NO. 3 HOMESTEAD (11-2) VS. NO. 1 ST. THOMAS AQUINAS (FORT LAUDERDALE) (13-0)
WHAT: FHSAA Class 3M State Championship
WHEN: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
WHERE: DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale
TICKET INFO: Ticketmaster ($14 per game advance purchase & $17 day of)
PARKING: Available via ParkMobile App ($24 per vehicle)
CLEAR BAG POLICY: A clear bag policy is in effect for spectators. Click here for more.
INTERNET STREAM: Spectrum Cable ($9.95 fee per game)
COACH: Philip Simpson, 4th year (29-15 overall at Homestead)
ROAD TO FORT LAUDERDALE: d. North Miami, 40-0 (Regional Quarterfinals); d. Dr. Krop (Miami), 35-12 (Regional Semifinals); d. Miramar, 33-13 (Regional Finals); d. Jones (Orlando), 30-24 (State Semifinals)
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: This is Homestead’s first appearance in a state championship game.
KEY PLAYERS: RB/ATH Isaac Brown, Jr. (Louisville Commit); LB Eduardo Nunez, Sr.; RB Ryan Bullard, Sr.; WR/KR/PR Javon Robinson, Sr.; WR/FS Cortez Mills, Sr.; FS/WR David Jester, Sr.; QB Joshua Townsend, Jr.; LB Marcus Woodley, Sr.; DE/KR/PR Trimaine Brown, Sr.; DL/LB/OL Markwon Strong, Sr.; DL Juan Ramirez, Jr.; WR/FS Richard Dandridge, Sr. (Temple Commit)
SCORING AVERAGES: Points For: 28.5 ppg; Points Against: 11.7 ppg
FLORIDAHSFOOTBALL.COM INTERVIEW WITH COACH SIMPSON
ABOUT ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
COACH: Roger Harriott, 8th year (100-10 at St. Thomas Aquinas. 179-25 combined at St. Thomas Aquinas and University School)
ROAD TO FORT LAUDERDALE: d. Coconut Creek, 59-14 (Regional Quarterfinals); d. Atlantic (Delray Beach) (Regional Semifinals), 63-14; d. Blanche Ely (Pompano Beach) (Regional Finals), 35-7; d. Jesuit (Tampa), 45-3 (State Semifinals)
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: St. Thomas Aquinas is 13-8 in state championship games. They finished as state champions in 1992, 1997, 1999, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2021. They finished as state runners-up in 1991, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2018.
KEY PLAYERS: QB Hezekiah Harris, Sr. (107-of-172, 1,619 yds, 23 TDs, 3 INTs; 36 car, 281 yds, 6 TDs); RB Jordan Lyle, Jr. (77 car, 922 yds, 12 TDs, Division I FBS prospect); WR Chance “CJ” Robinson, Jr. (25 rec, 481 yds, 13 TDs, Division I FBS prospect); WR Isaiah Hardge, Sr. (25 rec, 373 yds, 4 TDs, Colorado commit); LB Nicholas Rodriguez, Jr. (82 tackles, 7 TFL, 4 sacks, 9 QB hurries, 1 INT, 3 PBUs, 2 FR, 2 FF); S King Mack, Sr. (45 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 7 PBUs, 2 blocked punts, Penn State commit); MLB/DE Rashad Henry, Sr. (70 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 6 QB hurries 2 INTs, 1 FF); LB Keyshawn Johnson, Sr. (32 tackles, 13 sacks, 10 QB hurries, 1 FF); DE Devin Pein, Sr. (21 tackles, 6 TFL, 10 sacks, 9 QB hurries, 1 FF); S Conrad Hussey, Sr. (28 tackles, 2 INTs, 4 PBUs; 1 FF, Penn State commit); DB Ryan Mack, Jr. (21 tackles, 2 INTs, 7 PBUs, 1 FF); OLB/DE Justin Coles, Sr. (32 tackles, 7 TFL, 2 INTs, 1 FR, 1 FF, Navy commit); DE/DL Zakaih Saez, Sr. (46 tackles, 4 TFL, 9 sacks, 7 QB hurries, Oregon State committ); LB Jayvant Brown (56 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 sacks, 4 QB hurries, 1 FR, Michigan State commit); DL Jason Hammond (58 tackles, 9 TFL, 7 sacks, 12 QB hurries, Division I FBS prospect)
SCORING AVERAGES: Points For: 42.1 ppg; Points Against: 9.3 ppg
With 13 state championships already in the trophy case for St. Thomas Aquinas, they are going for trophy No. 14 while the Homestead is playing for their first-ever football state championship in the school’s history. This is also a rematch between the two teams that met in the regional semifinals in Class 7A last year where the Raiders ran by the Broncos 56-7. However, Homestead has improved as a program since that loss to the Raiders seeing the Broncos defeat teams like Miami Palmetto and Miami Northwestern along the way while playing close to Class 4M favorite Columbus while slipping up and losing the district championship to Miami Southridge. Since then the Broncos have rolled through the playoffs taking teams like Miramar and Jones out along the way, teams with a deeper playoff history to get to this historic moment. However, this game will be bittersweet as Coach Simpson will resign after the Broncos play their final game on Thursday night, per reports from the Miami Herald. As for the Raiders of St. Thomas Aquinas, they are a team that isn’t as reliant on their offense as they have one of the most robust defenses in the state, which has given up just 9.3 points per game this season and that has been trouble for any team the Raiders have played during the season. While the Raiders are not in contention for a national title in this game, a 14th overall state championship is most likely the thing that will happen in this game and Coach Harriott could get his 101st victory after getting win No. 100 with the Raiders, his alma mater in the State Semifinals against Jesuit.
St. Thomas Aquinas 38, Homestead 10