If Space Coast defenders have nightmares after this game, they’ll probably be of a green-and-gold blur named Tre Nixon.
The speedy Viera receiver torched the Vipers, catching a career-high three touchdown passes — two of which came on respective bombs of 56 and 77 yards — and finished with a game-high 173 receiving yards in the Hawks impressive 42-24 non-district road win on Friday night
“He’s a solid young football player with legit 4.4 speed,” Viera coach Kevin Mays said. “So any time teams try to play close on him, we’re going to run him right by people.”
Moreover, Viera further added to its best season ever with the victory, aided by an explosive but balanced offensive attack and a bend-but-don’t-break opportunistic defense.
Running the spread, Viera took an early 14-point lead on touchdowns by running back Zack Blanch and Nixon. Space Coast briefly got within a score midway through the second quarter on a Chase Colantino 33-yard touchdown catch, but Viera countered quickly when quarterback Cody Dentmon hit Nixon in perfect stride for the 56-yard-score on the ensuing drive to give the Hawks a 21-7 lead.
A Viper field goal on the final play of the second quarter made the score 21-10 at halftime.
But Space Coast came out hot, and following a Viera fumble on the second-half kickoff return, made the score 21-17 when quarterback Nick Rittenhouse hit Chase Colantino for the 3-yard score.
But that’s when Nixon struck again — this time on the 77-yarder — to make the score 28-17 with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
Space Coast answered again with another Rittenhouse touchdown pass, and even got the ball back later in third quarter with a chance to take the lead, but fumbled away the chance just 15 yards away from the end zone.
Viera would seal the game with two big defensive stops, another Blanch touchdown, and a clock-eating 6-minute drive that ended with Dentmon’s 16-yard game-sealing touchdown run to make the score 42-24.