St. Thomas Academy perseveres, rallies into the Class 5A Prep Bowl

A long touchdown pass. A fumble lost deep in their territory. A deep pass intercepted by an opportunistic safety. Staring up at a constant and growing deficit.

St. Thomas Academy football players found themselves in an unfamiliar position throughout the first half of Friday's Class 5A state tournament battle with Alexandria.

But the Cadets started to change the game's complexion before a near-disastrous first half ended. A long Savion Hart run. A missed Alexandria field goal. And suddenly, St. Thomas Academy had new life. Ultimately, the Cadets escaped with a 42-30 comeback victory.

Their roll continued in the second half. A Cadets interception led to a Hart touchdown run. Then a 69-yard Maximum Sims to Avery Buckner connection gave St. Thomas (10-2) its first lead of the afternoon, 30-23.

Alexandria (11-1) and quarterback Chase Thompson could not muster a second effort to reclaim the lead. St. Thomas Academy outscored the Cardinals 27-7 in the second half.