By  //  December 1, 2012

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BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – It was basically over from the start Friday night in Palm Bay as the visiting Central Miami Rockets and their multi-dimensional rushing attack marched up and down the field effectively ending the season of the host Palm Bay Pirates in the Class 6A Regional final.

Quarterback Brian Fallace of Palm Bay takes a snap under center during the Class 6A Regional Final prep football game against Miami Central at Pirate Stadium in Melbourne on Friday night. (Image by Frank Deame)

Central running backs Malik Adams, Keron Bell, and Joseph Yearby all tallied touchdowns on the ground for the Rockets Friday night.

Adams also returned an interception for 35 yards and another score.

Lost in all of the Central Miami rushing was kicker Emilio Nadelman, who was a perfect 6/6 on point after touchdown attempts and he also drilled a 54- yard field goal going into halftime that bounced off the crossbar before going through to give the Rockets a three-score lead at intermission.

Senior B.J. Ross appeared in his final prep football game for Palm Bay on Friday night. (Image by Ed Pierce)

Palm Bay had issues stopping the run, and starting the run, or pass for that matter. The Pirates only score was on a punt return that appeared to be over, but was not blown dead, which led to Central Miami kick returner Dalvin Cook reversing field into his own end zone where he was stopped for a safety.

Palm Bay head coach Dan Burke thanked his departing senior class following the game.

“I wanna talk about my seniors,” Burke said heading into the locker room, “Three years to the Elite 8 and I’m just so proud of em.”

Palm Bay’s season ended with a successful 9-4 record.

– Kenny Jones



BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – Booker T. Washington quarterback Treon Harris put on a show Friday night in the Class 4A football state semifinals. For the most part, all Cocoa could do was watch.

Cocoa’s Antwan Lee scored two touchdowns Friday night, but Miami’s Booker T. Washington eliminated the TIgers 41-13 in the Class 4A state semifinals at Cocoa Municipal Stadium. (Image by Friday Night Locker Room)

Harris completed 12 of 18 passes for 149 yards and three touchdowns and added 136 yards rushing and one touchdown on 17 carries as the Tornadoes defeated the Tigers 41-13. In the first half, Harris completed 10 of his first 11 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns and finished 11 of 15 for 143 yards and three touchdowns during the opening 24 minutes as the Miami-based school forged a 34-13 advantage. Harris had 123 yards rushing on 16 carries in the first half.

“I have to give a lot of credit to our offensive line,” Harris said. “They always play great. I saw when (Cocoa) had five in the box that we could go man on man with them. We’re a spread team and speed kills.”

Cocoa looked like it would have some momentum going into halftime when Antwan Lee ran to the right and then cut to the middle for a 22-yard touchdown run with 53 seconds to play in the second quarter. The scoring play on third-down-and-10 chopped the Tornadoes’ lead to 27-13. A bad snap and hold foiled the extra-point attempt as Cocoa was forced to fall on the football.

Lee had run for a 16-yard gain on first down after Cocoa took possession at the Washington 38-yard line after a 26-yard punt by Tyrell Everett. But Tarean Folston was held to a 2-yard run on the next play, and quarterback Jaelon Knowles was sacked for a 2-yard loss on second down. Lee then scored to excite the home crowd.

Senior Tarean Folston of Cocoa had 74 yards rushing on 21 carries in his final game for the Tigers against Booker T. Washington on Friday night in the Class 4A state semifinals. (Image courtesy Friday Night Locker Room)

Washington took over at its own 39 after a short kickoff by Cocoa was not returned. Krondis Larry burst up the middle for 15 yards on first down and, after a rare incomplete pass by Harris was almost intercepted on the left side, Harris ran up the middle out of the shotgun for a 26-yard gain to the Cocoa 20. Harris then ran to the right for 11 yards and another first down.

With 16 seconds to play in the second quarter, Harris found Karim Bryant open in the left corner of the end zone for a 9-yard scoring pass. Mark Walton kicked the extra point to give the Tornadoes a commanding 34-13 lead.

