- Tyler Harden
Big Fourth Quarter and strong defense secures upset for Cardinal Gibbons over St. Thomas Aquinas
Photo Credit: sun-sentinel.com
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA— The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders came into tonight’s game ranked 3rd in the country (according to MaxPreps). The Raiders are a storied program, with rich history of producing NFL players, and sending an abundance of players to Division 1 programs. This year was no different, as the team was lead by Alabama Commit, Dallas Turner; Florida Commit, Tyreak Sapp; Ole Miss Commit, Bralon Brown; and more. Cardinal Gibbons, however, is no slouch, as they are led by Clemson Commit, Troy Stellato. But the Chiefs came into the game as a 21-point underdog. Knowing they are better than that, the Chiefs came in looking for a fight, and they gave more than just a fight.
The first quarter was very slow, as neither team was able to put points on the board. After the first quarter ended 0-0, everyone in the stadium knew it would be a low-scoring matchup, and that it would be a dog fight.
The St. Thomas Aquinas defense made an impact to start the second quarter, as Jarin Davis intercepted a pass, and the Raiders took over on their own 44-yard line. St. Thomas Aquinas took advantage from this, as the Raiders marched down the field, and quarterback, Zion Turner, found Bralon Brown for a 25-yard touchdown (PAT good). But Cardinal Gibbons was unable to answer, and St. Thomas Aquinas went into halftime with a 7-0 lead.
The second half is when the Cardinal Gibbons defense took over. The Chiefs forced a sack for a big loss to the St. Thomas Aquinas 35-yard line. The Cardinal Gibbons’ offense took advantage, as quarterback, Brody Palhegyi, completed two passes to Troy Stellato to bring the Chiefs to the St. Thomas Aquinas 11-yard line. Chiefs running back, Kamari Moulton, capped off the drive with a much-needed rushing touchdown to tie the game. St. Thomas Aquinas could not get in the end zone, and the score was tied 7-7 going into the final quarter.
St. Thomas Aquinas started the fourth quarter strong, as Zion Tuner completed a pass to Quincy Skinner for 28 yards to their own 40-yard line. After both teams were forced to punt, however, the Cardinal Gibbons’ defense came up big again. St. Thomas Aquinas fumbled, and the Chiefs recovered at the St. Thomas Aquinas 14-yard line. After Kamari Moulton was stopped at the 1-yard line, the Raider defense came up with two big stops to force a 4th and goal. The Chiefs were forced to kick a short field goal to take a 10-7 lead.
But the Cardinal Gibbons’ defense wouldn’t let St. Thomas Aquinas take the lead. Chiefs’ defensive end, Mason Thomas, read the play perfectly, intercepted Zion Turner’s pass, and took it the remaining distance into the end zone to give Cardinal Gibbons a 17-7 lead. St. Thomas Aquinas had one last shot to stay in the game. After a 4th down on the Cardinal Gibbons 11-yard line, the Raiders were forced to kick a field goal to make the score 17-10. St. Thomas Aquinas kicked an onside kick in hopes to get the ball back, but Cardinal Gibbons recovered it, and secured the upset over a Top 3 team in the country.
Cardinal Gibbons moves to 3-0, and the Chiefs will take on another national power next week, American Heritage, on Friday, October 30th, at 7:30 PM ET. St. Thomas Aquinas falls to 1-1, and will head on the road to take on DeLand next week on Friday, October 30th, at 7 PM ET.