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St. Thomas Aquinas jumps to No. 2

10/21/2008

Editor's note: ESPN will release the ESPN RISE FAB 50 national football rankings to start each week of the regular season. The rankings combine three previously independent polls and are compiled by a panel of voters, including Doug Huff (Wheeling, W. Va.); Jon Mahoney (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Sheldon Shealer (Myersville, Md.); Brian Stumpf (Torrance, Calif.) and Mark Tennis
(Stockton, Calif.). Kynon Codrington, Christopher Lawlor, Mike Loveday, Bob Masajo and Paul Muyskens also contributed to the poll.

Talk about avenging a loss. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) took its revenge so impressively Friday that the Raiders have now edged Georgia's Lowndes High for the No. 2 spot in this week's ESPN RISE FAB 50 national rankings.

Coach George Smith's team faced unbeaten Deerfield Beach in a Florida showdown of ranked squads. Memories of the Raiders' only loss last season were completely erased in a 65-10 Raiders romp. Senior wide receiver Duron Carter hauled in a 65-yard touchdown catch and junior running back Giovanni Bernard had a rushing score and a 70-yard punt return in the win.

For St. Thomas Aquinas to surpass season-long FAB 50 No. 1 Trinity (Euless, Texas), it will probably need Trinity to lose in the Class 5A Division I state playoffs. The Trojans already have several quality wins of their own, including those against Allen of Texas and John Curtis of River Ridge, La.

This week's ESPN RISE FAB 50 also is highlighted by six new teams breaking into the rankings. The highest of those is previously mentioned Allen of Texas, which knocked off previously No. 15-ranked Plano of Texas 56-23 -- in a game witnessed by 15,000 at John Clark Stadium in Plano -- to earn the No. 36 spot.

Results based on games through Oct. 18.

Click here for a full Week 8 breakdown.

Also receiving votes: Highland Park (Dallas, Texas) 7-0, Miami Northwestern (Miami, Fla.) 6-1, Naperville North (Naperville, Ill.) 8-0, Newnan (Newnan, Ga.) 7-0, Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio) 9-0, Timpview (Provo, Utah) 8-0, St. Joseph (Montvale, N.J.) 5-0, Wayne County (Waynesville, Miss.) 8-0.

Dropped out: Previous No. 10 Deerfield Beach (Deerfield Beach, Fla.); No. 15 Plano (Plano, Texas); No. 16 Carmel (Carmel, Ind.); No. 24 Bastrop (Bastrop, La.); No. 26 Quince Orchard (Gaithersburg, Md.); No. 37 Blue Springs (Blue Springs, Mo.).

*Ties in points are broken according to which team was ranked higher by a majority of panelists.