Jake Allen connected on three touchdown passes in the first half to lead host St. Thomas Aquinas to a 37-0 victory in a Region 4-7A semifinal over Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer Friday night.
The Raiders (9-2) will travel to face Mater Academy — and former coach Rocco Casullo — next week in the regional final. Aquinas beat Casullo’s Lions 60-7 in last year’s regional final.
Allen's touchdown passes went to Kyshaun Bryan for 33 yards, Michael Harley for 33 yards and Joshua Palmer for four yards.
Marco Salani put through three field goals from 34, 41 and 29 yards out. The Aquinas defense held the Panthers to 49 total yards in the first half.
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Aquinas and Dwyer have won every state championship in Class 7A for the past four years with Aquinas winning it in 2015, 2014 and 2012. Last year Aquinas eliminated Dwyer 24-7 in the regional semifinals.
Dwyer (10-1) entered the game undefeated. During the streak, the Dwyer defense held opponents to single digits in every win with five shutouts.
Allen led Aquinas with 123 passing yards.
According to Aquinas head coach Roger Harriott, a fight started after he tried to talk to Dwyer linebacker Emmanuel “Mayo” Yisrael at the end of the handshake line near the Dwyer bench. Aquinas defensive back Asante Samuel was next to Harriott as he tried to calm down Yisrael.
"He [Yisrael] punched Asante. He grabbed him and some of the other players came in to break it up... I am just thankful that no one was seriously injured," Harriott said.
Yisrael, was seen running from a number of Aquinas players before he was caught and tackled near the 20 yard line. Players from both teams rushed into the fight which lasted nearly 12 seconds. A minute after the fight, a group of Dwyer players rushed the edge of the field near the Aquinas locker room. Coaches and security were able to prevent a second fight from breaking out.
Based on a review of the game film, Aquinas players could face suspension going into the region final.