"Those two are a blessing and we couldn't do this without them," said Telly Lockette, Central's head coach. "They are automatic. What you say today is what they have done all year. As good as they are and as good as they played, they couldn't do it with the offensive line. They played very well. They all did."
It was in the Citrus Bowl at this time last year that Central lost a heartbreaker to Seffner Armwood. You can bet that Yearby, Cook and the rest of the Rockets took that loss very hard.
"This moment right here is exciting because we took a loss last year," Yearby said. "We had to come back and execute this year. We weren't taking no for an answer."
Yearby and Cook were sensational this Saturday afternoon. These two dominated from the onset. Sure the offensive line opened up some holes but Yearby and Cook also made some big time plays on their own. They make quite the dynamic duo.
"When me and Joe really get going, and the offensive line really gets going, it's not good to see," Cook said. "I'm telling you. We're a deadly combination.
"It's fun (playing together). Off the field, that's the fun part. On the field takes care of itself."
This is nothing new for senior Ahmad Thomas and his teammates. After all, this is what Yearby and Cook do and why they are two of the best backs in the Class of 2014. Yearby, has committed to Florida State while Cook is headed to Clemson.
"I thought they performed well, like they always do," Thomas said. "It wasn't a surprise to me."
The scary part is that they still have a year left and you can bet that Central will ride these horses once again.
"We can be really dangerous," Yearby said. "All I have to say is we still have out 12th grade year. We're going to put on a show."
Just call that the sequel.
Recruiting for Yearby/Cook
Yearby has been committed to FSU for quite some time. He still says he's all Seminole, despite a few Florida State coaches leaving their posts in Tallahassee. That goes for his primary recruiter and FSU running back coach Eddie Gran. Gran is now Tommy Turberville's offensive coordinator at Cincinnati.
"It doesn't really affect anything," Yearby said. "I have to go up there and work still."
Meanwhile, Cook says he's committed to the Tigers but there are a handful of teams trying to change his mind. In fact, Cook says he may look at some other teams
"It's solid right now, but I might open my recruitment probably over the summer," Cook said. "I will look at Florida and Georgia."
The two would love to continue their careers together in college. It's funny because Yearby is recruiting Cook and Cook is recruiting Yearby.
"It's kind of hard. I won't fold and he won't fold," said Yearby.
At least Cook can predict a percentage on the two winding up at the same college.
"I am working on him every day and there's an 80% chance we end up together."
Thomas steps up
Oklahoma Sooner commit Ahmad Thomas had a real good game against Gainesville, recording a team high 13 tackles. He looked especially good against the run.
"Hey, that's Ahmad," said Lockette. "That's what he's always done for us. He's a heck of a player."
Thomas is just excited to be back playing for a championship before he moves on to Norman.
"I feel great. I felt like I had to go out there and do my thing because it's my last time out there with my guys," Thomas said.
Marquez Holdge is not a name often talked about when you refer to Central but he had a solid game against Gainesville manning the middle of the rocket defense. He's headed to Syracuse to play for the Orange and head coach Doug Marrone.
"Marquez had a tremendous year," Lockette said. "He can really play in the middle. He's a sideline to sideline guy. He's just a throw-back ‘Mike' and a tremendous kid."
The next big thing after Yearby and Cook could very well be Da'Vante Phillips. He's a 6-foot-1 and 180-pound sophomore wide receiver. To their credit the Central run game was dominant from start to finish. They didn't have to go to the air much. Central targeted Phillips three times unsuccessfully.
"We took a few shots with Phillips," Lockette said. "But we were running well. But I will see that this kid has great upside. He's a good kid that can be great one day."