Ft. Lauderdale, FL - It may be the upset of the state playoffs, as St. Thomas Aquinas showed their strength and determination with a 35-18 victory over previously unbeaten Manatee.
Thoughout the entire season, the Manatee Hurricanes have easily defeated all challengers, including several top teams from around the state.
But Friday night, the Canes had few answers for a St. Thomas Aquinas team that has now beaten Manatee four times in five state semifinall games, dating back to 2005.
Manatee (13-1) came into the game ranked No. 1 nationally by USA Today, ESPN, and MaxPreps, the defending state 7A champs and winners of their last 25 games.
But that all ended with St. Thomas Aquinas (12-2) playing a superior and dominating game. On offense, the Raiders had 489 yards of total offense including 300 yards rushing.
And on defense they held a Manatee team averaging nearly 52 points a game to a mere 18.