Kenny Cook finally got back on the field Saturday.
After missing all but one quarter of Gardner-Webb’s first three games because of hamstring issues, the receiver’s return couldn’t have come at a better time.
Cook hauled in a 5-yard pass from Lucas Beatty in the corner of the end zone with 2 minutes, 4 seconds remaining to give the Bulldogs a 43-36 win against Wofford, their second straight against the Terriers.
“I was just happy to be back out there,” said Cook, a Football Championship Subdivision All-America pick. “It just felt good to be back out there with my teammates and making plays.”
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Beatty completed 22 of 33 passing attempts for 233 passing yards and three touchdowns, including two in the first half of 6 and 3 yards to Seth Cranfill.
Cook – who led the Big South last season with 76 catches for 1,008 yards and nine TDs – and had six catches for 59 yards Saturday. Beatty was glad to have him back.
“We had a good connection last year, and it felt good to get it back in his hands,” Beatty said. “Once we started hitting him, it opened things up for a lot of other people.”
The Bulldogs (2-2) needed help from their defense, which had problems in the first half against Wofford’s (1-2) rushing attack. The Terriers entered as the top rushing team in the FCS, averaging 304 yards per game.
The Terriers piled up 204 rushing yards in the first half against Gardner-Webb – more than the Bulldogs had allowed in their first three games this season combined – to pull ahead 28-14 midway through the second quarter.
But the Bulldogs held the Terriers to 118 rushing yards in the second half, and scored 22 unanswered points over the second and third quarters to take a 36-28 lead, their first since the opening minutes of the first quarter.
Wofford quarterback Evan Jacks accounted for three touchdowns – he threw for 103 yards and one score with an interception, and ran for 97 yards and two TDs, including a 11-yard keeper with 5:37 left that tied the game at 36.
Lorenzo Long added 151 rushing yards and two touchdowns for the Terriers.