Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Another Title Fight for Bolles; Bulldogs Play Booker T. Washington Again, but OK with Role as Underdog

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Another Title Fight for Bolles; Bulldogs Play Booker T. Washington Again, but OK with Role as Underdog

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Barney

The state's newest high school football dynasty and the oldest take their usual places on Saturday night in Orlando.

Bolles and Miami Booker T. Washington meet for the fourth consecutive year in the Class 4A state championship on Saturday night at 7:07 at the Florida Citrus Bowl, with the Tornadoes looking to add one more trophy to the case at the expense of the most successful program in state history.

The Tornadoes (13-0) have won 38 consecutive games and claimed a half-dozen mythical national championships last season, among them, crowns from MaxPreps, USA Today, Student Sports and Scout. Washington's last defeat in a state series event came Dec. 10, 2011, to none other than the Bulldogs (11-2), whose 33-25 win in the 4A championship game that night was its state-record 11th.

Bolles has been routed in its last two title game appearances against Washington, although there's plenty of reason to believe that Saturday's game won't follow that same path. For as young as the last two Bulldogs teams have been, this season's squad is heavy on experience.

"You know, I hope so," Bolles coach Corky Rogers said of the team's maturity leading to a different result. "But they play a high level of competition and they certainly aren't going to be worried about us. We know coming in we're the underdog in the football game, and that's OK. We're probably where we deserve to be. We know what we're playing against, a quality football team that doesn't lose games. It's going to be a tough task. But we didn't back into this thing. We got here because the kids worked."

What the Bulldogs have lacked in their previous two meetings with Washington is that experience. In 2011, many of the current seniors were role players on a team that featured a pair of dominant tackles in Jon Heck and John Theus and a scrappy, yet effective offense.

If 2012 and 2013 were learning experiences, this season hasn't felt that way. The Bulldogs have been steaming toward Washington all season. Not playing for a championship would have felt like a major letdown.

"It's awesome that our class has been to state all four of our years, there's not many seniors at all that can say that happened to them," said wingback Dexter Carter Jr. …

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