Once Chaminade senior Shaun Shivers turned the corner near the sidelines, it didn’t matter what angle Booker T. Washington defenders took.
Shivers’ blazing speed was too much.
And later in the game, a small crease in Booker T.’s defensive line was all the room Shivers needed to turn on the jets and again show why Auburn University is thrilled to have the diminutive (5-7), yet speedy (4.52 in 40-yard dash) running back on his way to its campus this fall.
Shivers ran the ball 12 times for 175 yards and finished with three touchdowns as Chaminade-Madonna scored 28 unanswered points and eventually secured a 35-20 win over Booker T. on Thursday afternoon.
Shivers, who committed to Auburn last year, opened this season with a dismal output against Miami Central in which he was held to minus-4 yards. Shivers eclipsed the 100-yard mark four times since, and the 200-yard mark once in a game against Piper.
Back to his old dominant self, Shivers’ explosiveness has made Chaminade’s offense, which has several weapons in the passing game even more potent as it showed on Thursday.
“Every team we’ve played we’ve scored on the first or second play of every drive so this offense is looking good,” Shivers said. “We’re coming off a big win so I think we’re prepared now.”
▪ Chaminade (4-2) is firmly in the top spot in the Florida High School Athletic Association’s point standings in Region 4-3A entering the week. The victory on Thursday over reigning Class 4A state semifinalist Booker T. Washington added to their total.
The Lions have games against Doral Academy, Flanagan and NSU University School left to play.
▪ The Tornadoes, who dropped to 3-4 on the season, appear to be falling victim to their brutal schedule.
With the new format not consisting of districts in Classes 4A-1A and only the top four teams in each region advancing to the playoffs based on points, the Tornadoes are in danger of not having enough points to qualify for the postseason.
Booker T. entered the week seeded sixth in Region 4-4A, which if the season ended this week would mean it would miss the playoffs for the first time since 2000.
The Tornadoes play defending Class 6A state champion Carol City next week and finish the season with a game against Orlando Evans.
Booker T. junior quarterback Daniel Richardson left the game with 1:05 left in the first quarter after taking a hard hit from a Chaminade defender and apparently hurting his right ankle. Richardson, who connected on a 9-yard touchdown pass to Theodore Richardson before he got hurt, did not return.
The Tornadoes did not score again until there were less than two minutes remaining in the game and Chaminade had settled the outcome.