Broward High Schools

Andre C. Fernandez: Miramar will test Aquinas

3. ST. THOMAS (1-1) AT 6. MIRAMAR (2-1)

7 p.m., Saturday.

Until a few days ago, St. Thomas Aquinas was a national championship contender.

Are the Raiders really about to lose two of their first three games?

A St. Thomas team that looked like the deepest and most talented on paper in South Florida entering the season was completely outplayed by Don Bosco Prep (New Jersey) in a 24-7 loss on the road this past Saturday at West Point.

Don Bosco Prep has since ascended — and rightfully so — to the No.2 spot in the nation according to MaxPreps.

That result has left rival Miramar even hungrier to deal Aquinas another damaging blow Saturday.

Miramar had its own disappointing loss two weeks ago when it watched Plantation American Heritage rip away a 16-point Patriots lead in the second half.

That’s the same Heritage team that looked outclassed the prior weekend against St. Thomas in a 38-7 loss. Heritage then turned around and ran all over Miramar’s defense once quarterback Torrance Gibson stepped on the field in the second half of its 30-26 win.

Miramar since took out its frustration on Plantation last week in a 42-0 win.

And no doubt the Patriots would love to make it four consecutive wins against Aquinas, something no other team in Broward County has even come close to doing to the Raiders in more than two decades.

Let’s see if what happened the first two weeks of the season still means anything.

Andre’s pick: Aquinas 24, Miramar 23.

7. COLUMBUS (3-0) VS. 2. CENTRAL (3-1)

7 p.m., Thursday, Traz.

Columbus likely succeeded in taking back its district championship and a little payback against Coral Gables last week.

Unfortunately for the Explorers, here comes the toughest opponent on their schedule.

Columbus does have some positive news: Its defense is back.

Central still has one of the nation’s best defenses, however, and that itself should be enough to win this contest.

Andre’s pick: Central 21, Columbus 7.

5. FLANAGAN (3-0) AT 14. CYPRESS BAY (2-0)

7 p.m., Friday.

This is an intriguing game in the race for the District 12-8A title and the chase to make it to state in this class.

Although practically everyone believes it’s a two-team race between Flanagan and Miramar, Cypress Bay is trying to prove it belongs in the discussion. The Lightning is off to a good start, beating Delray Beach Atlantic on the road and Boyd Anderson.

Flanagan hasn’t knocked down any contenders yet, but this is the week that changes. A good rivalry game for sure, but the Falcons offense powers them past Cypress Bay.

Andre’s pick: Flanagan 28, Cypress Bay 20.


7 p.m., Saturday, Traz.

This is the pivotal game in the chase to secure a playoff berth in the state’s deepest district. Northwestern has the better record with two hard-fought wins so far.

Carol City might be winless, but its opposition has to be taken into consideration. The Chiefs have lost to Booker T. (reigning national champs), South Dade (reigning Class 8A champion) and Killian (2013 playoff team).

A battle of longtime rivals goes down to the wire.

Andre’s pick: Carol City 14, Northwestern 13.