Rarely is it that St. Thomas is the team looking for revenge in big rivalry games.
But after dramatic finishes each of the past two seasons, expect the Raiders to have just as much motivation going into this clash of potential state champions.
Aquinas showed how strong it is defensively this past week by going up to New Orleans and dominating defending national champion John Curtis Christian (La.) for a 27-13 victory.
Curtis’ veer option offense didn’t fool the Raiders’ talented defense that swarmed throughout the game led by Nic Bosa’s three sacks.
But if Aquinas can control the line of scrimmage and allow Wade Freebeck to make a couple of big throws, it just might be enough for Aquinas to break its two-game losing streak in the series.
Flanagan has been building toward its opportunity for games like this.
Last season, the Falcons couldn’t capitalize against Cypress Bay or Miramar and missed the playoffs.
After three weeks, Flanagan looks more prepared to contend for one of the playoff spots in District 12-8A.
The Falcons went to Seminole County and beat Seminole before returning home and taking down Boyd Anderson 28-15.
Cypress Bay might appear a little vulnerable coming off a 37-7 loss to University School. The week before, however, it handled that same Boyd Anderson team Flanagan just beat 27-0.
The Lightning is still one of the best-coached teams in the county, and several of its players know what it takes to win these games. Cypress Bay expects to get a few key injured players back for this game.
Flanagan has a great chance at pulling this one off.
But it still has to prove it can win a breakthrough game like this one against an experienced adversary.
A month ago, this was one of the games to circle on the Broward calendar for this week.
Fast forward and we have teams going in opposite directions.
Gibbons is thriving behind its potent offense that has helped it average 37.7 points per game so far.
Boyd Anderson has struggled mightily after three games and one preseason contest, losing its latest game last week at home to Flanagan.
This appears to be a rare chance for Gibbons to beat a perennial Broward contender while it’s struggling.
Gibbons defense deserves some credit as well for the hot start, posting two shutouts and allowing only 15 points overall.
Jaylen Robinson and Ryan Swanson are just two of the top performers through the first few weeks for the Chiefs, who are hoping to build momentum before big late-season clashes with Miami Jackson and Plantation American Heritage.