Indianapolis, Indiana – For the second time in three years, the Booker T. Washington F-5 Tornadoes won the NFL HSPD 7 on 7 Tournament. The yearly event features representatives from all 32 NFL teams that play in an elimination tournament until one team is left. Each team must qualify by competing in a regional tournament in the host city, as well as completing the mandatory High School symposium.
Booker T. Washington qualified by going undefeated in the Miami Dolphins 7 on 7 tournament June 14th and 15th. They defeated Hialeah Gardens, American High, Western High twice and Champagnat Catholic before advancing to the quarterfinals at Sun Life Stadium on June 15th. After receiving a bye in the quarterfinals, they defeated Gulliver Prep 27-21 in overtime and then beat Miami Southridge 41-24 to win the Regional Tournament.
“Winning this game means a lot. We've got some great guys out there and they deserve this win,” Booker T. Washington coach Tim “Ice” Harris Jr said. "We've grown stronger as a team. We've worked hard and it's great to see that hard work pay off".
Advancing to the National Championship Tournament is nothing new to Booker T. Washington. In 2012, they went to Indianapolis under the pressure of trying to become the fourth straight Miami Dolphins representative to win the National Tournament. Booker T. Washington ended up beating the team representing the Detroit Lions to win the title and keep the streak alive.
After not qualifying for the National Championship in 2013, Booker T. went back to Indianapolis with one goal in mind and that was to bring the trophy back to Miami. In Pool Play, they dominated the competition by outscoring their opponents 272-86 and going 7-0. The scores for the games were:
Game 1: Miami Dolphins 38 New England Patriots 14
Game 2: Miami Dolphins 44 Buffalo Bills 7
Game 3: Miami Dolphins 38 New York Jets 14
Game 4: Miami Dolphins 41 Philadelphia Eagles 28
Game 5: Miami Dolphins 37 New York Giants 10
Game 6: Miami Dolphins 41 Washington Redskins 3
Game 7: Miami Dolphins 30 Dallas Cowboys 10
Tuesday morning, the tournament started off in divisional play with the Miami Dolphins playing against their AFC rivals in an elimination tournament. They beat the Buffalo Bills 31-10 and then the New England Patriots 34-28 to advance to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 37-17 to move on to the AFC Championship game against the Houston Texans.
The game against the Texans was close throughout with the score being 24-21 late in the second half. Maurice Alexander threw a touchdown pass to Mark Walton to give them a little cushion and then Terry Jefferson and Davante Davis sealed the game with back to back interceptions to give Miami a 37-21 victory. With the victory, Miami advanced to their fifth straight 7 on 7 championship game.
In the Championship, Miami played against Mallard Creek High School representing the Carolina Panthers. Alexander threw first half touchdown passes to Shaquille Green, Walton and Vaquan Smalls to give Miami a 24-7 lead at halftime. Carolina scored on their first possession of the second half, but that would be the last points they scored. Another touchdown pass from Alexander, this time to Antonio Callaway put them up 31-14 and then an interception by Callaway sealed the 34-14 victory by Booker T. and their second National Title in three years.
“To be able to not only go undefeated in the regional tournament but also the national tournament is a very impressive accomplishment”, Miami Dolphins Manager of Youth programs Troy Drayton said. “This is a team that won the district championship, state championship and national championship in 2013. To start off their 2014 football season this way is very exciting not only for the kids, but shows the hard work that the coaching staff is putting in.”
In the tournament, Booker T. went 12-0 and outscored their opponents by a total score of 445-176. They were led in receiving touchdowns by Walton with 15, Smalls with 11, Callaway with 11, Darius Scott with 9 and Green with 6. The defense was led by Jefferson who picked off 12 passes in 12 games. With interceptions counting as 3 points in the 7-on-7 format, Jefferson scored 36 points without playing a down on offense. Davis contributed with 4 interceptions and Ocie Rose and Callaway had 3 each.
Booker T. Washington will kick off their 2014 season in Chesapeake, VA against Oscar Smith High School and then will follow that up in Tucker, GA against Tucker High. They go into the season on a 26 game winning streak and have only lost once in the past two years.
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