At this point in the season, it can be tough to tell how good a high school football team is, based on who it has beaten. Add the fact that Cocoa had what was a “down season” by its recent standards in 2011, and the Tigers are still a bit of a mystery.
On the one hand, the team was impressive against American Heritage of Delray Beach on Aug. 24. True, it was a preseason game, but logic tells us two high school teams playing on a live ESPN broadcast would be playing to win.
On the other hand, the Tigers were held to one touchdown and gave up 200 yards the following week to a team that had traveled from Pennsylvania.
Cocoa coach John Wilkinson was not pleased with the effort that night, so one would expect the Tigers have had intense practices since then.
The questions linger, but a win over powerful Armwood by American Heritage-Delray Beach is making the Tigers look more impressive. Despite a No. 3 ranking in Class 3A by Friday opponent University School of Fort Lauderdale, we’re sticking with the home team. FLORIDA TODAY pick: Cocoa.
* Space Coast at Cocoa Beach: Speaking of answering early-season questions, the Minutemen defense has produced so far. So has the offense. The Vipers haven’t scored in a regular-season game. FLORIDA TODAY pick: Cocoa Beach.
* Melbourne at Rockledge: The Bulldogs’ defense seemed to adjust quickly on Saturday to a Vipers offense that tried to spread the field, but the Raiders have a running game to go along with its passing attack. And a defense. If it becomes a scoring contest, Rockledge looks like the favorite. The Bulldogs’ best bet will be a defensive struggle. FLORIDA TODAY pick: Rockledge.
* Viera at Satellite: The Scorps have had extra time to prepare, while the Hawks just played Monday night. FLORIDA TODAY pick: Satellite.
* Harmony at Heritage: The Panthers have been dominant on defense and won handily at Harmony last season. FLORIDA TODAY pick: Heritage.
* Merritt Island Christian at Landmark Christian: The Cougars are going up against one of the favorites in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference. FLORIDA TODAY pick: Landmark Christian.
Two of our predicted games last week were washed out by weather. Let’s call those a tie for now.
Last week: 2-1-2.
This season: 6-2.