CLASS 7A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

WHO: St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders (7-1) vs. Edgewater Eagles (8-2)

WHEN: Saturday, 7:02 p.m. EST

WHERE: Bobby Bowden Field at Doak S. Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee – Venue Information (Masks Required due to COVID-19 protocols)

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TICKETS: via FSU Ticket Office – $15.00 online only (no on-site ticket sales) – LINK

LIVE STREAM: via Spectrum Sports – $9.99 viewing fee for those who are not a current Spectrum Subscriber – LINK

HEAD COACHES: Roger Harriott, St. Thomas Aquinas; Cameron Duke, Edgewater

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS’ PATH TO TALLAHASSEE: d. Lehigh, 50-14 (Regional Quarterfinals); d. Manatee, 45-0 (Regional Semifinals); d. Venice, 29-8 (Regional Finals); d. Bloomingdale, 37-14 (State Semifinals)

EDGEWATER’S PATH TO TALLAHASSEE: d. Forest, 47-14 (Play-In); d. St. Cloud by forfeit (Regional Quarterfinals); d. Viera, 59-0 (Regional Semifinals); d. Mitchell, 28-21 (Regional Finals); d. Niceville, 30-28 (State Semifinals)

NOTES: This is a rematch of last year’s Class 7A State Championship game which was won by St. Thomas Aquinas, 28-23. … St. Thomas Aquinas is competing in the school’s 20th overall state championship game and is looking to take the state lead on most official state championships ever won by a school. Currently, they are tied with Bolles for 11 overall state championships won by any one school. … For Edgewater, this is their fifth overall trip to a state championship game, and they are looking for their first state championship victory in school history … Looking at the Raiders offensively, things start under center with junior QB Zion Turner, a three-star prospect who holds multiple Division I Power Fiver offers, is 77-of-138 passing this season for 950 yards and has thrown nine touchdown passes against six interceptions. Turner has also rushed for 177 yards on 38 carries and has scored seven more touchdowns on the ground. … However, the real damage offensively for the Raiders comes on the ground attack with junior RB Anthony Hankerson, a three-star prospect with a dozen offers so far, has 1,008 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. … Defensively for the Raiders, keep an eye on the leading tackler, senior LB Jaydon Hood, who is a four-star Michigan signee. Hood leads the team with 61 tackles in eight games played has one sack collected as well. … Other key defensive players to keep an eye on is sack leader, senior LB/DL Dallas Turner, a five-star Alabama signee, who has had a whopping 13 sacks to go along with 36 tackles (30 solo) and 12 tackles for loss in just eight games played this season. The leader of interceptions for the Raiders is senior DB Tyson Russell, who is a three-star Vanderbilt signee, has four interceptions in eight games to go along with 26 tackles (18 solo) as well as a fumble recovery. … Two other guys that have had multiple interceptions this season includes senior CB Ja’Den McBurrows, a three-star Michigan signee, and senior DB Jarin Davis who both have three interceptions each in eight games played. … Overall, the Raiders have 14 rated prospects in the 2021 class that will eventually sign or have signed with Division I programs including Turner, DE Tyreak Sapp (Florida), WR Braion Brown (Ole Miss), Hood, WR Quincy Skinner Jr. (Vanderbilt), McBurrows, DE RJ Sorensen (Louisville), Russell, and OT Gunnar Hansen (Vanderbilt) just to name a few. … For Edgewater, things start with senior QB Canaan Mobley, who is 106-of-167 passing for 1,789 yards with 12 touchdown passes thrown going against eight interceptions thrown in just nine total games played this season. Mobley also has 373 yards rushing on 40 carries and 10 touchdowns. … Mobley’s two favorite targets on the field include WR Christian Leary, a four-star Alabama signee, who has 551 yards receiving on 32 receptions and five touchdowns as well as WR Tommi Hill, a four-star Arizona State signee at Athlete, who has a team-leading 730 yards receiving on 40 catches and five touchdowns. … On the ground expect a variety of guys to carry the ball including carries expected from Mobley as well as Leary. … On defense, expect things to be led by LB Deshawn Troutman, a three-star Miami (FL) signee who leads with a whopping 101 total tackles (66 solo) in nine games and has eight tackles for loss. Troutman also has one sack, an interception, and two forced fumbles on his stat as well. … The sack leader for the Eagles in is senior DE Diante Shepard who is being looked at by a handful of Division I Group of Five programs. Shepard has six sacks collected to go along with 31 tackles (18 solo) and three tackles for loss. … The Eagles have two players with two interceptions each and that includes junior ATH Jeremiah Connelly who has 13 tackles on defense and also has 39 carries on 215 yards rushing and two touchdowns plus 16 catches for 340 yards receiving and three touchdowns on offense. Hill is the other leader in interceptions as he has two interceptions to go along with 18 tackles on defense.

JOE PINKOS’ PREDICTION: St. Thomas Aquinas by 8

FLORIDAHSFOOTBALL.COM PREDICTION: St. Thomas Aquinas 30, Edgewater 21