FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Move over, Roger Maris. There’s a new No. 61 in town.
The Vero Beach Fighting Indians scored four times through the air and held Fort Pierce Central out of the end zone on Friday night, beating the Cobras 28-3 at Lawnwood Stadium.
The victory clinched the state record for most consecutive regular-season wins as Vero Beach (8-0) won for the 61st straight time.
“This is a big game for us,” said Vero Beach ninth-year head coach Lenny Jankowski. “We knew we’d be in for a tough game. It would be a dogfight.
“At some point I’m sure we’ll get a chance to reflect on years past and all that, but I can’t say enough about our players maintaining that focus and continuing to do it each and every Friday night.”
The win wasn’t an easy one for the visitors from the north.
They scored just twice in the first half, both times on scoring passes from quarterback Ryan Jankowski to wide receiver Jermaine Dawson, and relied on their defense holding the Cobras (2-7) to a 26-yard Lamar Wilson field goal.
The opening touchdown was a perfectly thrown ball by the left-handed Jankowski down the home sideline, hitting Dawson in stride for a 29-yard score just over three minutes into the district contest.
Jankowski lobbed a four-yarder for Dawson’s second score, but the Cobras, celebrating Senior Night, couldn’t find the end zone late in the half.
Keith Woulard caught a quick strike over the middle and raced in for a 55-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and Dawson scored his third on a pitch-pass while in motion and went 48 yards in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
Dawson said he and his teammates approached the potential record-setting week as just another district game on the schedule.
“We just did everything we did the last week and the week before that,” said Dawson. “(61’s) just a number.”