St. Thomas Aquinas (10-1) has made the regional finals every year since 2004. This year will be no different as the Raiders defeated Plantation (7-4), 38-6, at Brian Piccolo Stadium in a Region 4-7A semifinal.
St Thomas will play host to the winner of the Royal Palm Beach-Atlantic game at 7:30 Friday night. The winner of that game will advance to the state tournament.
Jake Rizzo threw four first-half touchdown passes to lead the Raiders to a 38-0 halftime lead. He did not play in the second half and finished the game 11 of 19 for 182 yards. Junior Sam Bruce caught scoring passes of 35 and 16 yards, and Juwaun Harris and Connor Fee each chipped in with a scoring reception for the Raiders.
Aquinas also relied on a strong ground game. The Raiders were led by Deltron Sands, who rushed for 64 yards on six carries. Jordan Scarlett added 62 yards on eight carries and scored a first-half touchdown.
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The Colonels (7-4) played the game without their leading rusher. Running back Maurquice Flowers left the game on the second offensive play with a left ankle injury. He had to be assisted off the field and did not return.
Rizzo got things started early for St. Thomas as he marched the Raiders 44 yards in five plays on their first offensive series and hit Bruce in stride with a 35-yard slant for a touchdown.
On their next drive, the Raiders used a 40-yard run by Sands to put the ball deep the Colonels’ red zone. After a third-down incompletion, Christopher Kirtley came in and drilled a 41-yard field.