Orlando, FL– It was too much St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale) from the very beginning as Raiders handily beat Tampa Plant High 45-6 Friday at Camping World Stadium. Aquinas second year head coach Roger Harriott led his team to its third consecutive title tonight and 10th in school history.
The Raiders offense was prolific. Senior quarterback Jake Allen threw for 5 TDs as he was 17-29 for 329 yards and 1 INT. On the receiving end of three touchdown receptions was senior wide out Mike Harley who caught five passes for 133 yards. Both Joshua Palmer and Jordan Merrell added TD receptions to cap off an amazing offensive display by St. Thomas.
Tampa Plant really was never able to get anything working on offense. Their most promising drive didn’t come until the second half and was powered by a Dane Frantzen 50 yard pass play to Whop Philyor. A face mask penalty tacked on 15 yards and a few plays later, Frantzen, the quarterback, punched it in from one yard out for Plant’s only score of the game.
Defensively, the Raiders were stout, led by junior safety Trenell Troutman who finished with 7 total tackles and 5 solo stops and a pass break up. Drew White was equally as disruptive with 7 tackles of his own, two blocked punts and a quarterback hurry to his credit. Adetutu Daranijo and Jaden Davis had interceptions for St Thomas and the team tallied five total tackles for a loss.
Overall, the Raiders gave up only 218 yards of total offense and much of the fourth quarter was sped up by a running clock.
After missing a few passes early and having to punt, St. Thomas settled down and turned to their running game, which has been their stabilizing force all season. Seniors Mike Epstein and Kyshaun Bryan had wonderful last outings. They split carries near even with Bryan rushing for 71 and Epstein picking up 61. Epstein also added a 30-yard pass reception to his rushing score.
The Raiders will now look to post season play on a national level, traveling to Texas to play state champions from other states in a round robin format. More details to be released in the coming days.
— Football Hotbed (@FootballHotbed) December 10, 2016