Rivalry Week In High School Football, Playoff Matchups Set For Brevard County Teams
By Space Coast Daily / Bright House Sports // November 3, 2016
Bright House Sports Top 20 HS Football Teams
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The last week of the High School football regular season has arrived and the playoff matchups are set for the five Brevard County teams that made it to the second season.
All but one of them is ranked in the Bright House Sports Network’s Top 20 high school football poll for Week 10.
In Brevard County, the Cocoa Tigers enter the playoffs in a familiar spot—-the top ranked team in the BHSN poll. The Tigers have been there since week 1 and are also the top ranked team in the state of Florida in Class 4A according to a poll of statewide sports writers.
The Tigers will host Bishop Verot on November 11 and are heavy favorites to advance past the Vikings into round two where they will play the winner between Avon Park and Jones.
The bracket looks extremely familiar to head coach John Wilkinson’s team. Last year his Tigers disposed of Bishop Verot 49-12 in round one and trounced Avon Park 51-8 in round two.
Cocoa will look to escape healthy from this Friday’s rivalry matchup with the Rockledge Raiders.
The game known as “The Barbecue Bowl” features a Rockledge team coached by Wilkinson’s former QB at Cocoa, Wayne Younger.
Younger who is finishing his second season at Rockledge was Brevard County’s 2005 Offensive Player of the Year.
His 29 total touchdowns helped lead Cocoa to the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs. Last year, Wilkinson’s team was not kind to his former pupil, the Tigers scored touchdowns on four runs of 40 yards or longer in the first half alone and went on to shut out the Raiders 45-0.
Brevard County’s lone representative in the state championship games in 2015, the Viera Hawks, are ranked eighth in the BHSN and statewide Class 7A polls heading into their final regular season tilt Friday night vs. the 2-7 Winter Spring Bears.
ABOVE VIDEO: Alan Zlotorzynski of the Friday Night Locker Room and Space Coast Daily speaks with Viera Hawks head coach Kevin Mays following his teams district clinching win over South Fork on Friday night.
Viera found out Monday night that their first-round opponent will be the East River Falcons.
The Falcons were forced to play in a tiebreaking three-way contest on Monday night with Lake Nona and St. Cloud.
Two of the three teams advanced, with East River doing so following a 42-yard field goal in the first period with no time left to push the Falcons past St. Cloud, 3-0. The teams only play one quarter.
Viera’s offense is starting to get hot at the right time. Last week marked the third straight game the Hawks offense has put up more than 50 points.
The ninth ranked team in the BHSN poll is the team that could be the sleeper pick to make it to Orlando this year. The Palm Bay Pirates play a game that is conducive to having playoff success.
The Pirates play great defense, run the ball as well as anyone in the area and they don’t hurt themselves with mistakes. Palm Bay has surrendered just 50 points all season, allowing just six points per game and if that isn’t enough to convince you, the Pirates scored a season high 49 points in their win over Satellite on Friday.
The Pirates have the leading rusher in Brevard County and 10th leading rusher in the state in running back BJ Daniels. The eventual D-1 commit has 1,445 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns on the year.
Palm Bay will host the 5-4 Eustis Panthers in round one of the playoffs.
A victory over Eustis and Palm Bay’s next opponent would be the winner between their arch rivals in Merritt Island, whom they defeated a few weeks back to claim the district 5A-14 title or last year’s defending Class 5A state champs, Bishop Moore.
Palm Bay fell to Bishop Moore last year in the first round of the state playoffs, 38-9.
The Pirates will need to be careful this Friday in their final game of the season, as they take on their crosstown rivals the Heritage Panthers.
The Panthers season did not go according to plan for head coach Mark Ainsley but they are still a very dangerous football team. Palm Bay has won five of the past six against Heritage, including a 10-7 decision last season.
ABOVE VIDEO: Congratulations to Dontavious Marcus of the Titusville Terriers, Co-Player of the Game! Dontavious talks with FNLR’s Orville Susong about the Titusville Terriers win over the Space Coast Vipers
Thanks to another impressive victory, this time over previously unbeaten and state ranked Champagnat, 36-18, Melbourne Central Catholic stayed at No.12 in the BHSN poll but were able to leap into the statewide Class 3A poll at No.5
The Hustlers will look to put an exclamation point on an undefeated regular season for first year head coach Stacey Sizemore this Friday when they host another tough opponent in First Baptist Academy from Naples.
