LaBelle is located in an area known for producing sugar. But on Friday night at Tiger Stadium, the Cowboys certainly didn’t enjoy their taste of hot Cocoa.
Cocoa scored early and often as they rang LaBelle 70-0 in a Class 4A Regional Semifinal.
“That’s kind of what we wanted to do, kind of pin them down there with the weather and hope something happened where they turn it over and we can get up on them,” Cocoa head coach John Wilkinson said.
“Just our game plan, try to get some turnovers, get the offense some good field position, get the offense in scoring range so they can take it in real quick,” said Cocoa defensive end Tavares Parks on what his team’s mindset was going into the contest.
LaBelle fumbled the snap on the first play from scrimmage and shortly after, Lorenzo Pratt scored the first of five touchdowns on the night to put the Tigers up 7-0.
“He’s been great for us all year, that gives him 29 touchdowns. He’s just obliterating our school record for rushing touchdowns in a year,” Wilkinson said. “He’s real, real important to us you now, he’s one of our team leaders.”
After what would prove to be LaBelle’s best drive of the night was stopped in Cocoa territory, the Tigers went to work again as Pratt scored from seven yards out to put the Tigers up 14-0. Pratt scored again soon after to put Cocoa up 21-0, and the rout was on from there.
The Tigers worked quite a bit on their passing game in the second quarter as quarterback Bruce Judson threw three touchdown passes, the last of which to a wide-open Luke Clark late in the second quarter gave Cocoa a 49-0 halftime edge.
Pratt added to his exploits in the second quarter as he returned the opening kickoff of the second half 83 yards. He completed his night with a 5-yard score early in the fourth to put his squad up 63-0.
Judson added a 77-yard scamper as the clock ran in the fourth quarter to get Cocoa to the 70-point mark.
The Tigers will move on to face Clewiston, a familiar playoff foe, after they throttled Space Coast 63-21. Cocoa has dispatched Clewiston in each of the past two seasons and will be considered heavy favorites going into the contest.