St. Thomas Aquinas 34, Cypress Bay 0
By George Richards, Miami Herald
The Raiders had no such concerns in the third quarter.
Thanks to three touchdown runs from Fred Coppet and Dami Ayoola (twice), St. Thomas Aquinas ended up rolling to a 34-0 victory against the Lightning to run its winning streak to 17 consecutive games.
Aquinas led just 7-0 at halftime.
“Our coordinators really made the right adjustments at the half,’’ said first-year Aquinas coach Rocco Casullo, a winner in his first home game. “We knew, as well as we are conditioned, that we needed to establish the run and control the clock. We were able to do that. I’m real proud of these kids and real proud of this coaching staff.”
The Raiders came out in the second half and worked up the field. Starting at the 39, Aquinas went 61 yards with Coppet plowing in from the 6.
St. Thomas ate up more than half the third period on that initial drive.
And on St. Thomas’ second possession of the half, Ayoola ran up the middle from the 40-yard line and somehow broke three tacklers en route to a 60-yard touchdown run.
Ayoola later scored from the 7 with 27 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Raiders had a few scoring chances in the opening half but only cashed in once — and that was thanks to a Cypress Bay miscue.
With less than five minutes left in the half, Cypress Bay’s long snapper sent a high shot over the head of punter Troy Bray. Aquinas tackled the punter at the 11.
Cypress Bay looked to hold tight, but Aquinas converted on a fourth-and-2 from the 4, Coppet doing the honors by busting up the middle.
Aquinas drove into Lightning territory on its next possession, only to sputter out when Max Lescano was dropped for a 6-yard loss to the 40. Aquinas went for a 58-yard field goal with Cypress Bay’s Deion Hallmon botching the return but ending up recovering and giving the Lightning possession at the 21.
Cypress Bay then put on an impressive drive thanks to some acrobatic work by receiver Alex Montgomery, including a highlight-reel catch that went for 35 yards, and Giscard Philzaire. The Lightning got down to the 18 but got pushed back. The drive stalled when Chase Harstad was pulled down for an 11-yard loss. The Lightning tried a desperation 52-yard field-goal attempt at the buzzer and went into the intermission trailing 7-0.