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COCOA, Fla. – Inside the 10-yard line down by three in overtime, Cocoa coach John Wilkinson only had one play on his mind: Give the ball to Bruce Judson.
The South Florida commit hiked the ball and charged forward.
Judson ran through the defense and into the end zone as the Tigers scored a 26-23 victory Sunday against Trinity Christian (Jacksonville), the top-ranked team in the state in Class 3A.
The game was broadcast on ESPN2 and was the final contest in the weekend’s GEICO ESPN High School Kickoff.
Trinity Christian hadn’t lost since Oct. 16, 2014, when it fell 28-7 to IMG Academy, a span of 22 games.
Cocoa now attempts to snap another win streak when it travels to Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), which won its 40th in a row Saturday with a victory against No. 5 Cedar Hill.
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In overtime, the Tigers won the coin toss and quickly opted to taking the ball second. Cocoa’s defense shut the door on the Conquerors, forcing a field goal for a 23-20 lead.
Needing a TD, Judson took the field and handed off to Timmy Pratt, who picked up a couple of yards. On the next play, Judson won the game.
Judson finished with 171 yards passing and one TD and 91 yard rushing at the game-winner.
“First off, I’ve got to thank this team,” Judson said. “Everyone on the sideline was like ‘Come on Bruce, you can do this.’
“We worked through the game, not just me, and we faced adversity during the game, but coach told us to keep our cool. Big-time players make big time plays in big games. When it’s time for me — I mean I don’t mean to steal the spotlight — but when it’s time for me to do what I did, I put the team on my back.”
Trinity forced the overtime on its final possession of regulation. Cocoa was forced to punt with five minutes remaining in the game.
Trinity QB Legend Brumbaugh took the field from his own 15-yard line and was able to convert a critical fourth-and-7 to put the Conquerors on their 31-yard line. Brumbaugh then quickly threw the ball 36 yards to DJ Matthews, which set up the offense in scoring position on the 5-yard line.
On the next play, Legend connected with Shaun Wade, pushing the score at 20-18 with just seconds left on the clock. The Conquerors pulled a trick play on the conversion as Matthews threw the pass to Brumbaugh for the two points to send the game into overtime.
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