Romello Brinson shook nearly the entire Booker T. Washington defense with a hesitation move on a 55-yard touchdown reception in Northwestern’s 47-21 win on Friday at Traz Powell Stadium.
The pass from Isiah Velez to Brinson gave the Bulls back a lead after fighting off a Tornadoes (2-3) rally. It also sparked a run of 26 unanswered points in the second half for the Bulls (3-2).
“I told them before the play to get the block and I’m going to run it fast and I got it,” Brinson said. “They gave me a good block and I just took off and scored. I think that touchdown gave us the momentum. We just picked up after that and kept going.”
Booker T. dominated time of possession in the first half but couldn’t find the end zone early.
Northwestern drew first blood when Velez hit Dwight Jackson for an 11-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. Larry Robbins recovered a fumble on the resulting possession, putting the Bulls in great field position. Jacquez Stuart ran in another touchdown to give the Bulls a 14-0 lead with 6:12 remaining in the opening frame.
The Tornadoes responded with Torrey Morrison running in for an 8-yard score before Velez hit Kahlil Brantley with a eight-yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter.
The Tornadoes’ defensive line then came alive, sacking Velez and forcing him out of the game with a leg injury in the second quarter. Jovon Smith capitalized on the pressure by intercepting an errant pass and returning it to the two-yard-line just before the half.
Morrison ran in for his second score 1:49 before the break to cut the lead to one touchdown.
Booker T. marched down the field for a long drive to start the second half, capping it off with a trick play pass from Jacorey Brooks to Kevin Butler and tying the game at 21-21.
But Velez was back for the third quarter and so was the Bulls offense.
“He bounced back and showed the toughness that he has showed each and every game and the team played off of it,” Bulls coach Max Edwards said. “They helped him come back by saying we got you.“
Northwestern regained the lead on Brinson’s touchdown, but that was just the start of the rout. The Bulls got a safety on a bad snap during a Tornadoes punt before Nathan Noel took off for a 34-yard rushing score. Northwestern added 10 more points in the fourth quarter to pile on.
Noel had seven carries for 108 yards and a score. Velez completed 8-of-10 passes for 148 yards and three scores for the Bulls.
“As a team we talk about becoming a family and not pointing fingers,” Edwards said. “I thought that the kids did a good job of doing that coming out into the second half. We knew the game was going to be tough. Booker T. came and got the momentum a little bit, but they didn’t point the finger at each other … that was a very good moment for Miami Northwestern football.”