ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) -- Going into their first round playoff matchup last Friday, the Patrick Henry Patriots knew that history was not on their side.
"We knew that we hadn't won a playoff game in 25 years so we were all just like, we have to get this done for the community, for our school, for ourselves and for Coach Fiddler, and we were all in the mindset that we were all gonna' be dogs this game and we're going to do whatever needed to be done to win that game," said Cook.
And win it, they did, by a final score of 56-14, behind four total touchdowns from senior running back Jalen Cook.
"We knew that it was going to be a tough game because it was a playoff game, but we all came out there just ready to play. We know that we all had to do the things that the coach taught us," Cook said.
Patrick Henry put up 499 total yards on offense in its first playoff win in 25 years.
173 of those yards came from Cook, who also added an interception on defense.
It's that versatility that head coach Alan Fiddler says makes the senior stand out on the football field.
"He's just a strong kid that's really athletic. A freakish athlete that can do a lot of things that a lot of people can't on a football field," said Fiddler.
"I know that me being versatile is just me helping out the team, doing what we need to do to win. We've got great players on both sides and I'm just another part of that," Cook said.
Cook's earliest football memories are with his father, but not exactly on the gridiron.
"I started off, my daddy drew a dummy on the trash can outside - a Roanoke city trash can - and he told me to run into it. The first day I got my shoulder pads and helmet, he told me to run into it and I'd run into it and ever since then, I fell in love with the game," Cook said.
As his career as a Patriot winds down, Cook hopes his leadership can help Patrick Henry start a new streak of a different kind.
"I feel like my role is very important, just keeping the guys together, making sure that everybody knows that it could be our last time stepping on this field, especially for all the seniors. We all talk about it all the time. It could be your last game. No matter what, give it all you got. Leave it all out on the field," Cook said.