Thunderstruck at Home

Saints homecoming football game spoiled by cross-town rival in a decisive 20-24 loss.

Ethan Young, Reporter

On the final night of homecoming week, The Saint Thomas Aquinas Saints hosted the St. James Thunder in a highly anticipated matchup between two of the best class 4A football teams in the city. The #2 ranked Saints approached the game as the favorite, with an undefeated record of 3-0, while the Thunder were still searching to find their first win of the season after three games. Students and fans alike packed the stands to witness one of the biggest high school football rivalries of the year, and it was safe to say that it lived up to its expectation.

Saint Thomas Aquinas students pack the students in tropical outfits to cheer on their football program. (Michele Gress)

Near the end of the first quarter, the Saints were able to strike first after senior Sean Carroll rushed for his tenth touchdown of the season. But the Thunder were reluctant to remain scoreless after senior quarterback Blake Boydston connected with receiver John Neisen for a forty-three-yard touchdown. Failing to complete the two-point conversion, the Thunder left the Saints with a 7-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Then, the Thunder would jump to a two-score lead after holding Aquinas scoreless through the second quarter. Boydston led the charge, throwing for his second touchdown of the game after finding receiver Ayden Brady with lots of space in the endzone. As the clock ticked down, the Thunder entered halftime with a comfortable 7-17 lead after putting the Saints under pressure early on in the game. 

Captains from both teams meet at the fifty-yard line to decide who will start with the ball. (Michele Gress)

Following the conclusion of homecoming halftime festivities, both teams reentered the game ready to do whatever it takes to see their side earn the victory. The third quarter became a scoring stalemate as both teams constantly traded possession of the ball, never finding a way to score through the first twelve minutes. As the quarter drew to a close, both sides remained on the edge of their seats in what seemed like the longest half of football played all season. However, the Saints wouldn’t back down without a fight, as senior Sean Carroll would find the back of the endzone again to bring the score to 13-17. A completed PAT attempt by Seibolt, and it was now a one-score game with the Thunder still leading 14-17. As things began to look up for Aquinas, St. James was quick to respond after another touchdown by quarterback Boydston, this time taking matters into his own hands for a one-yard rushing touchdown with just two minutes left in the second half. Then, in the final thirty seconds, Carroll would rush again for the Saints for his third touchdown of the game. But, this score would prove meaningless as the clock hit zero, handing the Thunder their first-ever win against the Saints.

Aquinas’s homecoming night and the best start to the season in years had both been spoiled by their cross-town rivals, leaving players, students, and families with a bitter feeling ahead of Saturday’s dance. Nonetheless, the Saints will look to bounce back on Friday, September 30th, as they take on their long-lost Missouri rival, the Rockhurst Hawklets in their first matchup in years.