Varsity Preps

Miramar (FL) vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)

Miramar Patriots (3-0)

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St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders (2-0)

The Raiders, fresh off a victory in Louisiana over John Curtis, host Miramar tonight in their first home game of the season.

Defensively, the Patriots have allowed 21 points in three games, which should come as no surprise — the unit is loaded with FBS prospects. The secondary is particularly strong, led by safety Andre Godfrey (5’11, 185) and junior CBs Tyrek Cole (5’11, 170) and Jeffrey Hill (5’8, 165). Their first three opponents are a combined 17 of 43 with 213 yards through the air.

As good as the defense is, the self-inflicted mistakes must be eliminated tonight. As a team, Miramar has committed 50 penalties for 547 yards (per the Miami Herald). Senior starting safety Godfrey agrees. “The key for us is to focus on what we’re doing, to play assignment and disciplined football. We can’t afford to beat ourselves.”

Cole feels much the same way as Godfrey. “St. Thomas is a good team. They have talent everywhere. For us to win, I think we have to just come in and play smart, hard, tough football.”

Offensively, RB Eric Pittman (5’10, 175), averaging 9.6 yards per carry, must break free and be productive. It’s imperative that Miramar run the football well.

Senior QB Nick Jeanty (6’2, 185) talked about the challenge and the atmosphere at St. Thomas. “It’s definitely a big game. Playing at St. Thomas, in a hostile environment, will be a big challenge for us. We just need to stay focused and not pay attention to all the scouts and media that will be there.”

His level of execution will be key if Miramar is able to come away with a victory. “I just have to be careful with the football and not turn it over, make the right calls at the line, and do the things I’ve been coached to do. If I can do that, be locked in, I think everything else will fall into place.”

St. Thomas‘ real strength is upfront, offensively and defensively. The headliners on defense are senior DT Anthony Moten (6’4, 270) and sophomore DE Nick Bosa. Both routinely are in the offensive backfield disrupting and wreaking havoc. Junior linebacker Christopher Hart (6’3, 225) is always lurking. Keep an eye out for #10 tonight, he’s a playmaker. The Raiders certainly have talent in their secondary, with senior corner Al Harris (5’11, 165, South Carolina) and junior safety Tyler Cisrow (6’1, 175).

Senior quarterback Wade Freebeck (6’5, 200, Pitt) had a solid performance last week and has two very talented targets at wideout: senior Corey Holmes (6’2, 174, Notre Dame) and junior Devante Peete (6’5, 185). They’ve only combined for six catches and for St. Thomas to be more explosive, they need a steady diet of passes.

RBs Madre London (6’1, 202) and Deltron Sands (5’7, 170) are a good one-two punch on the ground and they’ve both been productive.

The big guys along the offensive line are good: Kai Absheer (6’4, 306, #79), Nick Linder (6’3, 275, Miami, #66), and Ryan Crozier (6’4, 297, #62) to name a few. It’s an elite line on this level.

— Michael Bradley

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