JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Leading up to Wednesday’s 4A state title game, Bolles head coach Matt Toblin said that in order for the Bulldogs to beat Miami-Booker T. Washington, “things would have to go our way.”
Wednesday in Daytona, things went Bolles’ way for three and a half quarters, but the result was a 25-21 victory by Booker T Washington who beat Bolles in the state finals for the fourth time in history.
The big plays for the Bulldogs began on Washington’s first drive, when Tornadoes quarterback Torey Washington connected with Jacorey Brooks, the top rated junior wide receiver in the country. But Brooks fumbled and it was recovered by Colson Cronk at the Tornadoes 48.
Bolles took advantage of the turnover when quarterback Ben Netting found Davis Ellis on third down. Ellis fought for the first down, but the ball was stripped out, and recovered by Bolles running back Kade Frew who ran it in for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 7-0 in the 1st quarter.
In the final seconds of the first quarter, Ben Netting avoided pressure and found Frew, who tiptoed the sideline then weaved into the endzone to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Frew would find the end zone again in the second quarter, when he took a swing pass from Netting and accelerated down the sideline for a 46-yard touchdown, his third of the half, giving the Bulldogs a 21-10 lead.
Later in the quarter, Booker T. would drive downfield and have a shot at a touchdown. Morrison’s corner route pass to Brooks was tipped by Jackson Fowler and intercepted by Will Netting in the endzone to maintain the Bulldogs’ a 21-10 lead.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Bulldogs stopped Booker T. on a pair of 4th down plays. While the Bolles offense didn’t produce much in the second half, the defense made plays. Bolles nearly put the game away with 6:15 to play when Taiwo Sogbesan had an interception in his hands but couldn’t hang on.
Four plays later, Morrison connected with Brooks for another touchdown. It appeared Brooks pushed off of Sogbesan, but no penalty flag was thrown. Washington went for two and converted when Morrison found Adam Moore for the conversion to bring the Tornadoes top within three at 21-18 with 5:25 to play.
The killer for Bolles came on the following drive.
Trying to burn time off the clock, Ben Netting was stripped of the ball and it was recovered by Washington at the Bulldogs 30. The dagger came later.
Bolles’ defense, rock solid all night, gave up a fourth-and-18 conversion on a one-handed grab by Edward Arza.
Torrey Morrison had a 15-yard touchdown run right after that, the clincher with 2:50 to go.
Bolles was stopped on downs on its ensuing drive and that clinched it for the Tornadoes. Bolles was held to just 7 yards of offense in the second half.