With two Miami-Dade County teams already defeating their Georgia opponents Saturday, it was up to the defending national champions to complete the sweep.
It wasn’t pretty.
But despite starting at 10:30 p.m. and playing in an often pouring rain, Booker T. Washington outlasted Tucker (Georgia) for a 19-7 victory at Hallford Stadium to finish a three-game sweep by Dade teams at the Battle of the Borders Classic.
“Regardless of everything that didn’t go well, we tried to stay in attack mode,” Booker T. coach Tim Harris Jr. said. “We came into the game with the mentality to dominate. Our defense obviously did that, but our offense just didn’t finish drives they should have.”
The Tornadoes (2-0) won their Florida-best 28th consecutive game and will next face Miami Central (2-0) in another titanic clash between the two national powers Friday at Traz Powell Stadium.
Central edged Stephenson (Georgia) 21-20 in an earlier game Saturday, and Miami Norland shut out MLK (Georgia) 30-0.
Central enters next week’s game on a 14-game winning streak dating to last season’s loss to Booker T. Washington. Both teams have opened this season with a pair of out-of-state victories.
“We know it will be a big one next week with everybody in our communities there to see it,” Harris said. “We know these first two games were big, but it won’t compare to next week’s game.”
Booker T. didn’t waste much time taking the lead against Tucker as Antonio Callaway returned a punt 35 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing series, Booker T. quarterback and FIU commit Maurice Alexander threw the first of two touchdown passes, a 10-yarder to Vaquan Small to give the Tornadoes a 12-0 lead.
The Booker T. defense kept Tucker’s offense from scoring.
The Tigers’ only points came with 6:59 left in the fourth quarter when they returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. The score followed Alexander’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Callaway.
“Our guys need to stop pressing so much and understand that you can’t make huge plays on every single down,” Harris said. “You need to keep good drives going. You’re going to have negative plays in a game, but you have to stay composed and finish drives on a positive note.”