Sacks are great. Fumble recoveries, too.
But there’s nothing sweeter for a defensive lineman than getting an interception and getting a chance to rumble downfield.
And that’s just what happened to Viera High’s Marco Foreman during Friday night’s 35-0 victory over rival Rockledge High at McLarty Stadium.
The defensive end, who had recovered a fumble earlier in the game, intercepted a screen pass late in the second quarter and took off running for roughly 30 yards before being caught at the Rockledge 6-yard line. The Hawks (1-0) would score on a 3-yard pass from Tim DeMorat to Mike Vega for a 28-0 halftime lead.
“I’ve been studying it all week,” Foreman said of the screen pass. “I knew the play was coming. I got the interception. But man, I got tired. It was a great feeling to get that interception.”
Foreman’s two turnovers, plus another interception by cornerback Will Champion, were just a couple of the highlights for a Viera defense that also recorded a shutout in last week’s Kickoff Classic victory at Eau Gallie.
“I think we’ve done great,” Foreman said. “No one’s scored on us so far. I think we have a great defense. Even though we lost a couple of players, we came back with new players and we’re still a family, really cohesive.”
Viera’s offense looked pretty sharp, too.
New quarterback Tim DeMorat completed eight of 10 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns – all in the first half. He also ran for a 1-yard touchdown.
Hawks coach Kevin Mays felt the offense showed improvement over the previous week against Eau Gallie when Viera turned the ball over three times.
“I think they executed a little better, and the more Tim plays, the more comfortable he’s going to get with what we expect out of him,” Mays said. “I think he looked better tonight. He didn’t take any risks or chances. He took care of the ball.”
Taking advantage of some Viera penalties, Rockledge opened the game by driving to the Hawks’ 35-yard line before Foreman recovered a fumble.
The Raiders defense would then come up with a big goal-line stand, stopping Viera at the Rockledge 2-yard line.
However, when the Raiders offense was unable to move the ball and had to punt, the Hawks took over at the Rockledge 33.
Two plays later, DeMorat hit Quinton Richard with a 32-yard touchdown pass. Suddenly, Viera had the lead and the momentum.
After DeMorat’s touchdown run made it 14-0, Vega would score on a 27-yard run and then again on the TD throw by DeMorat.
Keith Freeman, who transferred from Rockledge to Viera, ended the game’s scoring with a 6-yard touchdown run in the third quarter as the Hawks would go on to win the Backyard Brawl trophy for the fourth year in a row.
It was a tough night for the Raiders (0-1), who came in with high hopes after last week’s win against Melbourne in their Kickoff Classic.
The good news, though, is that Rockledge is on a bye next week, giving coach Wayne Younger and his staff a chance to get the Raiders back on their game.
“We’ve got a week off and it’s just about kind of looking at ourselves in the mirror and assessing it and owning up to how to fix the mistakes, basically,” said Younger, who called the break a “blessing.
“We’ve got to be a much more physical football team. We’re too finesse and it showed up front on both sides of the ball. Viera beat us up front and dominated the line of scrimmage.”
Viera 35, Rockledge 0
Viera 7 21 7 0 – 35
Rockledge 0 0 0 0 – 0
V: Quinton Richard 32 pass from Tim DeMorat (Trey Schaneville kick), 2:15
V: Tim DeMorat 1 run (Trey Schaneville kick), 10:49
V: Mike Vega 27 run (Trey Schaneville kick), 4:35
V: Mike Vega 3 pass from Tim DeMorat (Trey Schaneville kick), 1:30
V: Keith Freeman 6 run (Trey Schaneville kick), 7:43
Rushing: V — Brennen DePlancke 15-69, Mike Vega 1-27, Keith Freeman 7-21, Unknown 2-16; Ryan Hinderliter 2-7, Sean Atkins 1-1, DeMorat 3-0. R – Jalen Mitchell 16-38, Cameron Latham 1-4, Jordan Humphrey 1-3, Laquentin Hastie Jr. 3-2, Eric Adler 4-(-16).
Passing: V – DeMorat 8-10-112-2-0. R – Adler 3-8-22-0-2, Cameron Latham 1-3-4-0-0.
Receiving: V – Quinton Richard 3-80, Mike Vega 1-20, Freeman 1-6, DePlanke 2-3, Vega 1-3. R – Trajan Fox-Birdwell 2-16, Mitchell 1-4, Antoine Green 1-4.
Records: Viera 1-0; Rockledge 0-1.
Top performers: Viera: Quarterback Tim DeMorat completed was 8 for 10 for 112 yards with two touchdowns. He also ran for a score. Rockledge: Running back Jalen Mitchell gained 38 yards on 16 carries.
Key play: Rockledge was at the Viera 35-yard line on its opening drive when Viera defensive end Marco Foreman recovered a fumble. That eventually set up a 32-yard TD pass from DeMorat to Quinton Richard that swung the momentum Viera’s way.
Record: Viera (1-0); Rockledge (0-1)
Next week: Gonzaga (Wash) at Viera, Saturday, Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Rockledge Bye Week
Carl Kotala, for FLORIDA TODAY