MELBOURNE CENTRAL CATHOLIC 56, CARDINAL MOONEY 34
In Melbourne, Melbourne Central Catholic had too much offense for Cardinal Mooney, and with the victory, the Hustlers will play host a Class 3A regional final game against Clearwater Central Catholic next week.
Aside from offense, the results were mixed for fourth-ranked MCC, which improved to 10-0.
The Hustlers’ special teams blocked a field goal attempt, and Lorenzo Hardy picked up the ball and ran 84 yards for a touchdown. But MCC had an attempt of its own blocked just before halftime, gave up an 87-yard kickoff return touchdown to Bryce Williams, and the Cougars recovered an onside kick in the final minutes to keep their hopes alive.
The defense held on a fourth-and-goal, but it gave up 119 yards of rushing to Williams and allowed a touchdown pass by backup quarterback Jack Koscho, who came in after a fourth-quarter injury to Tristan Hillerich.
However, MC’s offense looked sharp, with Lavonte Valentine rushing for 178 yards on 15 carries, scoring on runs of 62 and 52. Hardy had rushing touchdowns of his own for 19 and 18 yards.
Joaquin Collazo passed for 197 yards, throwing touchdown passes of 28 yards to Nate Flemming and 31 yards to Bryce Fielding. Collazo also scored on a 1-yard keeper.
– Brian McCallum, FLORIDA TODAY
COCOA 64, BISHOP VEROT 0
In Cocoa, the host Tigers trampled Bishop Verot in a Class 4A Regional Semifinal. Cocoa was in control from the first drive of the game, marching half the field in five plays to open the scoring. Timmy Pratt finished the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run and the Tigers rout was on. Pratt would score once more before the half as the Tigers built a 57-0 lead before the break.
Javian Hawkins scored three first half touchdowns, all in different ways. Hawkins recorded a 28-yard touchdown run, a 50-yard touchdown catch, and a 33-yard punt return touchdown before halftime. Lasedrick King added a pair of touchdown runs to finish the Tiger scoring.
Bishop Verot’s struggles on defense were exceeded by their struggles on offense. The Vikings lost 91 yards rushing on 21 attempts and failed to gain positive yards on a single running play. The offense did manage to gain 15 yards through the air but never seriously threatened the end zone in either half.
With the clock running the entire second half, Cocoa emptied its bench to finish out the game. Backup QB Brad Canarie capped the scoring when he broke free on a 52-yard touchdown run with 6 minutes remaining.
Cocoa will continue its playoff run next week against Orlando Jones, while Bishop Verot’s season ends in a devastating blowout loss. Cocoa thumped Jones earlier this season 41-6.
– Patrick Edens, for FLORIDA TODAY
PALM BAY 49, EUSTIS 10
In Melbourne, Palm Bay secured a spot in the Class 5A regional semifinals after a runaway win against Eustis.
The Pirates started off with a somewhat slow and steady drive on the first possession of the game. An 86-yard drive led by BJ Daniels, Dez Arthur and Ken McKay put Daniels in position to carry the ball 10-yards for the first score of the game.
On the next score, Arthur took an 8-yard pass from Palm Bay quarterback Stuart Brown. Switching roles, Arthur passed to to McKay for the two-point conversion to widen the lead.
Defensively, Palm Bay took control of the game, thanks in large part to cornerback Tyrese Lyons, who made a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the second quarter. It would be the first of four interceptions he had on the night.
Eustis got their sole touchdown when Tyreek Dorsey made a swift 11-yard run into the end zone.
Less than two minutes later, Tyshaun Rolle rolled 1 yard to score after being set up by a 43-yard pass from Brown to Lyons and runs by Daniels and Arthur on a 62-yard drive across four plays.
Eustis was only able to make it far enough into Palm Bay territory to score one more time when Benito Baca secured a 30-yard field goal with only one second left in the half. Palm Bay’s defense would hold them from getting any more points.
Two more rushing touchdowns from Daniels and a 58-yard scoring pass from Brown to Arthur enabled the Pirates to run away with the game.
Daniels carried the ball 19 times for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Brown completed 3 of 6 passes for 103 yards with one interception and two touchdowns.
Palm Bay will host Bishop Moore next week in the 5A regional semifinal. Bishop Moore eliminated Palm Bay last year from the playoffs en route to a state title.
– Tyler Vazquez, FLORIDA TODAY
BISHOP MOORE 21, MERRITT ISLAND 19
In Orlando, Merritt Island failed to convert on a two-point conversion late, and the Mustangs fell to Bishop Moore in a Class 5A Regional Quarterfinal.
This was a game a tale of two halves, with Merritt Island controlling the first half and Bishop Moore bouncing back in the second.
Merritt Island struck first, with Mason Denaburg kicking a 25-yard field goal on the first possession of the game.
The Mustang defense contained a physical Bishop Moore offense on the following possession, which would turn out to be the theme of the first half.
The star of the first half for the Mustangs offensively was quarterback James Batch. In the first half, he completed 12 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 33 yards and converted several first downs.
The touchdown pass to wideout James Martin, a 2-yard score, was on the final play of the first half, making the score 10-0 Merritt Island going into the break.
But from the very first play of the second half, it was a different game.
Bishop Moore capped off the first drive of the second half with a one-yard touchdown run by Trilion Coles.
Bishop Moore scored again with 5 minutes left in the third quarter on a 28-yard run by CJ McNeal. This gave Bishop Moore a 14-10 lead.
Merritt Island narrowed the gap when Denaburg kicked a 47-yard field goal to make the score 14-13.
Bishop Moore’s defense answered, with defensive back Caleb McMillian. Grabbing an interception.
The Hornets took advantage of the great field position from the turnover and Coles scored his second touchdown, a 13-yard run, to give them a 21-13 lead with 5 minutes left.
Merritt Island attempted a last-minute comeback, scoring on a 2-yard Deben Peterson run, but the 2-point conversion run was not converted. They failed to recover the onside kick, and Bishop Moore ran out the clock out to move on in the playoffs.
Next week, Bishop Moore will visit Palm Bay, which dispatched Eustis 49-10 to remain undefeated.
– John Shipley, for FLORIDA TODAY
VIERA 41, EAST RIVER 0
In Viera, Brandon Mays ran for two touchdowns and the Viera defense forced three turnovers in a Class 7A regional quarterfinal victory.
Viera (8-2) will host Martin County next week in the regional semifinals. Martin County defeated Lake Nona 35-14 Friday night.
The Hawks defeated the Tigers 55-24 earlier this season on the way to winning their third straight district championship.
This time, they will be meeting with much more on the line – a spot in the regional finals.
Viera’s a defense was led by Marco Foreman, Miguel Rodriguez, Will Champion and Brandon Mays.
Foreman had three sacks and Champion returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown.
Garrett Kaminski also had an interception for Viera. Jaylin Wilson had a fumble recovery.
– Carl Kotala, for FLORIDA TODAY