• WR Duron Carter, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas – Another blowout victory has put the Raiders in the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 5A championship game.
St. Thomas Aquinas (14-0) defeated visiting Largo 35-14 in a state semifinal to set up a title game showdown vs. Lakeland. The Dreadnaughts, who defeated Pensacola Pine Forest in the semifinals, defeated St. Thomas Aquinas in the championship game in 1996, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Carter caught two touchdown passes in the win over Largo (12-2). One of those, a 1-yard catch with 33-seconds left in the second quarter, gave the Raiders a 21-0 halftime lead. Carter also caught a 20-yard touchdown pass earlier in the first half.
Quarterback Ryan Becker completed 14 of 21 passes for 148 yards with three touchdowns. He broke two school records in the win, topping Wes Carroll’s career passing mark with 3,621 yards. Becker also topped Dan Shula’s single-season passing record with 1,927.
Running back Giovanni Bernard finished with a game-high 171 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown run in the second half.
St. Thomas Aquinas’ defense did its job, holding the Packers without a first down in the first quarter and holding Largo to 97 yards of offense in the first half.
The Raiders will play for their second straight state title Friday at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
“This year’s team is this year’s team,” Smith said. “It’s obviously a tremendous win for them to get back and have a chance to be a state champion again. And we’re going to play Lakeland, which is going to be exciting.
“We just have another shot at them, and that's great.”
• LB Jordan Whiting, Louisville (Ky.) Trinity – Whiting ended his high school career with his fourth state title as Trinity beat Independence Simon Kenton 48-0 in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Class 6A final at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville.
The Shamrocks (14-1) scored on all six of their first-half possessions, and Whiting and the Trinity defense silenced the upset-minded Pioneers.
“It’s awesome to go out with a shutout,” Whiting told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “It’s perfect. I think we kept the momentum going for a great offensive game.”
Simon Kenton (10-5) had won four straight road playoff games to reach Louisville, but the Pioneers could not slow Trinity. The Shamrocks piled up 423 yards of offense. Quarterback Cameron Smyth completed all 12 of his pass attempts for 232 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a score. Rusher Tim Philips carried 11 times for 131 yards and three scores. He also caught a touchdown.
The state title was Trinity’s state-record 19th, seventh in eight years and fourth in a row.
The following OSU verbal commits have finished their seasons: CB C.J. Barnett, Clayton (Ohio) Northmont; WLB Dorian Bell and CB/WR Corey Brown, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway; DT/OG Adam Bellamy, Aurora, Ohio; Jaamal Berry, Miami (Fla.) Palmetto; LB/FB Zach Boren and DB/WR Jamie Wood, Pickerington (Ohio) Central; CB Dominic Clarke, Frederick (Md.) Tuscarora; DE Melvin Fellows, Garfield Heights, Ohio; WR Chris Fields, Painesville (Ohio) Harvey; TE/OL Reid Fragel, Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South; CB/RB/WR Justin Green, Louisville (Ky.) Male; RB/CB Jordan Hall, Jeannette, Pa.; LB/FB Adam Homan, Coldwater, Ohio; FB Carlos Hyde, Naples, Fla.; WR/CB James Jackson, Grand Ledge, Mich.; LB/RB Storm Klein, Newark (Ohio) Licking Valley; OG Corey Linsley and J.T. Moore (junior), Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman; OT Sam Longo, Bellbrook, Ohio; OL/DL Jack Mewhort, Toledo (Ohio) St. John’s Jesuit; DE Jonathan Newsome, Cleveland Glenville; DT Johnny Simon, Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney.