Cocoa Tigers Ranked No.1 For Ninth Straight Week In Bright House Sports Top 20 Poll

By  //  October 19, 2016

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5 brevard county teams ranked, 4 in top 12

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While the Cocoa Tigers remain on top of the Bright House Sports Network’s Top 20 poll, the Melbourne Central Catholic Hustlers became the first team in Brevard County to clinch a district title and they made the biggest jump up in this week’s poll to No.12.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — The Cocoa Tigers were supposed to be tested last Friday night when the then sixth ranked Jones (Orlando) Tigers came to the Space Coast. The key word there was “supposed” to, as Jones was no match for Cocoa’s depth and athleticism. 

The No.1 ranked team in all of Class 4A in Florida rushed for over 400 yards and held the high powered Jones offense to under 200 yards in a 41-6 win.

This week the Tigers play the Astronaut War Eagles (2-7, 0-4) and today their long time head coach Randy Hallock announced he was retiring from coaching at the end of the season. Astronaut has two games remaining.

Hallock has coached at his high school Alma Matter for 19 seasons where his teams have won 131 games and made 13 trips to the playoffs, including last season where they lost to Avon Park.

Hallock’s team is young and growing but they were hurt before the season started when they lost their projected starting quarterback for 2016 in Bradley Canarie and starting running back, Javian Hawkins to the Cocoa Tigers.

ABOVE VIDEO: Orville Susong with Q. Phillips of the Cocoa Tigers after big win vs Jones.

Hawkins rushed for 231 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns during that playoff loss last season.

The announcement of coach Hallocks retirement along with playing against two former important teammates should make for an emotionally charged atmosphere Friday night in Titusville.

While Cocoa was locking down a firm grip on Class 4A District  5, the No.8 team in the BHSN Top 20 was doing the same  in Class 7A District 6. The Hawks from Viera hosted the Martin County Tigers and sent them back to Stuar, Florida with a 31-point loss.

Viera amassed 412 total yards of offense as nine different Hawks touched the ball in the 55-24 drubbing.

Defensively, The  Hawks were led by junior Brandon Mays who totaled 11 tackles, three for a loss and he also scored twice. Mays scored on a two yard run on offense but converted an interception into a 35-yard pick six.

Martin County QB Austin Kuyrkendall was sacked eight times and he was forced into thee interceptions.

ABOVE VIDEO: Keith Freeman of the Viera Hawks rushes for a touchdown to put the Hawks ahead 55-17 in the 4th quarter vs. Martin County.

One defense in the county that remains as stingy as any in the state of Florida pitched another shutout Friday night against an offense capable of scoring points. The No.9 ranked Palm Bay Pirates took down the Space Coast Vipers 45-0 and in doing so lowered their average points allowed per game to four this season.

Palm Bay plays all phases of the game to near perfection. On offense the Pirates are led by senior running back BJ Daniels, who leads Brevard County in rushing this season with 901 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Pirates are quietly marching towards a Class 5a District 14 title and while Hurricane Matthew deprived local football fans of seeing Palm Bay face Viera, the forecast looks good  Friday night when the Pirates host the Merritt Island Mustangs.

After winning their previous three games by a combined score of 132-21, the Mustangs almost got caught looking ahead to Friday’s district showdown with Palm  Bay and as a result fell one spot to No. 19 this week in the BHSN Top 20.

The Titusville Terriers gave Merritt Island all they could handle Friday night but the Mustangs held on for a 14-12 win.

The winner of Friday’s matchup between Palm Bay and Merritt Island will likely decide the winner in Class 5A District 14, at least it has the previous three years.

Last season the Pirates were heavy favorites when they traveled to Merritt Island and were comfortably ahead at halftime but a hip injury to now Purdue star freshman running back Brian-Lankford Johnson slowed the Pirates attack late in the game and Mustangs QB Jimmy Batch took advantage leading Merritt Island to a come from behind 41-34 victory

The victory gave the Mustangs their fifth straight district title , three of them have come with Palm Bay in the district. Overall, it is no coincidence the Mustangs own a four game winning streak over the Pirates and have won six of the past nine games dating back to 2004.

