A battle of state championship South Floridapowers headlines week 8 of the CSS HighSchool Football Game of the Week as the Miramar (FL) Patriots host the St.Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)Raiders, Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET.Aquinas enters the game 3-1 on the season with theRaiders only loss coming to defending National Champion Don Bosco (NJ)Prep. Aquinas is 36th in the Max PrepsNational rankings, 4th in the overall Floridarankings and 2nd in Florida's 7AClassification.The Raiders boast one of the most prestigious programs inthe nation with two national championships (2008 and 2010) and six Floridastate championships, three of those in the last five years, most recently in 2010. Aquinas has played in 13 state championship games, reached thestate playoffs a record 21 consecutive years and seven times have finished aseason ranked in the USA Today Top 25 (1 in 2008).The Raiders are led by second year head coach Rocco Casullowho was an assistant to George Smith for 10 years before succeeding thelegendary coach. Smith coached Aquinasfor 34 years posting a 361-66 record and remains the school's athleticsdirector. Former NFL standouts CrisCarter (WR), Al Harris (CB) and Darryl Williams (SAF) are on the Raiderscurrent coaching staff.Miramar is inthe midst of it's best run in school history although the Patriots are only 2-3on the season after returning just one defensive starter from last season'sState Finals team. It marked the secondtime in three years that Miramarhad reached the finals, with the Patriots winning their first statechampionship in 2009.Miramar isled by sixth-year Head coach Damon Cogdell who is widely credited with puttingthe Patriots on the map. He was alinebacker at West Virginia Universityand played in the CFL until injury cut short his career.This will be the 20th all-time meeting between the twoschools. Miramarposted a 27-20 upset victory over Aquinas last season snapping a nine-gamelosing streak in the series.Both schools boast famous football alumni. NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin played at St.Thomas Aquinas as did former Chicago Bear Brian Picolo, after whom the school'sstadium is named. The Raiders currentlyhave 10 alums in the NFL, more than any other school in the nation includingGeno Atkins, Leonard Hankerson, Major Wright and Marcus Gilbert. Among the Raiders playing collegefootball: LaMarcus Joyner (FSU),Giovanni Bernard (UNC), James White (Wisconsin)and Jelani Hamilton (Miami).Among the Miramar Patriots playing college football: Heisman Trophy candidate QB Geno Smith (WV) and WRStedman Bailey (WV), CB Tracy Howard (Miami)and WR Malcolm Lewis (Miami) St. Thomas Aquinas In the Huddle Recruit Watch:4-star Joey Bosa 247 Sports Rating (96) - 3 rated SDE Committed to Ohio State 3-star RB Fred Coppet 247 Sports Rating (87) Offers: Boston College, USF, and Indiana3-star OG Austin Bland 247 Sports Rating (84) Committed to FAU 3-star WDELance Virgile 247 Sports Rating (81) 10 offers, West Virginia is hisleader, also has offers from NC State, Wake Forest, FIU, UCF, Bowling Green,ECU, Houston, Louisville, Miami (OH) 3-star Pro Style QB John OKorn 247Sports Rating (80) Committed to Houston 3-star OG Kyle Schafenacker 247Sports Rating (80) Committed to UConn 2-star WR Mark Barr 247 Sports Rating(79) 8 Offers: Marshall & UMassare his leaders. Also has offers from BC, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Indiana, Miss State,Tulane 2-star OG Zach Provin Committed to Colgate Junior 3-star WR CoreyHolmes 247 Sports Rating (89) 8 Offers:Michigan is his leader. Also hasoffers from Florida, FSU, NotreDame, Rutgers, Wisconsin,USF, UL-Lafayette Junior RB Mardre London Drawing interest from Arkansasand Texas Junior CB Al Harris, Jr Offer from Purdue Junior SDE Anthony Moten 2 Offers: Miamiis his leader, also has offer from Florida State. Miramar Inthe Huddle Recruit Watch:3-Star OLB Jermaine Grace 247 Sports Rating (88) 18offers: Miami and Tennessee are theleaders Also: FSU, Penn St, Pitt,TAMU, UK, Louis, Neb, UNC, USF, Syracuse, UCF, West Virginia, Bowling Green,Florida, Marshall, Purdue WR Sean Avant 9 offers: Bowling Green,Marshall & FIU are his leaders,also - West Virginia, Wake Forest, Syracuse,UCF, South Alabama, Temple RB Alex Lee Offers:FAU, South Alabama Junior WR Geonte Smith Drawing interest from UNC, West Virginia.
St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) Raiders at Miramar (FL) Patriots Game Preview
October 4, 2012, 4:20 pm