First Baptist is a playoff team from Class 2A and will test the Hustlers in their final playoff tune-up. MCC QB Joaquin Collazo continues to dazzle this season. Central Florida’s leading passer is five yards shy of 2,200 this season and his 26 touchdowns is easily tops in the area.
Collazo INT to TD ratio is an astounding 3.71. To help gauge this statistic, Green Bay Packers signal caller Aaron Rodgers is the NFL’s all-time leader in this stat category.
From 2005 through last week’s contest, Rodgers TD/INT ration is a 3.97.
The Hustlers will host Cardinal Mooney to kick off the second season next week. The Cougars hail from Sarasota and finished the season 7-2 this season.
The only playoff team that is unranked in the BHSN poll is the Merritt Island Mustangs and that’s just fine with head coach Jeff McClain. The Mustangs, who recently had their 30-game district winning streak snapped, are comfortable in the underdog role.
Merritt Island will play the 6-3 East Ridge Knights at home on Friday and like their Brevard County counterparts will look to win and stay healthy heading into next week.
The Mustangs have perhaps the toughest challenge of the five Brevard teams to make the playoffs in 2016. As the runner-up in their district behind Palm Bay, the Mustangs are forced to travel to play the defending Class 5A state champion Hornets from Bishop Moore.
Not only did Bishop Moore eliminate Palm Bay in round one last year, they took care of Merritt Island in round two, 49-28 on their way to Orlando.
Stay tuned to Space Coast Daily and the Friday Night Locker Room’s wall to wall coverage of the playoffs through November and into December.
On Monday night, Space Coast Sports Hall of Famers and members of the Friday Night Locker Room Steve Wilson and Orville Susong along with Alan Zlotorzynski and Zach Clark will be at Beef o’ Brady’s on state road 524 in Cocoa to do a special two-hour playoff preview show starting at 7:00 p.m.
The show can be seen on Space Coast Daily’s Facebook Live page.
Here are this week’s Bright House Sports Networks’ Top 20
1. Cocoa (6-1) – Tigers, who host Rockledge this week, have scored more than 40 points in five of their seven games this season.
2. Mainland (9-0) – Bucs are averaging 49.3 points per game, the highest mark in Central Florida.
3. Apopka (9-0) – Blue Darters finished the regular season undefeated for the first time since 1994.
4. Seminole (9-0) – Running back D.J. Hampton scored three touchdowns against Lake Mary to bring his total to 18 for the season.
5. Osceola (10-0) – Regular season is done for the Kowboys, who will have two weeks to prepare for first round playoff game against Treasure Coast on Nov. 11.
6. Dr. Phillips (7-2) – Quarterback Marvin Washington tied a school record by throwing for five touchdown passes against Cypress Creek.
7. Bishop Moore (8-1) – Hornets got destroyed by Lake Brantley in the regular season finale last year and get a chance for revenge this week.
8. Viera (6-2) – Hawks offense has put up more than 50 points in three consecutive games.
9. Palm Bay (8-0) – Pirates put up a season high 49 points while rolling to an easy victory against Satellite.
10. Jones (8-1) – Tigers secured a playoff berth by dominating Lake Highland 41-13 in the BHSN Game of the Week.
11. Hagerty (8-1) – Huskies close out the regular season with a matchup against No. 15 Timber Creek.
12. Melbourne Central Catholic (8-0) – Junior Joaquin Collazo is Central Florida’s leading passer with more than 2,000 yards.
13. Orange City University (8-2) – Titans are 24-6 on the field the last three years but haven’t made the playoffs in any of those seasons.
14. Wekiva (6-3) – Mustangs are in the playoffs for the second time in program history after Thursday’s 49-20 beat down of West Orange.
15. Timber Creek (7-2) – Wolves defense has yielded 10 points or less in six of their nine games this season.
16. Lake Brantley (6-3) – Patriots backs Carnelious Dennison (10) and Trace Christian (12) both have double digit rushing touchdowns.
17. Spruce Creek (6-3) – Hawks, winners of four straight, will head to Jacksonville Monday for a district tiebreaker with Mandarin and Sandalwood.
18. Winter Park (6-3) – Wildcats fell to Spruce Creek 14-9 in their first home game of the season at renovated Showalter Field.
19. South Sumter (8-1) – Raiders pasted Mount Dora 42-0 to lock up the 4A, District 4 title.
20. Ocoee (6-3) – Knights end the regular season with a community rivalry game against West Orange with ‘The Shield’ on the line.
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