ROCKLEDGE — Cocoa scored on four runs of 40 yards or longer in the first half of their rivalry game against Rockledge on Friday night en route to a 45-0 win on Friday night.
“It’s the fourth in line right behind the Florida State Championship trophies, you know,” said Cocoa coach John Wilkinson on the team holding on the Barbecue Bowl trophy given to the winner of the game.
“It’s the next one, and we love to have it, we love to keep it at Cocoa.”
It started early on when quarterback Bruce Judson ran 81 yards in the first quarter to go up 7-0.
The Tigers’ running attack continued to demonstrate its big play ability in the second quarter as Howard Stewart, Chauncey Gardner and Timmy Pratt each scored touchdowns of 52, 42 and 71 yards respectively to put Cocoa up 28-0.
Another long run by Pratt of 40 yards led to a half-ending field goal by Alex Petruzzello to give Cocoa a 31-0 halftime advantage.
“The o-line, the o-line is digging the holes and the backs are hitting the holes and then we’ve got speed that can, you know, if we break through in the secondary, we’ve got speed to take it to the house,” said Wilkinson.
“The thing that was working up front was our run-blocking schemes,” said offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor. “We had practiced it all week and we just worked on running all week.”
Cocoa ran for 361 yards total in the first half as a team. Pratt ran for 132 yards and a touchdown, and Judson added 125 yards and a touchdown in the first half.
A relatively short “plunge” by Stewart of 14 yards for a touchdown gave Cocoa a 38-0 lead early in the third quarter and caused the clock to run for the vast majority of the second half.
Judson also threw a 22-yard touchdown to Gardner in the fourth quarter to conclude scoring.
Cocoa will host Bishop Verot in the first round of the playoffs next week, with the Tigers among the favorites to win the state championship in Class 4A.
“We’re just looking forward to going and making it to Orlando in December,” said Taylor.
“As long as we stay healthy, I think we’ll be good.”
Rockledge finishes the year at 4-6, but showed some signs of promise for the future during the season.
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Cocoa 45, Rockledge 0
Cocoa 7 24 7 7 — 45
Rockledge 0 0 0 0 — 0
HOW THEY SCORED
C — Bruce Judson 81 run (Alex Petruzzello kick), 9:00.
C — Howard Stewart 52 run (Petruzzello kick). 9:50
C — Chauncey Gardner 42 run (Petruzzello kick), 6:21
C — Timmy Pratt 71 run (Petruzzello kick), 3:58
C — Stewart 14 run (Petruzzello kick), 8:18.
C — Gardner 22 pass from Judson (Petruzzello kick), 7:17.
Rushing: C — Bruce Judson 3-3-63 yards (TD); R — Jaquez Lyons 6-12-1 INT-59 yards, Joe Smith 0-1-0 yards. Passing: C — Timmy Pratt 13-161 (TD), Judson 15-150 (TD), Howard Stewart 5-107 (2 TD), Chauncey Gardner 2-52 (TD), Ray Sellers 1-1; R — Jalen Mitchell 14-48, Lyons 8-8, Jonathan Floyd 1-(-12). Receiving: C — Gardner 2-33 (TD), Zach Armour 1-30; R — Jonathan Floyd 2-36, Adreal Johnson 3-26, Kieran Goodrich 1-(-3).
Records: Cocoa 7-2 (4-0 District), Rockledge 4-5 (1-4 District).