The calendar says it’s September, but track season doesn’t seem to be over at Booker T. Washington.
The lightning-fast Tornadoes — who put on a speed display all spring and summer on the way to 7-on-7 championships — opened the regular season Friday night at Traz Powell Stadium on yet another gear, blowing past Carol City 42-13.
Quarterback Treon Harris ran for two touchdowns and threw for three more as Booker T., ranked 10th nationally in the USA Today poll, rolled up 432 yards of total offense and forced a running clock in the fourth quarter.
Carol City trailed only 12-7 midway through the second quarter when Harris was stripped on his way to the end zone. The Chiefs’ Tyree Johnson recovered the fumble at the 11-yard line. But Carol City couldn’t move the chains and after a 13-yard punt gave BTW possession at the Chiefs’ 32-yard line, the track meet ensued.
“We weren’t happy with the way the offense played last week against Northwestern even though we won [32-6],” said Harris, who finished 10 of 16 for 184 yards through the air and ran the ball nine times for 43 yards. “Coaches always say don’t let turnovers get you down. After I fumbled and we got the ball back, we just went back to work.”
Booker T. reeled off 30 points in a span of 14 minutes. The Tornadoes defense, playing without two starters including star linebacker Matthew Thomas (strep throat), sacked Carol City quarterback Akeem Jones four times and forced three turnovers. Jones finished 19 of 29 for 224 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
The Tornadoes will make their Sun Life Stadium debut next week when they take on Miami Central. Booker T. figures to be the highest-ranked team in the nation from South Florida after the Rockets were crushed by Grayson (Ga.).
“We just got to make sure we’re ready to go in there and play with the lights on,” Booker T. coach Tim “Ice” Harris said. “Even if Central had won [Friday’s game at Grayson] or whatever, we know the rivalry between us is big and that it’s going to be a big game. We know they’re going to be fired up to prove they’re really a nationally ranked team.”
• Belle Glade Glades Day 28, Monsignor Pace 23: Down 28-10 at halftime and with treadmarks on their backs from talented running back Kelvin Taylor’s 239 yards and three touchdowns, host Monsignor Pace appeared hopeless. But Pace gamely fought back in the second half, scoring 13 points while shutting a tiring Taylor down and the Glades Day offense out before coming just short in the final minutes.
Pace got a huge night from quarterback Kelly Benson, who completed 14 of 30 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns as he brought his team back.
Pace got the ball to the Glades Day 32-yard line with just less than three minutes to go, but a high snap on fourth down led to a Benson sack, and the Gators ran out most of the remaining time. Taylor, who has committed to Florida and is the state’s all-time leading rusher, finished the night with 313 yards on 28 carries.
• Ronald Reagan 50, Goleman 7: Ronald Reagan’s defense dominated the
Gators’ double-wing offense and forced nine fumbles, one of which was returned 20 yards for a touchdown by linebacker Shawn Curtis.