7A State Championship – St. Thomas Aquinas 45, Viera 10
ORLANDO – The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Viera Hawks may have been a feel-good story in 7A north, but Dr. Feelgood never felt so bad on Friday evening at St. Thomas Aquinas brought home the trophy in dominating fashion.
Aquinas jumped out to a 21-0 lead before the end of the first period and never looked back. Samuel Bruce–son of former NFL great Isaac Bruce, caught a 30-yard pass from Florida 2017 commit Jake Allen to cap a 4-play, 39-yard drive that took less than 90 seconds. The Raiders added two more touchdowns in the first period with 4:26 and :53 to play. The Raiders first three touchdowns came so quickly, the time elapsed was less than four minutes and it took just 13 plays total.
The second quarter got started on the right foot for Aquinas, as they capped a 5-play, 69 yard drive with a Jaxson Kincaide 3-yard rush that took just 1:36 off the clock. The Hawks managed to get on the board after falling behind 28-0 with a Trey Schaneville 24yd field goal with 1:49 remaining in the half. The Raiders picked up where they left off only needing to go 17 yards in four plays to extend their lead to 35-3.
In a bit of a statistical anomaly, Viera actually controlled the time of possession by over five minutes total, but 80 of the 166 total yards for the Hawks came on the final drive with the score 45-3 and with freshman and sophomores for Aquinas playing against the Hawks’ starters.
The championship is the ninth in Aquinas’ program history–that ties them for second all-time in state history while their 34th appearance in the postseason is the second all-time behind Bolles in each category.