St. Thomas Aquinas didn’t waste any time getting back on track Friday night.
Knowing they needed to recover quickly following a disappointing loss to Miami Booker T. Washington last week, the Raiders rebounded with a 42-6 victory over host Miramar Friday night.
Aquinas defeated its county rival for the third consecutive season, and picked up a win at Miramar following a tough early-season loss much as it did in 2014 following a road defeat against Don Bosco Prep.
“Last week’s loss didn’t kill our confidence,” St. Thomas quarterback Jake Allen said. “Tonight’s showed the character of this team. Last week was a bump in the road but we keep moving forward.”
Aquinas played without five-star wide receiver and Ohio State commit Trevon Grimes, who sat out due to an inflamed patellar tendon according to coach Roger Harriott.
Aquinas’ passing game managed just fine as Allen threw three touchdown passes to lead the Raiders (1-1), who entered the game ranked No. 10 nationally by USA Today.
Allen completed 15 of 19 passes for 156 yards.
“Jake did a great job of managing the team,” Harriott said. “The goal this week was to take care of the ball. They took what happened last week personal and they did a great job of finishing strong.”
Allen found Michael Harley over the middle for a 23-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
After connecting with Harley for 35 yards to the Miramar 8-yard line, Allen lofted a pass to a wide open Joshua Palmer for his second touchdown, giving the Raiders a 14-0 lead at halftime.
Allen found Harley over the middle again early in the third quarter for a 21-yard TD strike.
The Raiders also established the running game early and were very effective.
Mike Epstein led Aquinas with 100 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.
Kyshaun Bryan finished with 88 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown as well.
The Raiders rushed for 292 yards overall and their defense held Miramar (1-1) to only 41 rushing yards.
Aquinas’ Grayson Crozier blocked a punt late in the game, and Tavares Kelly scored on an end-around run from 62 yards out to prompt a running clock with three minutes left.
“We have some exceptional backs and our offensive line does a great job of what we call ‘holding the rope,” Harriott said.