Aquinas High School will go into the Class A state playoffs minus two senior starters.
Both Dane Anderson and Collin Oliver will be out for the rest of the season after they they were injured on what their coach called questionable hits in the loss to Warren County on Friday. Fighting Irish coach Matt LeZotte said he’s going to submit film to the GHSA.
LeZotte said Anderson was hurt when a Screaming Devils player took out Anderson at the knee. As for Oliver, LeZotte said an opponent, after taking a couple steps back, dove at Oliver’s ankle on an extra point.
LeZotte said such hits are against the rules.
“I’m not a finger-pointing kind of guy, but there were a couple blatant things done by their players,” LeZotte said. “We have two senior starters on both sides of the ball who won’t be able to play in the playoffs. It’s very frustrating to see their season end on plays like that.”
LeZotte said as bad as the injuries may sound, they are just as bad on video. He also said “heartbroken” would be the best way to describe the injured players.
“Coaches can’t control everything that happens on the field,” LeZotte said. “But you just hate to see the guys’ careers [end]. It’s a situation you can’t go through and nothing be said about it.”
FIRST SETBACK: The way the season had gone until then, it was an usual sight Friday night.
Thomson habitually scored in the 50s on its way to a 9-0 start prior to the Burke County game.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Thomson lost to the Bears, 31-8.
The Bulldogs had scored at least 50 points in six consecutive games, but they had only 50 total offensive yards in the first half Friday night.
Thomson, which has been outscored 58-17 in the past two games against Burke County, is playing at home in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs against Henry County.
JUST MISSED: Richmond Academy began the season at 1-4 before reeling off four consecutive wins. The Musketeers fell short of their fourth consecutive trip to the state playoffs by losing to Butler 34-14, though they did put themselves in position.
“We’ve obviously got to get stronger and tougher,” Musketeers coach Chris Hughes said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do with our young guys, but we’ve got a great young group coming back. We feel pretty good about where we’re at.”
This week’s big games
Morgan County at Laney
The Wildcats are home for a state playoff game for the first time since 2005.
Butler at Sandy Creek
The Bulldogs’ first state playoff game since 2003 comes against the two-time defending champion.
Athens Academy at Aquinas
The Irish have the first home playoff game in team history.
Fox Creek at Christ Church
The Predators visit the 10-1 Cavaliers in the second round.
J.L. Mann at North Augusta
The Yellow Jackets begin postseason play in 2011 after reaching the semifinals in 2010.
Staff writer Chris Gay contributed to this story.