Joyner, STA Romp In Ohio Stadium

The first matchup of the annual Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Football Series was not much of a contest as Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas traveled north from Florida to annihilate Upper Arlington on Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium. The Raiders won 52-7.

Were this a match in the Ultimate Fighting Championship event set for tonight, there surely would have been an early stoppage.

Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas sprinted out to a 28-0 lead in the first eight minutes then cruised to an easy 52-7 victory over Upper Arlington at Ohio Stadium.

The locals who came to see STA's Lamarcus Joyner do his thing did not have to wait long. The five-star recruit who has Ohio State among his finalists as he narrows his potential colleges carried for nine yards on the first play from scrimmage then let his teammates do the rest of the work on a nine-play, 84-yard touchdown drive that started the scoring. James White of STA scored from one yard out to cap the drive.

Joyner later showed off his wheels by getting open for a 31-yard touchdown reception that started the scoring in the second half. That made it 38-0 Raiders with 8:35 to play in the third quarter.

The 5-9, 165-pounder finished with two catches for 35 yards and the one carry for nine.

Though he helps out on both sides of the ball, most peg him as a future defensive star. Scout ranks him the No. 2 cornerback in the country.

Asked his preference, he said, "More defense. I'm too aggressive for offense."

Although Joyner did not need to do much to help his team to victory, he enjoyed his first time playing in the Buckeyes' stadium.

"It's great," he said. "It's not really (a factor in) making my decision but the experience is great."

Asked how it compared to anywhere else he had been, he said, "No comparison. I've never played in a place like this. It's loud and this is only at the high school level."

Joyner plans to be back in two weeks for his first official visit and the only one firmly in place at this time.

The final three schools he is considering are Ohio State, Florida and Florida State.

As for the rest of his team on Saturday, White finished with 68 yards on eight carries, but he was not even his team's leading rusher. That title belonged to Giovani Bernard, a 5-10, 195-pound tailback who showed great shiftiness while running for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 12 first-half carries.

STA's receiving star was junior Phillip Dorsett, who hauled in three passes for 74 yards.

Senior safety Brian Robinson led the Raiders in tackles with six, including two for loss.

All in all, there was not much to brag about for the hometown Golden Bears.

They were outgained 450-156 overall and turned the ball over four times.

Senior quarterback Kyle Cassady, grandson of Ohio State legend and Heisman Trophy winning halfback Howard Cassady, accounted for 54 of the Golden Bears yards in the first half. He completed 1 of 5 passes for 34 yards and ran six times for 20. He also suffered a pair of interceptions.

The first pick came on UA's second offensive play and was the result of STA cornerback Cody Riggs' excellent quickness allowing him to break on a hitch pattern and make a diving catch in front of Cassady's intended receiver at the Bears' 19-yard line.

Three plays later, Bernard ran three yards for a touchdown to put the Raiders ahead 14-0.

After the Raider defense forced a three-and-out, Bernard scored on a 39-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 21-0 and the visitors scarcely looked back.


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