St. Thomas Aquinas dominated Plant en rout to a 45-6 victory in the FHSAA Class 7A state championship Friday night at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
The man behind the Raiders’ dominant offense is quarterback Jake Allen, who’s been committed to Florida since July 1, 2015.
Playing in his final high school contest, Allen was nothing short of spectacular.
The 6-foot-3 pro-style quarterback completed 17-of-29 passes for 329 yards with five touchdowns to lead St. Thomas Aquinas to its third-straight state championship.
“It couldn’t have ended any better,” Allen said. “We hit some bumps in the road (with losses to) Booker T. and Bishop Gorman early on. And we could have laid down but we didn’t lay down, we kept humping and we’re state champions.”
“I had faith in my guys and I believe we have the best team in the country,” Allen said after the game. “We had some bumps in the road but I believe we are the best team.”
Sticking to his typical humble fashion, Allen credited his receivers with helping him excel against the Panthers.
“Just totally bailed me out,” Allen said. “If I make a bad throw, they’ll bail me out. They make me look good. I couldn’t have done what we did today without those guys.”
With his high school career now in the rearview, Allen can focus on his future with the Gators. UF coach Jim McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier arrived in Orlando to see their future quarterback pick apart Plant.
“It was a cool feeling. I talked to them earlier in the week, we decided it would be better for them to come to the game instead of an in-home visit,” Allen said. “It was awesome having them out here.”
— Graham Hall (@GrahamHall_) December 10, 2016
As to what he can bring to Florida’s No. 115-ranked offense? Allen doesn’t care what his role is. He’s just looking for an opportunity to contribute however he can.
“I’m just a guy that’s ready to compete. You know, I’m going to go in ready to play, and if my number’s called my number’s called,” Allen said. “If it’s not, I’m here to help the team in any way I can.”