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December 7, 2012
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Here is a recap of the four FHSAA state semifinal football games Florida Varsity was unable to cover live on Friday night.
St. Thomas Aquinas 35 Manatee 18
FORT LAUDERDALE - The last Florida team to beat Manatee is the latest Florida team to beat Manatee.
The Hurricanes' season was cut short Friday, when the Hurricanes lost 35-18 to Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas in a Class 7A state semifinal. It was an upset - Manatee (13-1) entered the game ranked No.3 by Rivals.com, No. 1 nationally by ESPN, MaxPreps and USA Today and had won 25 straight.
The Raiders (12-2), however, limited the Hurricanes' offense, averaging close to 52 points per game, to just 18.
"They were the far superior team," said coach Joe Kinnan.
The Hurricanes will not get a chance to defend their state title next week at the Florida Citrus Bowl, and Friday's game marked the end for a number of key Manatee seniors, including defensive linemen Blake Keller, Derrick Calloway and Marquis Dawsey, offensive lineman Thor Miller and quarterback Cord Sandberg.
"It's tough," Sandberg said.
The Raiders rushed for 300 yards and totaled 489 yards of total offense, and have defeated Manatee in a state semifinal four times in five tries since 2005.
Manatee is now 0-3 at Brian Piccolo Stadium.
Immokalee 29, Miami Jackson 21
Mackenro Alexander returned an interception for a touchdown, as the Indians turned a 7-7 game at the half into a road victory.
The win lifts Immokalee (11-3) into next Friday's FHSAA Class 5A championship game against Tallahassee Godby (13-1) at Orlando's Citrus Bowl.
The Generals' season ended at 8-5.
Miami Central 48, Naples 33
Miami Central (11-2) will face Gainesville (14-0) for the FHSAA Class 6A state championship next Saturday afternoon at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
NHS saw its season end with a 12-1 record.
Weston Cypress Bay 33, Miami Columbus 13
The Lightning jumped out to a 20-0 lead and never looked back, as coach Mark Guandolo will now take his third different school to an FHSAA state championship game.
Cypress Bay (12-2) will take on upstart Apopka (12-2) for the FHSAA Class 8A state championship next Saturday night in Orlando's Citrus Bowl.
Columbus saw its season end with a record of 9-5.