St. Thomas Aquinas beats Manatee 31-7

Manatee’s run at a state championship and an undefeated season has come to an end in Fort Lauderdale.

St. Thomas Aquinas took the lead early in the first quarter and never looked back, beating the Hurricanes 31-7 on Friday night in the Class 5A state semifinals.

Manatee quarterback Cord Sandberg threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Quenton Bundrage late in the second quarter for the only Canes points of the game.

Aquinas scored first-half touchdowns on runs of 8 and 51 yards by Dami Ayoola, and Nolan Beck also kicked a 39-yard field goal for the Raiders, who had a 17-7 lead at halftime.

Frederick Coppett pushed the Raiders’ lead to 24-7 on a 6-yard run in the third quarter, and Jammal Wilson’s 5-yard run early in the fourth provided the game’s final score.

In next week’s state championship, St. Thomas Aquinas will play the defending 5A champs, Tampa Plant, which led Lakeland 48-6 late in the other semifinal.