Boasting a No. 2 national ranking (USA Today and MaxPreps), the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders hardly looked like the second best team in the nation during the first quarter of Friday night’s rivalry showdown game with Miramar.
But the Raiders did what great teams are supposed to do as they survived a case of the sloppies early on and eventually settled in to dispatch the Patriots 48-18 before a big crowd at Brian Piccolo Stadium.
“We definitely got off to a rough start with those turnovers early and a few penalites we don’t normally commit but the positive I was able to take out of it was that our kids did a good job of not panicking and rallying back to seize control of the game,” said Aquinas head coach Roger Harriott. “True character shows through the face of adversity. Give Miramar a lot of credit, they’re an exceptional program and challenged us early on. The scoreboard is not indicitive of their talent and we were fortunate to come out of here with a win tonight. Here we are 2-0 and just want to keep it going.”
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Harriott watched his team march right down the field on its opening drive of the game to grab a 7-0 lead, only to turn around and commit a number of mistakes that allowed the Patriots to answer.
First came a short completed pass from quarterback Jake Allen to Dominic Thieman that Thieman fumbled and Miramar defender Mark Niles scooped up and rambled 60 yard to the Aquinas three.
Three plays later Miramar running back Davon Kendricks fumbled as he was diving into the end zone but Aundrey Henley was there to fall on it for Miramar cutting St. Thomas’ lead to 7-6 following a failed PAT.
On the Raiders (2-0) very next offensive play, running back Devonta’e Henry-Cole coughed up the ball and Miramar defender Jamare Edwards fell on it at the Aquinas 38.
Nine plays later, following two separate fouth down conversions, the Patriots took a 12-7 lead when quarterback D’Angelo Fulford found Aundrey Henley for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
But that’s when the Raiders settled down and imposed their will on the Patriots who fell to 0-2 following last week’s opening loss to IMG Academy.
Quarterback Jake Allen led his team on a 55-yard, eight play drive culminated when Allen found Trevon Grimes for an 18-yard scoring toss that put the Raiders up 14-12 with 8:22 left in the second.
After the Raiders defense force a quick three-and-out, Allen, thanks to a big 28-yard hook-up with Sam Bruce, took his offense 75 yards in nine plays with running back James Charles, who finished the night with 58 yards on 17 carries and three scores, finishing it off with a 5 yard touchdown run 2:34 before the half.
“What it shows is that we can handle adversity,” said Allen who enjoyed a solid night, completing 16-of-25 for 164 yards and one touchdown. “Adversity is tough, it hit us in the face and we responded the way you’re supposed to if you’re a great team and that’s what we did. The thing is when adversity happens, you have to find a way to push through it and we pushed through it.”
Facing a fourth-and-four at its own 26, Miramar tried an ill-advised fake punt when punter Devin Adams tried to take off running and was swarmed for a nine yard loss. The Raiders took advantage of the the short field as it took them just five plays to go 17 yards, Charles going over from eight yards out 1:39 before the half to put the Raiders firmly in control at 28-12.
▪ South Dade 7, Coral Gables 0 (1st quarter, susp.): South Dade’s running game has shown its prowess so far this season.
The Bucs showed it again Friday for one brief touchdown drive against Coral Gables.
And then the weather halted the proceedings.
South Dade quarterback Ludovic Saintvil ran for a 19-yard touchdown to give the Bucs the lead early in the first quarter before lightning in the area stopped the nondistrict game at the Cavaliers’ home field. The game was later suspended.
Since it is not a district game, both athletic directors told the Miami Herald it probably would not be completed and therefore would remain an unofficial result.
Saintvil ran for 38 yards on four carries and senior Jawon Hamilton totaled 37 yards on four carries on the opening drive. Hamilton, an FIU commitment, ran for 128 yards last week in a 40-24 win over Coral Reef.
South Dade (1-0) is scheduled to host Norland (2-0) next Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Harris Field. Coral Gables (1-0) is scheduled to host Homestead (1-1) on campus at 4 p.m. next Friday.
ANDRE C. FERNANDEZ
▪ Miami High-Southwest, ppd.: They waited for more than an hour, but eventually the game between Miami High and Southwest, scheduled for 4 p.m. at Curtis Park, was postponed with the threat of severe weather.
Even though it’s a nondistrict game, both athletic directors and coaches Tim Neal (Southwest) and Ivan Rosales (Miami) agreed the game should be played, and was rescheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Southwest High School
▪ Hialeah Gardens-Coral Park, ppd.: Weather conditions prevented Coral Park (0-1) and Hialeah Gardens (1-0) from playing their scheduled game. A lightning delay came before the game even started, and the officiating crew decided to postpone it as conditions did not improve. The game will be played at 9 a.m. Saturday at Coral Park High School.
