By: Donny Rieber Jr.
Week two of the high school season gave us some very good games, including a last minute win for Satellite, another big win for Cocoa over a ranked Venice team, and big road wins for TItusville and Eau Gallie.
Six area teams remain unbeaten after two weeks. The three local cat names schools remain unbeaten heading into week three as the Panthers and both Tigers teams are 2-0. Also unbeaten are the Mustangs of Merritt Island, the Eau Gallie Commodores, the Titusville Terriers and MCC Hustlers.
The 2023 Adidas Bowl was everything you want from a high school football game on Friday night as the Satellite Scorpions came from behind to beat the Viera Hawks 29-28.
Viera was looking for its first win since October of 2021 and were 36 seconds away from doing so before Scorpions quarterback Tristin White made the most of a broken play, running the ball into the end zone for the eventual game winning score.
White did not start the game under center, but he came in during the second quarter for good and got the Scorps back into the contest.
The first half story was the Viera offense. Led by junior quarterback Chase Cromartie and wideout Zack Pillow the Hawks got going early, with a touchdown connection on fourth down from the one-yard line.
Freshman sensation Noah Flores answered for Satellite with a huge 93-yard run back in the ensuing kick to score his first touchdown at the varsity level, and tie the game.
The Hawks would possess the ball six times in the first half and reach the red zone five times but on their next trip down the field the Satellite defense came up big and stopped the Hawks inside the five.
Running back Logan Waite then ripped off a 46-yard run to set up an Ethan Raffaele to Eric Weza for 11-yard touchdown to the Scorps up 14-7.
Cromartie and the Hawks would answer as Eric Nelson caught a beautiful pass from his quarterback in stride for a 30-yard touchdown to tie things up at 14.
An interception by Dominic Leoni would set Viera up again in good field position. A nice catch by Pillow got the Hawks down to the 12, and after Cromartie dropped the snap, he picked it up and found Mikey Schmidt for the touchdown to make it 21-14.
Satellite (2-0) was stopped on downs as the Hawks James Olson blew up a Scorpion fourth and short run call. Following the stop, Nelson and Cromartie connected again on the first play of the ensuing drive and Viera stormed out to a 28-14 lead.
The turning point came on the Hawks next set of downs. Viera was driving to make it a three score game and Satellite forced a Hawks fumble and while Satellite did not score after gaining possession they did prevent a 21-point halftime deficit.
Viera’s second half was nothing like their first half. Mistakes, miscues and penalties coupled with Satellite head coach Brian Helton’s halftime adjustments kept the Hawks off the scoreboard entirely in the games final 24-minutes.
Satellites defense came up with big play after big play. The Scorps cut nine points off the Viera lead after the Hawks had a punt snap go out of the end zone in the third quarter for a safety and Satellite would score on a 13-yard run by White to close the gap to 28-23.
It looked like Satellite would take the lead after Collin Roddy came up with an interception, but they would be forced to go for it on fourth-and-one and they once got stuffed
The Scorps defense would give the Satellite offense one more chance late and White showed off his arm hitting Brady Ferris on a short post for a 33 yard gain deep into Viera territory.
Noah Flores would scamper to the Viera 15 with an 18-yard run to the left side but he would stopped for a four yards loss on the 19 second and 14 with .56 seconds to play.
From the shotgun White dropped back but three Viera defenders blew through the Satellite line to quickly close on White but he somehow slipped through them and after cutting back had a clear path to the end-zone for the game winning score.
The Hawks had one last shot with .35 seconds to play but couldn’t move the ball effectively against the second half revamped Satellite defense.
Viera will host Rockledge Next Week in their home opener and Satellite travels to Melbourne for their first road game of the year.
Cocoa 31, Venice 21 (BSN)
The second game of the night saw state ranked No.8 Cocoa take on No. 17 Venice and while the game was tight throughout, Cocoa never trailed in moving to 2-0.
Gunnar Trout continues to show why having a kicker is so important for team as good as Cocoa as the senior made it 3-0 early in the second quarter.
Sophomore quarterback Brady Hart had his coming out party in this one as he had a terrific night throwing for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns, three of them to Jayvon Boggs.
The Tigers passing game was extremely effective with Hart keeping throws underneath and letting his wide receivers catch the balls in space and make plays.
Hart found CJ Bragg for the first Tiger score from 29 yards out to put Cocoa up 10-0 but Venice would get on the board late in the second quarter to make it 10-7 at the half.
Hart and the Tigers receivers did not shy away from and in fact challenged Venice’s five star defensive back and FSU commit Charles Lester III in this one.
Hart found Boggs for his first of the night on a quick 20 yard post and Boggs slipped past Lester for the remaining 30 plus yards to put the Tigers back up by 10, 17-7. Venice would once again pull to within three as the clock expired in the third quarter, closing the gap to 17-14, heading into the fourth.
Hart and Boggs would connect for the second time when the pair hooked up on a 15 yard score. Hart hit Boggs near the Cocoa sideline at about the eight yard line and Boggs weaved his way to pay-dirt to put the Tigers back up by 10, 24-14.
Vernice is a state champ in 2021 and state runner-up last year and they did not go quietly, as they got a touchdown to make it 24-21 but Boggs would come through again on a beautifully executed wide receiver screen.
With four minutes to play and following a timeout, Hart hit Boggs on the bubble screen and after Boggs cut back with blockers he sprinted the additional 40 yards for the game sealing touchdown.
Cocoa is now 2-0, a likely top five state ranked team and they’ll travel to Fort Myers to face another top state ranked team in St. Thomas Aquinas.
The Raiders have won four straight state championships and own a Florida record 14 titles overall in football.
