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Booker T. builds confidence with win over N'western, 21-9

Akilah Laster | 10/17/2013, 9 a.m.
Northwestern’s 21-9 loss to Booker T. Washington (7-0, 1-0) last Saturday was what Jerry Jones would call a moral victory. ...
Booker T. Washington offense sets up against Northwestern defense. Photo by Akilah Laster

Northwestern’s 21-9 loss to Booker T. Washington (7-0, 1-0) last Saturday was what Jerry Jones would call a moral victory. No, it did not affect district standings directly, but the confidence with which the Bulls walked off the field will certainly carry over to next Friday’s battle against the nationally-esteemed and reigning 6A State Champs, the Miami Central Rockets.

Despite a loss, the Bulls (3-3, 1-1) were able to do something no team in the nation has been able to do since 2011 — hold the Tornados under 25 points.

“The West did a good job competing and playing physical,” said Booker T. Head Coach Tim “Ice” Harris. “We knew as a circle game and it being midseason it was going to be a little tougher.”

The Bulls’ defense undoubtedly stunned Booker T.’s offense, which typically scores relentlessly and at will, from the game’s onset. The Tornados were held to a 7-point first half for the second time this season — the first coming at the hands of Central.

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Booker T. Washington offense sets up against Northwestern defense.

Not only was the Tornado sideline quieted for a large portion of the game, except for the few major plays that quite frankly saved their winning streak and team pride, but the untouchable “Neon” Treon Harris was sacked more than five times by four different Bulls players and appeared banged up after the game.

“They are always going to be a physical team and they will make plays,” Harris said. “But if we are going to continue to be the best we can’t slack up.”

Harris’ efforts, despite being shell-shocked throughout the game, kept the Tornados ahead. His most crucial play came after he skated a safety that would’ve shifted momentum to the Bulls. Harris finished with two touchdowns and amassed 244 passing yards.

The Tornados fury may have slowed as late season wear impacts them, but they will still have a clear cut path to the playoffs. They face district rival Gulliver Prep (6-1, 1-0) on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Curtis Park. Booker T., luckily, has an uncompetitive district and has not lost to Gulliver since they entered District 8-4A.

But for the Bulls, if they can keep the same focus and toughness, they may have an opportunity to pull the upset of the year against Central.

“We feel good right now,” said Northwestern Head Coach Stephen Fields said. “[We] never quit and just don’t stop playing.”