Gulliver announced it has brought back Tomas Esquijarosa as its boys’ cross-country coach and assistant boys’ track coach. Esquijarosa, a long-time coach in Miami-Dade County, coached at Gulliver from 2007 to ’08.
ANDRE C. FERNANDEZ
▪ Lourdes d. Miami Country Day (26-24, 25-18, 25-16): Brittany Bilotti 16 kills, 12 digs, 5 aces. Maegan Cuesta 36 assists, 2 kills, 3 digs.Natalia Reyes 8 Kills. LOU 4-1.
▪ Mater Academy d. Slam (25-17, 25-14, 25-16): Rashel Rodriguez 6 aces, 7 kills. Jasmine Paddyfoot 9 aces, 6 kills.
▪ Palmer Trinity d. Doral Academy (25-14, 25-7, 25-20): PT (2-1): Grace Seide 8 kills, 3 blocks, 3 aces. Ashley Quero 9 kills, 3 blocks, 2 aces. Juliette Hamilton 40 assists, 4 kills. Grace Hisbshman 4 kills, 2 blocks, 5 aces. DA (1-1): Marina Paula 5 aces, 3 kills. Fabiana Castro 5 kills, 2 aces.
Chaminade-Madonna defeated Sheridan Hills
25-12, 25-15, 25-19
CM key performers:
Sophia Franzosa - 8 service points, 5 aces, 7 kills, 9 assists
Carly Price - 9 service points, 4 aces, 14 assists
CM record: 3-1
▪ Princeton Christian d. Island Christian (25-18, 25-17, 18-25, 24-26, 15-13).
▪ Antigua National Golf Invitational (McCormick Ranch Golf Club Par 72)— Lone Peak (UT) 287, Perry (AZ) 296, Archbishop McCarthy 321: Wells 77, Nicholson 80, Perez 80, Nevarez 84.
▪ Late Thursday — Chaminade-Madonna 231, Pace 254: JR Hopkins 39, Lucas Sabie 41, Travis Still 42,Mattias Wehergren 43, Austin Gomez 44, Andrew Drugan 49, Ethan Smart 51, Ryan McManigal 55, Mikey Gallo 55, Michelle Garcia 66
▪ Antigua National Golf Invitational (McCormick Ranch Golf Club Par 72) — Punahou (HI) 303, Archbishop McCarthy 306, Xavier (AZ) 306: Rodriguez 75, Simons 75, Benedetto 77, Garcia 79
▪ Coral Gables 91, Southwest 47, Varela 29.
▪ Southwest 77, Coral Gables 51, Varela 45.
North Miami vs. Miami Beach (N. Miami), 7
Sebring at Westminster Christian, noon
Miami High vs. Southwest (Southridge), 10 a.m.
Goleman vs. Keys Gate (Harris), 9 a.m.
DeMatha Catholic (Md.) at American Heritage, 6
Mater Lakes at Booker T. Washington, 3:30
Somerset Academy Central at Hialeah Educational Academy, 3:30
Somerset ACHS (S.Homestead) at Redland Christian,4
Lourdes Academy at South Miami, 5
Divine Savior at Hebrew Academy, 5
Florida Christian at Greater Miami Academy, 5
Coral Reef at Homestead, 5
Hialeah Miami Lakes at Ronald Reagan, 5
Pine Crest at Gulliver, 5
Westland at Mater Academy Charter, 5
Miami Beach at Hialeah, 5
Edison at Monsignor Edward Pace, 5
Mourning High at Barbara Goleman, 5
Krop at Miami High, 5
Carol City Sr at Northwestern, 5
Mast Academy at Miami Springs, 5
Keys Gate Charter at Saint Brendan, 5:30
Palm Glades at Riviera Prep, 6
Archimedean Academy at Princeton Christian, 7
Killian at Palmetto, 7:15
Ferguson at Southwest, 7:15
La Salle at Doral Academy, 7:30
Archbishop F Coleman at SLAM Charter, 7:30
Varela at South Dade, 7:30
North Miami at American, 7:30
Doctors Charter at Miami Country Day, 7:30
North Miami Beach at Norland, 7:30
Coral Park at Coral Gables, 7:30
Ferguson, Southwest at Killian (Killian Greens), 3
Goleman, Krop at Hialeah Gardens (Country Club of Miami), 3
Goleman, Krop at Hialeah Gardens (Country Club of Miami), 3
Coral Gables, Coral Park at Miami High (Melreese), 3:30