By Patrick Lammer, Sun-Sentinel
Perennial powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas looked in midseason form Thursday night in a 49-0 whitewashing of Coral Glades in a Kickoff Classic in Fort Lauderdale.
St. Thomas' offense scored the first play it had the ball on a 60-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jacob Rudock to wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, who is verbally committed to Miami. Elapsed time of the drive: 12 seconds.
Rudock would complete 3-of-4 passes for 114 yards in one quarter of work, all three completions going for touchdowns. The other two TDs were on a 17-yard pass to junior receiver Gavin Sinclair and a 37-yarder to junior running back Dami Ayoola.
"It was really good to be able to not always get your own guys," said Rudock, a senior who has verbally committed to Iowa. "Being able to go against other guys is a lot better than just repetitive hitting your own people.
"We're getting there. We're getting better. Every day you have to get better and better. That's what we're trying to do."
The Raiders' defense was just as stellar, spearheaded by a 19-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Khambrel Garland. St. Thomas held Coral Glades to minus-8 yards on 21 plays in the first half enroute to a 42-0 halftime score.
The Jaguars didn't earn their first first down until there were 11 seconds left in the third quarter.
Several young players stood out for St. Thomas, including junior defensive lineman Jelani Hamilton (6-5/245), and sophomore running backs Frederick Coppet (5-9/170) and Walter Tucker (5-11/195). The Raiders finished with 450 yards of total offense to Coral Glades' 46.
"We played everybody I think we dressed except the punter, which is good," St. Thomas coach George Smith said.
"Anything like this helps, it helps you. It kind of rejuvenates the spirit of going out there and practicing every damn day. But we've got a big test coming up. We've got a lot of work to do."
The Raiders open the regular season against Skyline High of Dallas on Sept. 6 in Arlington, Texas. Coral Glades opens at Piper on Sept. 3.