PORT ST. JOHN – Space Coast head coach Jake Owens wanted to see a more physical football team Tuesday night in the Vipers spring football game against Port St. Lucie.
He got his wish. Corn Fulton rushed for 100 yards, and Space Coast featured a balanced offense that scored through the air but was able to run some clock in the fourth quarter in a 38-28 win over the Jaguars.
“We’ve got to run the football, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to sling it around,” Owens said. “I still want to see more physical play, but I’m gonna say in the last two years that’s the most physical I’ve seen us play.”
Space Coast debuted a new quarterback in Bradley Cantrell, who passed for four touchdowns, including 10- and 6-yarders to Nathan Camick. Fulton caught the third, and Austin Crosby the other.
Notable for the Vipers were a pair of interceptions, including one in the end zone by Kevin Anderson. Space Coast went 80 yards the other way for Camick’s second score to keep the Jaguars at bay.
George Allen made the other interception. To close out the scoring, second quarterback Matt Lorenz broke free for an 80-yard run with 1:19 to play.
The Vipers head to a new district and classification next year, from 4A to 5A, where new opponents including Merritt Island, Palm Bay and Titusville await.
“We’re not going to win those games by 55 points, so we’re going to have to win some close ones,” Owens said. “Corn is a monster, and we’re going to follow him and try to do it more with the whole team.”
Corn and the offense started slowly Tuesday, the Vipers giving up three sacks while the new offensive group found its bearing.
“They’re a good line,” Corn said. “They might start off slow, but once they get going, they get going.”
In Fort Lauderdale, Melbourne Central Catholic played its spring game at Calvary Christian. The Hustlers built a 10-point halftime lead and held on for a 23-7 win. A 56-yard run by Will Erdman got MCC going in the first two minutes.
“Great spring effort,” Hustlers coach Mike Riazzi said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better effort and a more positive lead into the summer.”
Special teams were a positive. Will McKegg connected on field goals of 33, 25 and 30 yards. A 12-yard Eli Little run sealed the win in the final minutes.