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15 Aug

CROWNED CHAMPIONS

After an undefeated season, a state championship and a postseason bowl victory, St. Thomas Aquinas can once again lay claim to a national title.

After beating Saint Louis (Hawaii) in the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series, GEICO named the Raiders the national champions on Tuesday.

“GEICO afforded us an unprecedented opportunity to play in the inaugural postseason high school national championship on ESPN,” St. Thomas coach Roger Harriott said. “We are grateful to be part of the first national championship to be settled on the field. This is a tremendous honor and perfect ending to our great season.”

St. Thomas finished second in USA Today’s final national rankings behind only one-loss California state champion St. John Bosco.

The Raiders’ road to a title started and ended on national television. St. Thomas beat California’s De La Salle to start the year. De La Salle’s only other loss was against St. John Bosco. De La Salle finished the year ranked 12th in the nation in MaxPreps’ XCellent 25.

During the regular season, the Raiders picked up key wins against Miami Carol City, Deerfield Beach and Western. They beat Plantation, their main competition for the district title, to win their eighth straight district championship.

St. Thomas really began firing on all cylinders once the playoffs began, outscoring opponents, 207-42.

The Raiders dominated the statewide competition up until the state title game. They fell behind early but came back from a two-score deficit, holding off an Orlando Edgewater comeback to hold onto a 28-23 victory.

The state championship was St. Thomas’ 11th in program history, which tied the Raiders with Jacksonville Bolles for the most of any Florida team.

St. Thomas finished the year with a bowl-game victory over Saint Louis at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.

Over their 15 victories, the Raiders outscored opponents, 610-150. Only two of their wins were by fewer than two touchdowns.

St. Thomas will receive a banner from GEICO, commemorating the Raiders’ 2019 national title.

Copyright © 2021, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Adam Lichtenstein; South Florida Sun Sentinel

01 Aug

GEICO ESPN KICKOFF

The GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff returns for its 12th year Thursday, Aug. 26 – Sunday, Aug. 29. The seven game slate features 37 players ranked in the ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300, including the No. 1 junior Lebbeus Overton – DE (Milton, Ga.) and the No. 2 senior Quinn Ewers – QB (Southlake Carroll, Texas). Three other Top 100 ESPN ranked senior quarterbacks join Ewers in leading their teams this kickoff weekend: No. 36 Connor Weigman (Bridgeland, Texas), No. 39 AJ Duffy (IMG Academy, Fla.) and No. 100 Gunner Stockton (Rabun County, Ga.), as well as junior quarterback No. 275 Malachi Singleton (North Cobb, Ga.).

Of the athletes participating, 12 have already committed to top Division I college football programs including Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M, TCU and UCLA.

Saturday, August 28
St. Frances (Md.) vs. St Thomas Aquinas (Fla.)
Noon on ESPN from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

  • Defending state champion St. Thomas Aquinas is a national contender every year. No. 176 senior Julian Armella – OT will set the tone on offense up front, while No. 201 junior King Mack – S will sure up the defensive backfield for the Raiders
  • Frances’ defense is deep on talent with four ESPN 300 ranked seniors: No. 22 Derrick Moore – DE (OU commit), No. 71 Jaishawn Barham – OLB, No. 150 Cam Johnson – CB and No. 262 Nasir Pearce -DT.

https://espnpressroom.com/

Kimberly Elchlepp; ESPN PressRoom

11 Mar

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03 Mar

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25 Jan

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