“I thought that touchdown meant a lot,” said Washington coach Tim Harris, who is Treon Harris’ father. “We came right back after they scored, and that was really big. I thought that wobbled them a lot.”

Washington (12-1) will face Jacksonville Bolles (12-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Orlando Citrus Bowl in the Class 4A Championship Game. Bolles ousted Yulee (9-4) 45-35 Friday on the road to advance. It will be a rematch of last year’s Class 4A title game, which Bolles won 33-25. In its season opener, Bolles edged Bayside 21-14.

Washington drove 70 yards on 10 plays to open the game, scoring on Larry’s 2-yard run up the middle with 10:13 to play in the first quarter. After throwing a long incomplete pass on first down to begin the possession, Harris was 3 of 3 for 32 yards during the drive. He threw consecutive passes to Nicholas Norris for 16 yards on the right and 13 yards to Terrawn McPhee on the left to advance the ball to the Cocoa 15.

Larry, who finished with 82 yards rushing on 15 carries, ran 10 yards up the middle for a first down and, one play later, he scored the first touchdown of the game. Walton’s PAT bounced off the right goal post as Washington took a 6-0 advantage.

Cocoa, which finished the season 10-3, quickly responded with a seven-play, 80-yard drive to take a 7-6 lead on Lee’s 12-yard scoring run with 7:30 to play in the first quarter.

Folston ran two consecutive times for 7 yards on each carry, Lee ran 15 yards to the left and followed that with a 28-yard run to the left where he cut to the sideline and almost broke it for a touchdown. Folston then ran for gains of 8 yards to the right and 3 yards up the middle for a first down at the Washington 12.

Lee then ran to the left and cut to the sideline untouched for a 12-yard touchdown. Matt Adams kicked the extra point as Cocoa took its lone lead of thenight.

Harris connected with Norris for completions of 11 and 15 yards on the second and fifth plays of the ensuing drive as Washington moved from own 34 to the Cocoa 27. Harris then ran the ball himself five of the next six plays for 22 yards to cap the 11-play, 69-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Harris’ conversion pass was incomplete as the Tornadoes clung to a 12-7 lead.

The Tigers were forced to punt after they failed to draw Washington offside on fourth-and-6 from the Cocoa 37. Folston, who averaged 46.3 yards on three punts for Cocoa, pushed the Tornadoes back to their own 29 after Lamar Tucker’s 12-yard punt return on the 46-yard punt.

Harris found McPhee open on the left side for a 15-yard reception on second down and, three plays later, Deltron Hopkins outran Cocoa’s defensive secondary to catch a 43-yard touchdown pass on the right side from Harris with 10:40 to play in the second quarter. Under pressure, Harris avoided a sack to find Hopkins wide open in the back of the end zone for a two-point conversion pass and a 20-7 lead.

“They were bigger on the lines — both on the offensive line the and defensive line,” Cocoa coach John Wilkinson said. “They had great overall team speed, especially the receivers and defensive backs. They’re fast everywhere. Their quarterback (Harris) is the guy that makes it go. They do a great job of taking advantage of what you do. If you try to take away the pass, the quarterback makes you pay when he runs. They have great schemes and they play hard.”

Washington eliminated Cocoa in the Class 4A state semifinals last season with a 20-14 victory in overtime.

“Last year, we were lucky to stop them twice on the 1,” Wilkinson said. “… We never really stopped them. This year, they put it in the end zone. … I was impressed with his (Harris) overall knowledge of the game. He’s a coach’s son and, obviously, he watches a lot of game tapes.”

Harris’ 6-yard scoring pass to Norris with 4:41 to go in the second quarter extended the Tornadoes’ lead to 27-7. Walton kicked the extra point.

“I think our team really came together in this game,” Tim Harris said. “Every player gave maximum effort on every play. We learned a lot from last year.”

Walton, who rushed for 67 yards on five carries, scored on an 11-yard run with 3:42 to play in the fourth quarter to give the Tornadoes a 41-13 lead.
Lee finished with 115 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries for Cocoa. Folston added 74 yards rushing on 21 carries. The two are among the 12 seniors who played their final football game for the Tigers.

– Jeff Navin