That’s how long it took Saturday night for new-look Booker T. Washington to start playing like its typical dominant self again.
Junior running back Mark Walton popped loose for a 64-yard touchdown run that erased an early 7-0 deficit and began an offensive onslaught that propelled the defending national champion Tornadoes to a 57-21 rout of host Oscar Smith (Va.) at Beard DeLang Easley Field.
Booker T. (1-0), ranked No. 9 nationally by MaxPreps, amassed 536 yards in total offense as it cruised to its 27th consecutive victory – the longest active winning streak in Florida.
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Walton, a University of Miami commitment, finished with 163 yards rushing on 20 carries and scored twice. Walton also had a touchdown reception.
The biggest offensive contributions came from Booker T.’s passing game, which has several new faces this season after graduating five starters.
Senior quarterback Maurice Alexander and senior wide receiver Antonio Callaway, both transfers from Homestead High, had stellar debuts with their new team.
Alexander completed 22 of 25 passes for 365 yards and threw five touchdown passes.
Callaway caught 10 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns. His second score came in the third quarter when he caught a short pass and ran 64 yards up the sideline for a touchdown that came just moments after Oscar Smith had cut the Tornadoes’ lead to 41-21.
Oscar Smith (0-1), ranked No. 24 nationally by MaxPreps, jumped out to an early lead running the ball effectively with DeShawn McClease, a Virginia Tech commitment. McClease ran for 65 yards on that opening drive and finished with 135 yards on 24 carries as Oscar Smith had success throughout the game running the football on Booker T.’s defense.
But the Tornadoes made enough plays to stop drives and give their offense a chance to build the large lead.
Oscar Smith’s star defensive end Josh Sweat, the top-rated recruit in the nation by ESPN, had one sack, blocked a field goal and an extra point, caught six passes for 84 yards and ran for a touchdown on offense.
But his impact appeared minimal with Oscar Smith unable to slow down Booker T.’s offense.
The Tornadoes showed the versatility of their athletes as Walton and Callaway each ran the ball and caught passes. Safety Terry Jefferson, a force on Booker T.’s defense, entered the game on offense and caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Alexander in the third quarter that gave Booker T. a 34-7 lead.
Ocie Rose and freshman Detron Halloway each had interceptions. Halloway returned his 47 yards for a touchdown. Rose returned his 25 yards for a touchdown, but the score was nullified by a personal foul penalty on the return.
Booker T. will face another out-of-state opponent next Saturday when it plays Tucker (Ga.) at 8:30 p.m. in Clarkston, Ga. as part of the Battle of the Borders Classic. The Tornadoes will then return home to play Miami Central Sept. 5 at Traz Powell Stadium.
Central also defeated a nationally-ranked out-of-state opponent Saturday when it edged Hoover (AL) 24-21 to win its 13th game in a row and snap Hoover’s 30-game winning streak.