11. JACKSON (1-1) AT 16. CARDINAL GIBBONS (3-0) 7 p.m., Friday.
Fans around the country were aware of Jackson for its history-making coach.
But Lakatriona Brunson’s first official coaching victory put the Generals in the spotlight for another reason this week.
The Generals pulled the biggest upset of the week nationwide in high school football with a 12-9 shocker over previously unbeaten and nationally ranked Booker T. Washington.
The outcome drew well-deserved national attention, although it wasn’t the only big story line.
In addition to Brunson’s first official win, it was Jackson’s second consecutive victory over the Tornadoes after losing all of its previous meetings since Booker T. Washington reopened as a high school in 1999.
Add to it a rare defeat for a Booker T. squad that was coming off victories over Plantation American Heritage and St. Thomas Aquinas to open the season.
Booker T. coach Tim “Ice” Harris, a Miami Jackson graduate, was being courted by his alma mater in the offseason before he ultimately chose to return for a third coaching stint with the Tornadoes.
As far as how Jackson pulled it off, it began with its defense.
Defensive coordinator Luther Campbell’s squad forced five first-half turnovers and six overall as they thoroughly disrupted Booker T.’s high-powered offense and held it to a single touchdown.
The Generals knew they would have to rely on that defensive unit in the early going until their offense developed.
Quarterback Terrance Craig showed signs of progress by running for a touchdown and passing for another.
Jackson can’t sit and revel too long, however.
Although the victory was huge, it ultimately won’t mean as much in the standings as a win the Generals need to get this week at Cardinal Gibbons.
Both of these teams are locked in battle for a playoff spot in District 16-5A.
And Gibbons has a history of beating Jackson in recent years.
Last season, the Chiefs put on their own impressive defensive display in a 3-0 victory at Traz Powell Stadium.
Gibbons brings a high-powered offense that outdueled Chaminade-Madonna last week and kept the Chiefs undefeated.
Gibbons amassed 389 total yards and put together a couple of late drives led by quarterback Nick Scalzo to rally from a 21-14 fourth-quarter deficit.
This has “trap game” written all over it for Jackson if it isn’t careful.
Both Jackson and Gibbons learned a lot about themselves last week.
This week is when we find out if either can become a consistent performer and move closer to potential postseason runs.
Andre’s pick: Jackson 15, Cardinal Gibbons 14.
5. BOOKER T. WASHINGTON (2-1) AT 4. SOUTHRIDGE (2-0) 7:30 p.m., Friday.
Booker T. Washington entered last weekend on top of the world, ranked No. 2 in the country by USA Today and dreaming of a national championship.
All that came crashing down in the pouring rain at Traz Powell and under the punishment of a Jackson defense that turned six turnovers into a 12-9 Tornadoes’ defeat.
Booker T. doesn’t have much time to wallow in its misery.
If it is to get back on course toward the goal of winning a state-record fifth consecutive state championship, the Tornadoes have to start by beating one of the state’s best Class 8A teams in Southridge.
The Spartans demonstrated a tough brand of defense last week in their 26-15 win over Columbus and look like a solid state-title contender that will be fired up to make Booker T. their latest conquest.
Another loss for the Tornadoes could lead to major concerns.
Andre’s pick: Booker T. Washington 16, Southridge 12.
17. SOUTH BROWARD (3-0) AT 18. McARTHUR (3-0) 7 p.m., FRIDAY.
The anticipated battle between two of Broward County’s most improved teams comes with both undefeated and looking to gain the upper hand in District 15-7A.
South Broward has already tripled its win total from last year’s 1-9 campaign and scored a couple of solid wins over Cypress Bay and Fort Lauderdale thanks to some tough defense.
McArthur notched a big road win in Orlando and has since taken care of business against a high-powered Western offense and Northeast.
The big difference maker in this matchup could be Craig Cooper, who has run for more than 300 yards in the first three games and paced the Mustangs’ offense.
Solid all-around athletes like Dorian Hall make South Broward the toughest challenge McArthur has faced yet.
Odds are the winner in this game will win the district and have a solid chance in a rematch in the playoffs.
Andre’s pick: McArthur 24, South Broward 21.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Led by a stellar defensive performance in which they forced six turnovers, the Jackson football team upset national-No. 2 ranked Booker T. Washington 12-9. Generals’ quarterback Terrance Craig ran for a touchdown and threw for another to provide them with all the offense they would need.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Marlon Smith, Carol City, football: Smith threw a pair of touchdown passes to spark a Chiefs’ 38-7 rout of host Lakeland and their first win of the season.
Draquan Jones, La Salle, football: Jones ran for 291 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown in the Royal Lions’ loss to Benjamin.
Michelle Cuervo, Ferguson, girls’ volleyball: Cuervo had 19 kills, seven digs and three aces to lead the Falcons over Lourdes in four sets.
Joshua Collins, Belen, boys’ cross-country: Collins ran a time of 16:11.61 to secure the individual championship of the King of the Hill Invitational and lead the Wolverines to the team title.
Natalie Varela, Gulliver, girls’ cross-country: A season after finishing as the runner-up, Varela won the individual title at the King of the Hill Invitational with a time of 18:29.16.
Miguel Cancel, Gulliver, boys’ swimming: Cancel won the 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly to lead the Raiders over Miami Country Day.
Delanie Perez, Goleman, girls’ swimming: Perez won the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke to lead the Gators to a win over Hialeah.
Sharif Amastha, Columbus, boys’ golf: Amastha shot a 31, one stroke shy of the Granada Golf Course record in a meet win over Ransom Everglades.
Alexa Rivas, Palmetto, girls’ golf: Rivas shot a 38 to lead the Panthers to a win over Carrollton and Coral Gables.
Arturo Diaz-Dube, Columbus, boys’ bowling: Diaz-Dube bowled a high series 626 to lead the Explorers to a win over Coral Gables.
Patricia Velasco, Braddock, girls’ bowling: Velasco bowled a high series 547 to lead the Bulldogs over Gulliver.
ANDRE C. FERNANDEZ