If there is one thing that Southridge head coach Sedrick Irvin and his staff may want to work on next week, it’s the extra point and field goal team. Or in this case, a lack thereof.
It wound up costing his team dearly on Thursday night. That’s because Booker T. Washington, complete with a very good conversion team led by placekicker Andres Borregales, was down to its last breath.
Facing a fourth-and-goal at the Southridge 12 and trailing 20-14 in the second overtime, Tornado quarterback Torrey Morrison lofted an alley oop pass to the corner of the end zone that was up for grabs between Booker T.’s Jacorey Brooks and Spartan defensive back Tyrique Stevenson.
Brooks won the battle coming down with the ball for the touchdown.
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The extra point team trotted out and Borregales calmly drilled the kick down the middle giving Booker T. Washington a resilient 21-20 victory at Southridge Field.
It was a PAT that Southridge only wished it could have converted. All night long, the Spartans had numerous trips to the red zone including a fourth-and-goal at the 6 with nine minutes left and a 14-7 lead. But no field goal team ever came out. They went for it and failed, keeping it a one-possession game.
Thanks to a turnover deep in Spartans territory with four minutes left, Booker T. made them pay when Morrison found a wide open Theodore Richardson for a 24-yard score with 2:57 left to tie the game at 14.
After the Tornadoes got pushed back to the 30 in their first overtime possession and Borregales went wide left on a 47-yard field goal attempt, Southridge could have won it on its possession when Irvin finally sent the field goal team out. But Willie Spivey’s 27-yard attempt never had a chance.
Not because he couldn’t kick it, but because very little blocking allowed Wati Huggins to come right through and easily block the kick.
After Courtney Reese scored from two yards out on the Spartans’ second overtime possession to give his team the lead, again Spivey came out for the extra point and again, Huggins knifed right through to easily block the conversion setting the stage for the Morrison-to-Brooks fourth down heroics.
“It was me against him all night long and it was just a matter of going up and finding a way to come down with that ball,” Brooks said. “Credit our O-line for giving Torrey time to get the ball up to me and I just did the rest. Just an amazing win for us. We lean on each other all the time and we found a way to come through tonight.”
“I know what Jacorey can do so it was just a matter of getting the ball up high in the air and letting him go after it,” said Morrison. “He’s a big-time player who stepped up when it was big.”
Trailing 6-0 at halftime, Booker T., thanks to an ill-advised decision by Southridge to accept a five-yard penalty instead of taking what would’ve been a fourth-and-23 for the Tornadoes at their own 20, turned the game around on one play.
Now with third-and-28 at his own 15, Morrison dropped back and found Marcus Barthell for 46 yards and a first down. Five plays later, Barthell was in the end zone on a 27-yard touchdown run to put BTW (2-1) up 7-6 midway through the third quarter and giving the Tornadoes the spark they needed.
But late in the third quarter, Southridge (2-1) got most fortunate. That’s Jaheim Jerry fumbled and Barron Howard III proved to be “johnny-on-the-spot” when he scooped up the loose ball and took off 48 yards for the touchdown to put the Spartans up 14-7 following a successful two point conversion.
“One of our coaches said to just blow up one of their tackles and one of us should come free,” Huggins said of his successful penetration on both blocked kicks. “This was all about us not quitting tonight and finding a way.”
“We teach the kids to play for each other and play for that name on their jerseys,” said BTW head coach Tim “Ice” Harris. “One thing I always preach to the kids is ‘don’t quit.’ Whatever you do, just keep fighting and you saw what they did out there tonight. I’m really proud of the way they just kept fighting. It’s what Tornadoes football is all about.”
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