Cocoa High’s football team continued its dominance of its longtime over-the-causeway foes on Friday night, defeating a previously undefeated Cocoa Beach team that many thought had its best chance to beat Cocoa since the Minutemen’s last victory in 1972.
Not this time.
Cocoa, in both teams’ district opener, easily handled Cocoa Beach and ran away with a 40-6 victory in front of a huge Cocoa Beach home crowd that came hoping to witness history, but left disappointed.
Cocoa won the game on the ground, racking up 424 total rushing yards against a smaller Minuteman defense that allowed more than eight yards per carry. Three Tiger backs — Tarean Folston, Antwan Lee and Lorrenzo Pratt — each ran for more than 100 yards.
Cocoa Beach quarterback David Dessent, the county’s leading passer, was held in check by a swarming Cocoa defense pretty much all night. The senior completed 14-of-33 attempts for 169 yards, by far his lowest totals this season.
Cocoa Beach jumped ahead 6-0 early when Dessent found Boone Lewis for an 8-yard score early in the first quarter. But it didn’t take long for Cocoa to respond, as Lee scored on a 65-yard touchdown run on the Tigers’ first offensive play of the game.
That play foreshadowed the rest of the game, as the Tigers racked up the yards and touchdowns, three of which came on runs by Folston.
KEY PLAYERS: Folston scored on runs of 2, 46 and 14 yards, respectively, and led the Tigers with 158 yards rushing on 17 carries. Lee finished with 154 yards on the ground and Pratt ran for 109.
THEY SAID IT: “A lot of people don’t understand how tough of a schedule we’ve played this year,” said Cocoa coach John Wilkinson, when asked if he thought Cocoa Beach would give his team a better game. “We’re playing a different level of competition than other teams around here. … But they had us on our heels after that first drive, and we responded well.”
WHAT’S NEXT: Cocoa at Bergen Catholic (NJ). Cocoa Beach vs. Lake Highland Prep (Orlando).
RECORDS: Cocoa 3-2 (1-0). Cocoa Beach 5-1 (0-1).