Miami-Dade High Schools

St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders start fast in prep for opener

St. Thomas Aquinas didn’t break much of a sweat in its warmup for the upcoming season — and next week’s much-anticipated opener against American Heritage — with a 31-7 preseason victory over visiting Dillard on Thursday night.

The Raiders, who face Heritage next Friday at Sun Life Stadium, scored on their first two possessions and led 24-0 at halftime.

Dillard scored its lone touchdown late when Aquinas fumbled an interception into the end zone.

“This helped us prepare for Heritage,” said longtime Aquinas assistant coach Jay Connolly, who was filling in for head coach Rocco Casullo.

“The kids really played hard for us. Our offense has been getting beat up by our defense, so they were ready to hit someone else. We made some mistakes, had some issues. But we’ll get better.”

Running back Jordan Scarlett made a nice impression in his first action with the Raiders (10-3 last year) after leaving University School.

Scarlett, a senior who has committed to the University of Miami, rushed for 94 yards on six carries.

Scarlett scored Aquinas’ first touchdown from 66 yards out by charging through the middle and outracing the Dillard secondary after breaking three tackles.

Scarlett left the game after the touchdown with a cut on his right thumb.

“It felt great to be back on the field, playing someone else,” Scarlett said. “We came out better than I thought we would.”

Aquinas’ defense held the Panthers (8-4 last year) to 37 yards in the first half.

Dillard quarterback Jason Collins — who is headed to Howard University — did most of the offensive work for the Panthers, completing 7 of 12 passes for 75 yards in the first half.

THURSDAY’S RESULTS

PRESEASON FOOTBALL

Doral 20, Hillel 0

Florida Christian 20, Pine Crest 17

St. Thomas Aquinas 31, Dillard 7

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

PRESEASON FOOTBALL

Hallandale at Miramar, 7

Carol City at Boyd Anderson, 7:30

Hollywood Hills at Western, 7

Coral Gables vs. Champagnat Catholic (Tropical), 4

Ferguson vs. Homestead (Harris), 7:30

Mater Academy at Southridge, 7:30

Miami High vs. Edison (Curtis), 7:30

Blanche Ely at Coconut Creek, 7

Belen at Cardinal Gibbons, 7

West Broward vs. Goleman (Milander), 7:30

Palm Beach Central vs. Northwestern (Traz), 7:30

Sunset vs. Mourning (N. Miami), 7:30

Somerset at Pines Charter, 7

Gulliver at Duval Charter, 7

Westminster Christian at Westminster Academy, 7

North Miami at Braddock, 4

Krop at Hialeah-Miami Lakes, 7

American Heritage-Delray at Coral Springs Charter, 7

Cooper City at South Broward, 7

Treasure Coast vs. Taravella (Piper), 7

West Boca Raton at Douglas, 7

Coral Glades at Pompano Beach, 7

Inlet Grove at Dade Christian, 7

Evangel Christian at Calvary Christian, 7

Somerset Charter at Palmer Trinity, 4

Zion Lutheran at Highlands Christian, 7

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

FOOTBALL

Central at Hoover (Alabama), noon

Booker T. Washington at Oscar Smith (Virginia), 9

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE

PRESEASON FOOTBALL

Palm Beach Dwyer at American Heritage, 3

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