ORLANDO -- If there was a snapshot to take home from Saturday night’s Class 4A state championship game, it happened moments after the clock hit triple-zero.
Locked arm-in-arm with his eldest son Tim Jr. on his left and his youngest son Treon on his right, Booker T. Washington coach Tim “Ice” Harris was asked what he was feeling after his team’s 35-7 triumph over Jacksonville Bolles.
The first thought that came to mind? Family.
“This is an awesome feeling, especially for me as a father,” Harris Sr. said. “To be able to experience this situation with your kids is special.”
In the Harris family no dream seems unattainable. Ice, a proud father and longtime high school coach from Overtown, was USA Today’s National Coach of the Year in 2007. Tim Jr., a former quarterback himself, became an All-American long-distance runner at the University of Miami. And Brandon, an All-American cornerback at UM, is now with the Houston Texans.
Saturday night, five years after dad and big brother coached Brandon to a state title, the Harris’ won another, fitting baby brother Treon for a championship ring of his own. And Treon did a lot of the work.
He ran for 72 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 245 yards and two more scores, providing further evidence to BCS-caliber schools why they need to think of him as a quarterback and not just a gifted athlete.
“I always tell him every big game is an opportunity to show your skills as a quarterback, and tonight I think he did a pretty good job,” said Tim Jr., Booker T.’s offensive coordinator.
“He came out pressing a little bit in the passing game, but in the second half, he hit some passes and then we let his legs do the rest for us. I think most schools will start to be attracted to him now. When you win championships you’re going to attract more people and that’s what we tell him all the time.”
Treon (5-11, 185 pounds) finished 11 of 19 passing and displayed his ability to not only hit the underneath stuff, but the deep pass, too. He put Booker T. up 7-0 when he hit Deltron Hopkins in stride at midfield, and Hopkins took it the rest of the way on an 87-yard strike.
The Tornadoes sputtered on their next two drives despite starting on the Bulldogs’ 32- and 34-yard lines. But after failing to complete on fourth-down passes twice, Harris engineered an 11-play, 63-yard drive littered with penalties by completing 4 of 5 attempts for 54 yards and rushing for 47 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown.
In the third quarter, the Tornadoes looked more like the Booker T. that averaged 50 points coming into the title game. First Harris hit Karim Bryant on a 30-yard touchdown pass then connected with Lamar Parker on a thrilling scramble that led to a 44-yard completion down the sideline. That setup Harris’ 3-yard run that made it 28-7 and capped a 14-point outburst in one minute, four seconds.
“He’ll thrive in a spread-option offense,” Tim Jr. said. “A lot of schools look at him as an athlete because of his height, but he wants to be a quarterback, and I think he will be. Our offense will expand more and more next year. We have a lot of guys coming back on that side of the ball.”
Treon, who has offers from USF, UCF, Illinois and Ole Miss as a quarterback, plans to run track in the spring to get faster. He was timed at 4.5 seconds in the 40.
“I have a whole another year to get better at quarterback," said the youngest Harris, who finished his junior season 151 of 241 passing for 2,706 yards, 35 touchdowns , 6 interceptions while running for 819 yards and 16 touchdowns.
“Tonight I played good, made some incomplete passes. But at the end, I got the scoreboard the way I wanted it. We won a championship.”