The two-time defending FHSAA Class 7A champion St. Thomas Aquinas will begin to march toward a third straight state title as they host the Palm Beach Lakes Rams in a regional quarterfinal at Brian Piccolo Stadium on Friday night. The Raiders had won consecutive state championships in 2007 and 2008.
Palm Beach Lakes(8-2) enters the game on a five-game winning streak. The Rams use a balanced attack on offense. They have a tandem in the backfield to carry the ball with running backs Jalen Wright and Jordan Canady. They have a deep threat if quarterback Armani Edden can get the ball to wide receiver D.J. Edwards.
St. Thomas Aquinas(7-2) easily captured the District 14-7A title this season. They have lost two games this season to top-level programs Booker T. Washington and Bishop Gorman by a combined five points.
The Raiders are led on offense by Jake Allen who has committed to the University of Florida. STA will split the rushing attempts between running backs Michael Epstein and Kyshaun Bryan. Even with the loss of wide receiver Trevon Grimes for the rest of the season, Allen can set his sights on connecting passes with Jordan Merrell, Michael Harley, Joshua Palmer and Jonathan Moore.