After getting chased off the practice field by heavy storms all this week, the Melbourne Central Catholic Hustlers enjoyed getting a chance to come and hit somebody in Thursday night’s Kickoff Classic against Cypress Creek.
Unfortunately, it was a hit to quarterback Brandon Ziarno that has the sophomore’s status for next week’s season opener against Cocoa Beach in question.
Ziarno was hit after throwing a pass out of his own end zone with roughly eight minutes left in the third quarter of a 27-14 loss to Cypress Creek.
“It looks like a Grade 1 concussion,” Hustlers coach Mike Riazzi said. “It’s a week (before the Cocoa Beach game), so they’ll test him again tomorrow.”
The Hustlers, who may have also lost linebacker Jordan Simon to a leg injury, had a tough time with the bigger, stronger Bears from Cypress Creek. But Riazzi said he was encouraged by what he saw Thursday night and added there is still a long time between now and when they face Cocoa Beach.
With Ziarno out, the Hustlers turned to another sophomore, Max Erdman, to play quarterback. Earlier, Erdman had caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Ziarno.
Erdman completed two passes — one for 71 yards to senior Ray Watkins — the other a 69-yard touchdown pass to his younger brother, Will.
“He’s such an athlete. He’s such a competitor,” Riazzi said of Max Erdman. “And he threw to his brother, who’s a freshman. We’ve said those names for so many years here. Thank goodness. They’re special. They make plays happen. They want to compete.
“… Max Erdman is a player, and it looks like Will is, too. Just like their big brothers.”