WHITE HALL — Did you see the stats on Tim Cook?

WHITE HALL — Did you see the stats on Tim Cook?

No, not the 903 yards and 16 touchdowns on 121 carries. The 174 tackles — yes, 174 — including 25 for losses and 11 sacks.

Cook, The Commercial’s Southeast Arkansas Defensive Player of the Year for 2011, did all of that in one of White Hall’s best seasons ever, leading the Bulldogs to the 5A-Southeast Conference championship and their first state semifinal in 20 years.

“Everybody played well, let me get to the ball when I needed to,” the senior said. “Everything fell into place.”

Cook reached those numbers on a team that also included a quarterback throwing and passing for more than 2,500 yards in Nathan Lee and a defensive tackle who totaled 110 tackles and 10 sacks of his own in Jacob Holland. But Cook said he was challenged by assistant coach Wade Reynolds to be the leader of the defense because Cook would be a three-year starter, and at 6-feet-1 and 228 pounds, he used every bit of his size to make plays everywhere on the field.

“You got to realize how big strong and fast he is,” White Hall coach Mike Vaughn said, citing Cook’s 4.4-second 40-yard dash. “He stays in great shape. He’s so strong. His work ethic was good. Always tried hard in practice. Of course, strength was the key. A guy who weighed 170 pounds couldn’t do as much as he did.”

Cook set school records for tackles in a season and his career (367). He gained 20 of them in a 32-20 Week 9 victory at Watson Chapel, a game that earned White Hall the No. 1 seed from the 5A-Southeast for the state playoffs.

“Once I hit 140 tackles, I started asking Scoot (assistant coach Scooter Vaughn) what was the record,” Cook said. “Once he told me I was closer to it, I had to work harder so I could get it.”

Cook had one more thing to accomplish defensively, and he got to do it against a team he wanted to exact revenge on the most.

Hot Springs Lakeside paid White Hall a visit for a 5A quarterfinal game on Nov. 18, more than two months after the Rams opened the season with a 26-3 win over the Bulldogs in Hot Springs. Cook scored all five of White Hall’s touchdowns, one of them on defense, in a 38-21 victory.

“That probably was one of my better games, too, because I had never scored on an interception, pick-six-wise,” Cook said.

Yep, Cook picked off Garrett Carson and returned it 35 yards to push White Hall’s lead to 22-14 with 1:01 left before halftime.

“It was a trick play they tried to run, and he read it like he was supposed to,” Mike Vaughn said. “It was a major changing point of that ballgame.”

Cook said he has drawn interest from Louisville and Louisiana Tech, among other schools. Even with his running back ability, Vaughn sees a bright future ahead for him as a defender — not that he can’t play running back in college.

The challenge for Vaughn now is replacing a player like Cook … or is there a challenge?

“You don’t,” he said. “Those guys don’t come along. There’s not an athlete like Tim.”