Relax or reload? High school football district pressure off

Relax or reload? High school football district pressure off


Relax or reload? High school football district pressure off


For Florida Air, tonight’s game against St. John Lutheran carries significant implications. If the Falcons win, they’ll stay tied with Warner Christian at the top of Class 2A, District 3.

For the seven other Brevard County teams playing tonight or Saturday, however, Week 7 offers a break from district play.

Bayside High coach Derek Smith has said in the past he emphasizes district games because they determine which games qualify for the playoffs. Although the Bears (2-3) have unbeaten Heritage coming up in Class 6A, District 13 next week, Smith has his team thinking about this week’s home game against non-district foe Seabreeze (4-2).

“We’re focused on this week, but the good thing about that is Seabreeze runs the same offense we do. They run pretty much the same defense,” Smith said.

“We just have to go ones-on-ones and make sure we’re hitting. We don’t have to do a lot of teaching.”

Florida Air coach John Kraynik and his staff are doing plenty of teaching. He recently pulled the trigger on opening up his offense by moving to more of a spread formation.

“I’ve got too many athletes. We needed to let them run,” Kraynik said. “It was something we had been contemplating.”

The Falcons debuted it with a 65-0 win against struggling Calvary Christian last week. Injuries had hampered the power running game, and facing the one-win Lions offered good timing for the change.

The question is whether the Falcons have perfected their spread enough for a key district game against St. John Lutheran (3-2) tonight.

“We’re keeping it simple. There’s still some things we want to put in,” he said. “It’s another game we have to have. This is key to us to get to 3-0 (in the district).”

Like Bayside, Palm Bay also hosts a team from Daytona Beach. Mainland (2-3) comes to town tonight before Palm Bay returns to Class 6A, District 13 play at Eau Gallie on Thursday.

Cocoa, winner of three in a row after an 0-2 start, faces a tall challenge in its only out-of-state trip of the year. The Tigers play at Bergen Catholic (4-1) in Oradell, N.J., on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Crusaders are 18th in the most recent USA Today Super 25.

Cocoa’s defense has gotten on a roll during its three-game winning streak, allowing just a touchdown to the high-octane Cocoa Beach team last week after a pair of shutouts.

The defense will need to keep it going Saturday. Bergen Catholic is averaging 51 points and 522 yards, 320 of that through the air.

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