The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders ended Manatee's bid for state and national titles with a 35-18 win in Florida's 7A semis.
"The game went good although we started slowly," senior running back Marquis Magwood said. "We picked up the pace and started clicking on all cylinders: offense, defense and special teams.
"It feels good. We put in the hard work as a team to do this. I had a 25-yard kick return and made blocks to help set up two touchdowns."
Magwood has approximately 800 yards rushing with two TDs and has added two more receiving touchdowns.
"I sent my film out and am getting a bunch of letters," he said. "My coaches believe I'll get some more looks after the season.
"I make A's and B's for grades with an 1150 SAT. I'm 5-foot-10, 190-pounds, with 4.4 speed on the stopwatch and a 4.5 laser-timed. I have good balance."
Magwood says it's all about team chemistry at STA.
"We have family virtues in our program," he said.
Leading up to last night, Magwood talked about the importance of performing up to potential.
"We have to play how we practice and practice how we play," he said. "If not, we're going to come up short."
Alas, the Raiders came up big in the semis to earn the right to face Tallahassee Lincoln in the finals.
Lincoln is 12-1 with its only loss coming to Godby in the final week of the regular season.
STA (12-2) dropped early games to New Jersey juggernaut Don Bosco Prep and Miramar. The Raiders gave Don Bosco a tussle before succumbing, 20-10.
The Miramar game was decided by only three points.