After being held scoreless for a quarter-and-a-half Saturday, Booker T. Washington's offense came back to life when it mattered most.
After Warwick scored midway through the fourth quarter to take the lead for the first time, the Bookers strung together an 11-play, 67-yard scoring drive to close out a 26-20 win at Todd Stadium with a 4-yard run by Dionte Edwards with 25 seconds left in the game.
Eight of those 11 plays were runs between the tackles, and five of those went for more than 10 yards.
"We weren't tired, we just made mental mistakes," said Warwick coach Juan Jackson. "We didn't wrap up, tried to arm-tackle, and that'll beat you every time.
"You can't win when you're beating yourself with interceptions and mental mistakes."
Edwards, who closed the game out with a run off-tackle to the left, almost gave the game away on a fourth-quarter fumble.
The Bookers (2-0) were driving in Warwick territory, and a hard hit jarred the ball out of Edwards' grasp after a 9-yard gain.
Derek Banks recovered for the Raiders, who took the lead on a 38-yard touchdown run by quarterback Lamonte Williams with just more than five minutes left in the game.
That five minutes turned out to be just enough, and any chance Warwick had to try to strike back was lost when the ensuing squib kick hit a Warwick player before Michael Carey pounced on it to give the Bookers the ball back with 21 ticks left on the scoreboard.
After surrendering 229 yards of offense in the first half, Warwick (1-1) had held the Bookers to 72 in the second before the final drive.
And Williams made his biggest play of the night on what was supposed to have been a pass. The senior rolled to his left, saw daylight and took off for the score.
The Raiders were without leading rusher Courtney Hill, who tweaked his leg on a bad hit during practice earlier in the week and was held out of the game by the coaching staff in order to prevent further injury.
Hill's absence meant an anticipated showdown between him and Edwards never materialized.
"We'd been talking on myspace, and I was really looking forward to going up against him," said Edwards, who finished with 106 yards on 11 carries and caught four passes for 74 yards. "We knew this was going to be a battle because this is a playoff team and we're coming off a 3-7 season. So we just came in here looking to limit turnovers and hold their offense from making any big plays. We're just happy we were able to come in here and come away with a win over a good team."
Ellis Butler and Darnell Robinson filled in at running back for Warwick. Butler had 38 yards and a score on 14 carries, while Robinson had 85 yards and a score on seven carries.
Robinson also returned two kicks for 47 yards.
B.T. WASHINGTON 26, WARWICK 20B.T. Washington13607 — 26Warwick7607 — 20 BTW — Edwards 39 pass from Marsh (Smith kick)
War — Butler 1 run (Hunt kick)
BTW — Edwards 5 run (run failed)
BTW — Caper 11 pass from Marsh (kick blocked)
War — Robinson 36 run (kick failed)
War — Williams 38 run (Hunt kick)
BTW — Edwards 4 run (Smith kick)BTWWarFirst downs1411Rushes-yards34-19433-255Passing yards16823Comp.-att.-ints13-20-13-10-1Punts-avg.3-31.35-27.6Penalties-yards5-553-40Fumbles-lost3-13-1Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun