- Faith & Family
What do Booker T. Washington and Miami Central High School football teams have in common? They are both 2011 state-runner ups in their respective classes: Class 4A (BTW) and 6A (Cen). They both are national ranked by USAToday: Booker T. No. 8 and Central No. 1. Both teams are out for blood this year to heal a wound that a second place season has left; and now they both are 1-1 on the season after Central’s devastating 37- historic comeback last Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium. In the first half it was all Booker T. Unfazed by an early 3-point lead at the foot of Central senior kicker, Emilio Nadelman, Booker T.’s offense scored 19 unanswered points, giving them a distinctive 16-point lead at the half. The Tornado’s traditional scoring cannon fire blasted so many times during that half that it resembled a civil war battlefield. The first touchdown scored at the on a 49-yard catch by senior receiver, Nicholas Norris, his only reception of the game. The next early in the second quarter from the scattering junior quarterback, Treon Harris, on a 1-yard slip. And as any skilled army would, they attacked from different points rendering Central defenseless. The third from junior running back Krondis Larry on a 6-yard dash. And with that, the Central Rockets retreated into the locker room at halftime and it looked like this highly anticipated war would be easily won. But a second half battle had to commence and Central Head Coach, Telly Lockette, used that halftime to revitalize and rejuvenate his team, likely with his own “Why Sit Ye Here and Die” speech.“I told them to keep believing and keep fighting,” Lockette said about a team who was coming off of a disgracing 35-3 defeat from Grayson (GA). “I knew we’d show up eventually, these kids had to fight.”
And fight they did. Initiated by the defense with two interceptions late in the third from junior defensive back, Dalvin Cook, for a 78-yard touchdown and moments later by junior defensive back, Deatrick Nichols that allowed the offense to score again within minutes putting the Rockets ahead 23-19.Much of the change also came on a critical switch to a “Wildcat” offense moving renowned junior running back, Joseph Yearby, to quarterback. The Cook-Yearby tandem seemed to be flawless for the remainder of the night. Yearby finished with 73–passing yards, 51-rushing yards-and two touchdowns. Cook added 148-yards. Booker T. seemingly frazzled by Central’s aggressive attack managed to score one more time on a run from Harris-who finished with 145-passing yards, but it would not be enough to dispirit the Rockets who scored 34 second half points. A Yearby pass to sophomore receiver, Devontae Phillips with 1:47 left in the fourth suppressed any Booker T. hopes to win this war. Booker T. faces the Cedar Hill in Dallas, Texas next week. Central will play Manatee away.
By Akilah Laster
Miami Times writer