ABOVE VIDEO: The Friday Night Locker Room Player of the Game was MCC’s Lavonte Valentine as the Hustlers bashed John Carroll 52-7

The final ranked Brevard County team did wrap a up a district title on Friday night as the Melbourne Central Ctholic Hustlers did what they do best, score 50 plus points and wreak havoc on defense.

MCC is now ranked No.12 in the BHSN Top 20 and  wrapped up the 3A, District 6 championship by easily defeating Fort Pierce John Carroll 52-7 on Friday.

Led by Brevard County’s leading passer Joaquin Collazo and the Friday Night Locker Room player of the game, running back Lavonte Valentine, the Hustlers offense looks unstoppable. Collazo now has 1,800 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

Valentine has over 350 all purpose yards and after scoring three on Friday night has six touchdowns on the year.

WEEK 8 BHSN TOP 20

1. Cocoa (4-1) Tigers sent a message by annihilating previously unbeaten Jones 41-6 to seize command of 4A, District 5.

2. Mainland (7-0) – Bucs blanked Matanzas 41-0 and can clinch the 6A, District 13 championship with a victory against New Smyrna Beach.

3. Apopka (7-0) DeShawn Massey scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes to help the Blue Darters get past Wekiva 38-31 and secure their first district title since 2013.

4. Seminole (7-0) – ‘Noles bounced back from a lackluster offensive effort on Monday night by scoring on their first six possessions to beat Oviedo 49-22.

5. Osceola (8-0) – Kowboys handled Gateway for their 23rd straight win against Osceola County opponents, a streak that dates back to September 2010.

6. Dr. Phillips (5-2) – Panthers cruised past Freedom on Friday and can wrap up the 8A, District 5 title by defeating rival Olympia (5-1) this week.

7. Bishop Moore (6-1) – Hornets have pummeled their first three district opponents, outscoring them 164-13.

8. Viera (5-2) Linebacker Brandon Mays scored touchdowns on both sides of the ball as the Hawks handled Martin County 55-24.

9. Palm Bay (6-0) – Pirates have only allowed six points in three district games heading into this week’s showdown against Merritt Island on BHSN and Friday Night Locker Room.

10. Hagerty (6-1) – Huskies played twice in four days and came away with dominating victories against East Ridge and Colonial.

11. Jones (6-1) – Central Florida’s highest scoring team was held scoreless for three quarters and managed less than 150 yards of offense in loss to Cocoa.

12. Melbourne Central Catholic (6-0) – Hustlers wrapped up the 3A, District 6 championship by easily defeating Fort Pierce John Carroll 52-7.

13. Orange City University (5-2) – Friday’s district finale against Lake Mary starts a stretch of three games in eight days for the Titans.

14. Winter Park (5-2) – A victory at Boone this week would give the Wildcats the 8A, District 3 title.

15. Timber Creek (5-2) – Wolves coach Jim Buckridge notched his 100th career win as the Wolves intercepted Boone four times in a 30-20 victory.

16. Wekiva (4-3) – Mustangs lost to Apopka 38-31 but led in the fourth quarter and stood toe-to-toe with the rival Blue Darters for the first time in the history of that series.

17. Deltona (5-2) – Wolves have a chance to win more than six regular season games for the first time since 2007.

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18. Ocoee (5-2) – Dominating victory against Lake Howell means the Knights are district champs for the first time in school history.

19. Merritt Island (5-2) – Mustangs squeaked past Titusville to stay unbeaten in the district going into Friday’s matchup with unbeaten Palm Bay on BHSN.

20. Lake Highland (6-1) – Highlanders enter the rankings for the first time after blasting Astronaut 51-14 to move to 2-1 in 4A, District 5.

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