The Buchholz High School Bobcats will face off against the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 3, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The game is the State Semifinal of the 2021 FHSAA Football State Championships tournament and is pivotal to both teams’ chances at a state title.
The Bobcats have been on a continuous winning streak since October 1, 2021, and have pulled off impressive wins in their three playoff games so far in the FHSAA Football State Championships. The Bobcats are 12-1 going into their matchup with St. Thomas Aquinas in the Class 7A State Semifinal.
The Raiders will be the Bobcats most difficult competition this season, but despite coming in as the third seed in this matchup, many Bobcat players have proven their strength throughout this season.
Creed Whittemore, Bobcats Quarterback, has been a consistent star for Buchholz. After the Bobcats most recent win against Nease, Whittemore has thrown for 2,101 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. He averages 161 yards per game and has rushed for 763 yards this season. Whittemore’s stats put him in a strong position compared to those of Raiders Quarterback Zion Turner.
Other Buchholz players to look out for in this matchup are senior wide receivers Quan Lee and Adrian Sermons. Lee has 928 receiving yards this season and averages 19 yards per reception. Sermons averages 18 yards per reception, and the two have 16 touchdowns this season combined.
St. Thomas Aquinas (12-1)
The Raiders look to beat the Bobcats as a stepping stone on their way to becoming back-to-back-to-back state champions. St. Thomas Aquinas is no stranger to the playoffs as winning this game would allow them to make their fourth appearance in the 7A FHSAA State Championship in the last five years.
The Raiders have outscored the Bobcats in all of the playoff games so far this season. St. Thomas Aquinas has scored 76 total touchdowns this year, with 43 of them being rushing touchdowns. They average 41.2 points per game and 5.8 touchdowns per game.
Quarterback Zion Turner has thrown for 1,787 yards this season, averaging 16.4 yards per completion. Turner has thrown for 21 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. The dual-threat quarterback has also rushed for 10 touchdowns and averages 19.8 rushing yards per game.
Running back Anthony Hankerson is another key player to look out for on the Raiders offense. Hankerson leads the team in rushing with a total of 888 yards. He averages 6.1 yards per carry and 68.3 rushing yards per game. The Raiders also have a strong defense led by seniors Derrieon Craig, Kyrie Samuel and Michael Reniot. Craig leads the team in tackles with 82, while Samuel leads the team with 9 tackles for loss. Renoit leads the team in sacks with a total of six.
The winner of Friday’s game will determine who moves on to the State Championship. Buchholz looks to win the championship for the first time since 1990. Meanwhile, St. Thomas Aquantis looks to win their third straight championship. We will see if Buchholz can beat the 12-time State Champions to attend the FHSAA Football State Championship.