing job, blocking those very big boys. I will give it to Science Hill. They are an amazing team. We just came out to be a better team tonight. I’m just thankful to have this win.”
Boone lineman Jake Sipos said, “It’s great to block for them, and let them run that way. They get all the credit, but they thank us at the end. We play our tails off every week.”
Cole’s second explosive score came with just over three minutes left in the game after Science Hill forged a tie on Drew Morrison’s gutsy seven-yard touchdown run on fourth down. The Hilltoppers scored twice on fourth-down plays in the game with Morrison’s fullback pass to Marquis Griffin coming midway through the third quarter.
This game was mostly about Cole, Boone’s offensive line, and Harrell, who finished with 158 yards on 18 carries. Harrell’s big play came with a little more than a minute remaining before halftime, and it was one play after an interception by Preston Miller at the 1-yard line.
Harrell went 99 yards to give Boone a 21-7 edge going into the locker room.
“My backs, (Peyton) Nickels and (Logan) Rivers, they hit the guys and drove them out of there,” said Harrell. “Huge hole, and I just took it for 99 yards. I was waiting to get to the 10-yard line or 20-yard line to get chased down. I didn’t think I was that fast.”
Boone outgained Science Hill by almost 300 yards in the first half. The Hilltoppers caught up some in the second half, but still were on the short end of a 539-305 total.
Morrison led Science Hill with 69 yards rushing, 46 receiving, and added five passing. He had a hand in every score except for Marquis Griffin’s 97-yard kickoff return in the first quarter, which came after Boone’s long first drive of the game that was capped off by Cole’s two-yard touchdown plunge.
“This is as bad as we’ve played in a long time,” said Hilltoppers’ head coach Stacy Carter. “We have a lot of things to look at that will reveal our true character.”
As for Cole, Carter said it was a great effort.
“It was his will to win,” said Carter. “Just a super game from him. He was running through tackles — and lasting that long. Just a great job.”