The Booker High football special teams unit scored a pair of touchdowns to propel the Tornadoes to a 55-0 victory over The Out-of-Door Academy Sept. 12.
The host Tornadoes took the lead on their opening possession when running back Darius Jones scored from 22 yards out. Shamyren Williams converted the two-point conversion to give Booker an 8-0 lead with 5 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Booker extended its lead on Jones’ 50-yard touchdown run with 1:27 left in the first quarter.
After hanging with Booker in the first quarter, Booker’s size and speed eventually wore down an ODA team that is about 75% freshmen.
Williams returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to give the Tornadoes a 22-0 lead.
Four plays later, on the Thunder’s ensuing possession, Booker blocked a punt and recovered in in the end zone for a touchdown.
“That’s a game-changing play,” Booker coach Johnnie Jones says. “I want my best 11 on my special teams because I can pull you for reps on the defensive and offensive side of the ball. That’s what you focus on because you want those guys who are passionate and willing to give up their body to go after the ball.
ODA quarterback Jeremy Herrin, who is in his first year of football, was intercepted on the Thunder’s next drive.
Booker running back Marlon Mack punched the ball in from 9 yards out on the Tornadoes next play to give Booker a 35-0 lead with 9:21 left in the first half.
Mack added an 11-yard run on Booker’s ensuing possession to give the Tornadoes a 42-0 halftime lead.
In the second half, Booker handed the ball over to several of its JV players to close out the game.
Sophomore Bill Jackson scored on a 25-yard touchdown run, and sophomore Cody DeSerio ran in from 3 yards out as time expired.
The Booker defense forced three fumbles and also had an interception while holding the Thunder to 24 yards of total offense.
Booker, which didn’t attempt a pass, racked up 344 yards on the ground. Jamal Benson rushed for 100 yards on five carries to lead the way for the Tornadoes.
ODA was without several key starters, including Austin Hoppe (knee), David Grain (ankle) and Kevin Grathwohl. The Thunder also lost quarterbacks Jimmy Kuebler, who left the team to focus on baseball, and Nate Strawderman, who transferred to Lakewood Ranch, earlier this week.
"It is what it is," ODA coach Brett Timmons says. "To me, this is glorified freshman football season for us. Actually, this is a 10-week spring football season for us in the sense that we're using this to develop, to grow, to understand the speed of the game to play up against teams like Booker, teams like Cardinal Mooney and Bishop Verot that we know now as freshmen what it takes.”
Booker returns to action Sept. 20 versus DeSoto while ODA will have a bye week.
Contact Jen Blanco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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