By Jim Halley, USA TODAY
Foul weather may have slowed St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) Friday, but visiting De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) couldn't.
Rain and lightning pushed back the game's start by 45 minutes. The wet field made for sloppy play, but that didn't seem to hurt running back Fred Coppet, who ran for two touchdowns to lead Aquinas, the No. 2 team in the USA TODAY Super 25 high school football rankings, to a 30-6 defeat of the No. 5 Spartans.
The Raiders (3-0) took advantage of four turnovers by the Spartans (2-1). While De La Salle was frequently able to move the ball against Aquinas, the Spartans' only touchdown came on a trick play just before halftime, a 58-yard option pass from Andrew Buckley to Anthony Williams.
Aquinas quarterback Max Lescano completed nine of 15 passes for 152 yards and ran for a touchdown, while Nolan Bieck had three field goals for the Raiders.
With the win, Aquinas improved to 7-0 all-time against out-of-state teams and De La Salle fell to 0-2 against Florida teams. It lost 31-30 to Lakeland, Fla., in 2009.
Lescano connected on a long pass to Franklin Richardson to set up the game's first score, a 12-yard run by Coppet with 7:12 to go in the first quarter. Lescano connected on another bomb to Mark Barr to set up a 23-yard field goal by Bieck that put up Aquinas 10-0 with 2:51 to go in the first half.
After De La Salle's lone touchdown at the end of the half, Aquinas took over.
Coppet's second touchdown, a 1-yard plunge, helped put the Raiders up 17-6 midway through the third quarter. Lescano followed with a 7-yard score a few minutes later to begin to put the game out of reach. Bieck added a late field goal with less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter.
The score was the same as De La Salle's last trip to the East Coast, a 30-6 loss at Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) in 2009.