St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) is no stranger to taking a team’s best shot week in and week out, and from the beginning of Friday’s matchup with Carol City (Miami), it was clear that the Chiefs had “upset” in mind, piecing together an impressive 80-yard drive to take the early 6-0 lead.
Still, St. Thomas Aquinas responded by swarming Carol City defensively, forcing and capitalizing on turnovers to ignite an all-out 45-24 rout.
Here’s what we learned from the big win.
The Raiders defense remains stifling
Carol City seemed to tick the Raiders off midway through the first quarter when they marched 80 yards down the field and scored on a 9-yard touchdown pass to go up 6-0. The Raiders responded by scoring two of the next three touchdowns and holding the Chiefs in check. Raiders cornerback Ja’Den McBurrows scored on a pick-six then blocked a punt which Philjae Bien-Aime took 30 yards for a touchdown. Defensive back Blaine Anderson joined in scooping up a fumble and take it all the way back for a score. The Raiders’ defensive front controlled the surge at the line of scrimmage and thus controlled the game.
The Chiefs are no pushover
After falling behind 38-6 in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs could’ve packed it in and folded, but they responded with back-to-back touchdowns midway through the fourth.
First, Katravis Geter scored on a 9-yard run then Keyone Jenkins found Thaiu Jones-Bell for a 61-yard touchdown pass.
The Chiefs are too talented to settle for moral victories, but they made plays that they can build on for the rest of the season.
Zion Turner is growing
Because he plays quarterback for the No. 2 team in the country, most people tend to forget that Turner is just a sophomore in his first year as a full-time starter. He had growing pains in the Raiders’ win on Friday, throwing an interception that he probably should’ve just tucked and held, but he came back in the second half, made a great read and darted 15 yards for a touchdown, which set the tone offensively for St. Thomas Aquinas. Turner’s continued to progression is the key to the Raiders’ state and national title hopes.
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