Heritage 34, Palm Bay 0 (BSN)
The battle for south Brevard was all Heritage as the Panthers moved to 2-0 continuing to show why they are to be reckoned with as a top team in this county. Heritage dropped the Palm Bay Pirates to 1-1 after a second consecutive shutout win, this week, 34-0.
Senior quarterback Joseph Tenta found Tayshawn Benson early and he would have another touchdown pass to TJ Monroe and in the blink of an eye it was 14-0 after one quarter.
Demetres Samuel Jr. made it 21-0 early in the third with a 46-yard punt return, his second return in as many weeks. They would go up 28-0 after a touchdown run by Tayshawn Benson from four yards out and that was the score at the half.
Judah Knight’s touchdown made it 34-0 midway through the third and the game would end with Heritage pitching the shutout.
The Panthers have now won their first two games by a combined score of 75-0 over Satellite and Palm Bay and should continue the dominance next week when they host winless Centennial.
The Tigers moved to 2-0 as they escaped with a 35-26 win over the Bayside Bears, who fell to 0-2.
Brogan McNab, who had six touchdowns in week one, picked up right where he left off last week as he scored on a 25-yard run and a 53-yard run to make it 14-0 after the first 12 minutes.
Bayside would get on the board after a nifty run by David Francis, cut the lead in half but the sophomore Holy Trinity quarterback, would continue to do Brogan McNabb things as he quickly answered with a 4-yard run with over four minutes left in the half to stretch the Tigers lead to 21-7 .
Under Billy Miller the Bears have no quit in them as quarterback Kaiden Brabham found Noah Green with over seven minutes left in the third to cut the lead to seven but McNab would step again to get his team going, this time with a pass to Dylan Jensen to make it 28-14 halfway through the third.
Brabham and Green would hook up again late in the third, pushing Bayside to within eight at 28-20.
With momentum, the Bears would strike again early in the fourth, as Francis ran for his second touchdown of the night from five yards out, cutting the score to 28-26.
However, Bayside had no answer for McNab who would make sure that was as close as the Bears would get, finding DJ Scott with the final touchdown of the night.
The Tigers host Palm Beach Christian while Bayside hosts Fort Pierce Central
Foundation Academy 57, Cocoa Beach 0
The 0-2 Minutemen ran into a buzz saw Friday night in Foundation Academy, as they were blanked 57-0.
Eau Gallie 12, Bishop Moore 10
In a game that included a lengthy lightning delay, the Commodores stellar defense held the Hornets in check and moved to 2-0 with a victory over Bishop Moore.
Xavier ‘X-Man’ Lherisse continues his campaign as an early season BSN MVP as he scored on an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown. X-Man also kept his interception steak alive at four games going back to the spring game.
The Eau Gallie backfield also struck in this one as Tay Welch, who rushed for 53 yards in Eau Gallie’s win last week, scored on a 54-yard run in this one.
Bishop MOORE cut the lead to 12-10 but Eau Gallie comes back to Brevard 2-0 and they get set to play their 2023 home opener next Friday vs. Winter Haven.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the early season is head coach TYLER Murray’s Merritt Island Mustangs, who moved to 2-0 with a convincing win over the Melbourne Bulldogs (0-2) on Friday night at the O’Dome.
Ryder Varis who has 93 receiving yards and two touchdowns last week from his sophomore quarterback caught two more in this one.
After a scoreless first quarter, Hartman Jr. found Varis to put the Mustangs up 7-0. They would put the game away in the third quarter, scoring three times.
Devonte Peterson and Kaseem Ross would each have a rushing touchdown with another Hartman Jr. to Varis touchdown catch sandwiched in the middle.
The only Bulldogs touchdown came in the fourth quarter when quarterback Jordan Pidala found Craig Bowles from 13 yards out with just over four minutes left.
The Mustangs will play their third or four straight home games to open the season next Friday when they host Astronaut.
Melbourne will host Satellite.
MCC 48, Space Coast 6
The Hustlers big play makers, namely DayDay Farmer continue to shine as the Hustlers moved to 2-0 with a big win over the Vipers in week two.
It was the first action of the season for the Vipers, who are now 0-1.
MCC got things rolling quickly with a seven-yard run by Brian Oesterle.
Farmer got to work with a 53-yard run for a score and he scored again on a 20-yard catch from freshman quarterback Joseph Allen, quickly making it 21-0 after the first quarter.
Space Coast would get their only points of the night on a touchdown reception by Julius Brown.
Farmer, a UCF commit, showed just how dangerous he can be in all facets, as he ran back a punt for a 71 yard touchdown two minutes into the third, making it 28-6.
Ramel Hernandez also got into the act as he caught a touchdown to widen the lead. MCC’s Caden Kelley turned the lights out on the Vipers with a touchdown run late.
Titusville 27, Yulee 14
Quarterback Josiah Allen broke out of an early season passing slump in a big way as he had three touchdown passes and ran for another, leading the Terriers to their second straight win.
Allen got the Terriers on the board with a four-yard run four minutes into the game and after Yulee answered with a fumble return touchdown to tie the game, Allen hit Ralph Smith from nine yards out to make it 13-7.
Allen would find Smith twice in quarter number three with touchdowns of 70 and 12 yards, sewing up the Terriers second straight win to start the season and they avenged their week two home loss to Yulee last season by returning the favor in the Hornets 2023 home opener.
Sebastian River 44, Astronaut 0
The Sharks (1-1) took a bite out of the War Eagles (0-2) on Friday, winning 44-0. This was a 30-0 game at the half and it didn’t get any better for Astronaut as they fell to 0-2.
Rockledge (0-1) at Duncanville (1-0)
Masters Academy 56, Calvary Chapel 20
MIC Cougars 35, City of Life Christian 6