Melbourne Central Catholic needed a few series for its offense to get into a rhythm, but once the wheels were rolling the Hustlers gained more than 400 total yards in a 49-14 win against district opponent Trinity Prep.
MCC junior quarterback Brandon Ziarno finished with five total touchdowns and 275 yards of total offense.
“It’s just finding our rhythm, finding what they’re going to give us and what we’re going to take,” MCC coach Mike Riazzi said. “We got off to a slow start. They were giving us nightmares up front with different fronts and blitzes.”
The Hustlers struck first midway through the opening quarter with a 34-yard run up the middle by senior running back Alec LaFlore. LaFlore’s two 30-plus-yard runs were the longest plays of senior night and gave MCC the spark it needed to get started.
Two more touchdowns contributed by Ziarno — one through the air and one on the ground — gave the Hustlers a 21-7 halftime lead.
“I think the first run (broke the ice), because it let us know that we can score points and defeat them just like any other team,” LaFlore said.
MCC’s defense bent but didn’t break, allowing 237 yards. Pressure from the defensive line forced three sacks, one interception, a fumble recovery on special teams and nearly a safety.
The Hustlers moved into a tie with Holy Trinity for first-place in Class 3A, District 3.