When the new district and classification alignments came out last February, University School knew it was on a collision course with Booker T. Washington in the Class 4A regional final of the state playoffs.
Head coach Roger Harriott and the defending Class 3A state champion Suns also knew they would be in for a major challenge against a team that was the defending state champion in 4A and ranked No. 1 in the nation in most preps polls for most of the season.
And on Friday night, they got an up close look at a Tornadoes team that traveled north to Nova High School and didn’t so much as blink as they easily defeated University 45-17 before a standing-room-only crowd.
“I guess you really can’t expect someting like this,” said a quiet Harriott as he walked slowly toward his players. “We felt we were ready to come in here tonight and compete but it just didn’t happen. You have to give a lot of credit to Booker T. They’re a great team and they showed why out there tonight.”
Harriott could only watch as each time it looked like his team was coming to life in the second half with Sean White throwing a pair of touchdown passes to cut into the Tornado lead, Booker T. would answer with another big play from quarterback Treon Harris.
“It was tough because every time it seemed like we might be able to get back in the game, they would come up with another big play,” Harriott said. “What happened tonight, though, in no way diminishes our season. I’m proud of the schedule we played and the way we competed all year right down to the final whistle. tonight.”
“I’m proud of my guys, we fought hard tonight, but it just wasn’t there,” said University quarterback and Auburn committ White. “Was there any one point where we felt like it was slipping away? Face it, we lost by 28 points and [Booker T. was] simply the better team tonight and showed why they’re the No. 1 team in the country.”