Tim DeMorat hopes to lead the his team to a lot of wins before his Viera High career is over.
But it’s a safe bet this was one the Hawks’ quarterback will really savor.
Playing on the road against his former team, DeMorat completed his first nine passes – including two touchdown throws – as Viera defeated host Merritt Island 42-13 Friday night.
“It definitely feels good to get the win against Merritt Island back in the O-Dome,” DeMorat said.
Viera running back Brennen DePlancke also had a big night, scoring three touchdowns. And Viera’s defense – led by the play up front of Justin Harrison, Marco Foreman, Miguel Rodriguez and Jaylin Wilson – also played well.
“We were pretty good tonight,” Viera coach Kevin Mays said. “Our guys did what they were supposed to do. We blocked on the outside. It was a team win tonight.”
The performance was a stark contrast to last week, when the Hawks threw four interceptions and were called for a number of personal fouls – including five in third-and-long situations – during a loss to Gonzaga of Washington D.C.
Mays said he and his staff stressed playing a more disciplined game all week in practice.
“Every time there was a mistake, we made someone accountable for it and we fixed it,” Mays said. “I think we played better tonight. We still had a few dumb ones, but I’m proud of the team, the way they responded.”
Any nerves DeMorat may have had at the start of the game were erased on the game’s first play, when he faked a handoff and ran for 41 yards to the Mustangs’ 28-yard line.
He would later hit Travis Jones on a 20-yard touchdown and later hit Quinton Richard on a 27-yard scoring pass.
“Little butterflies in the beginning, but getting that first run definitely kept the intensity going,” DeMorat said.
The quarterback finished with 14 completions on 19 attempts for 157 yards and the two scores. DePlancke had 65 yards on 11 carries and scored on touchdown runs of 2, 2 and 1 yard. It was the first three-touchdown game of his career for Viera (2-1).
A Brandon Mays interception set up one of DePlancke’s TD runs.
For Merritt Island, quarterback Jimmy Batch completed 13 of 23 passes for 188 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jake Martin. Brandon Montanez scored the Mustangs’ other touchdown on a 4-yard run.
While the Mustangs (1-2) certainly hoped to get off to a better start this season, they can take solace in the fact that all of their goals are still in front of them. Merritt Island has won five straight district championships, and gone undefeated in district play during that time.
“Last year, we were 1-2 and the seniors regrouped and came back,” Merritt Island coach Jeff McLean said.
Viera 42, Merritt Island 13
V: Travis Jones 20 pass from Tim DeMorat (Trey Schaneville kick), 5:42
V: Quinton Richard 27 pass from Tim DeMorat (Trey Schaneville kick), 2:44
V: Brennen DePlancke 2 run (Trey Schaneville kick), 10:39
V: Brennen DePlancke 2 run (Trey Schaneville kick), 4:06
MI: Brandon Montanez 4 run (kick failed), :35
V: Brennen DePlancke 1 run (Trey Schaneville kick), 5:52
MI: Jake Martin 8 pass from Jimmy Batch (Mason Denaburg kick), 6:45
V: Sean Atkins 1 run (Trey Schaneville kick), 1:53
RUSHING: V—Tim DeMorat 7-74, Brennen DePlancke 11-65, Sean Atkins 5-25, Justin Harrison 1-25, Jarin Lewis 4-17, Keith Freeman 3-12 Travis Jones 1-2, Mike Vega 2-1. MI—Rydell Peterson 17-72, Sean Diggs 5-22, Brandon Montanez 1-4, Deben Peterson 3-3, Jimmy Batch 11-(-47).
PASSING: V—DeMorat 14-19-157-2-1, Atkins 0-1-0-0. MI—Batch 13-23-188-1-1.
RECEIVING: V—Jones 3-73, Don Jackson 3-34, Atkins 3-(-2), Bear Bollinger 2-14, Quinton Richard 1-27, DePlancke 1-9, Vega 1-7. MI—Deben Peterson 4-70, Connor Allen 3-38, Mason Denaburg 2-54, David Nargi 2-14, Rydell Peterson 1-12, Jake Martin 1-8.
At Merritt Island High School
Top performers: Viera: Brennen DePlancke ran for three touchdowns and Tim DeMorat, playing against his former school, completed 14 of 19 passes for 157 yards and two TDs. He also ran seven times for 74 yards. Merritt Island: Quarterback Jimmy Batch completed 11of 13 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown.
Key play: DeMorat hit wide receiver Travis Jones with a 20-yard touchdown pass on Viera’s first drive to get the Hawks going.
Record: Viera (2-1); Merritt Island (1-2).
Next week: Lakeland Kathleen at Viera, 7 p.m.; Space Coast at Merritt Island, 7 p.m.
Full game report: http://on.flatoday.com/2c0kAPE
Carl Kotala, for FLORIDA TODAY