WATCH PREVIEW: Brevard Sends Nine to FHSAA Football Playoffs, Set to Begin Friday
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Senior Editor // November 4, 2018
Rockledge, Cocoa Earn No.1 seeds in their regions
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: The FHSAA Football playoffs start Friday and Space Coast Daily’s Alan Zlotorzynski joins the Friday Night Locker Room team of Steve Wilson and Orville Susong to break down the matchups with some of the coaches.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – After 11 weeks of play, high school football teams from around the state of Florida were forced to wait two more days to see who their opponents would be in the Florida High School State Athletic Association playoffs that begin on Friday and culminate over a three day period at Camping World Stadium in early December.
For some teams, the wait was to see if they would qualify for the playoffs at all.
Following last week’s FHSAA Power Rankings, Brevard County had 10 teams positioned to make the playoffs. In the end, nine teams will represent the Space Coast when the FHSAA playoffs kick off Friday night at 7:30 p.m. across the state.
Several teams on the ‘bubble’ lost on Friday placing their playoff hopes in jeopardy. The 4-6 Palm Bay Pirates lost to Treasure Coast and have missed the playoffs for only the second time under head coach Dan Burke.
Starting in Class 7A the Viera Hawks who lost their first three games and then won seven straight is the No.2 seed in Region 2 and will host the 7-3 Sickles Gryphons from Tampa.
In 6A, two Brevard County teams that lost their final game of the season will face each other in a rematch from earlier this year. The 8-2 Heritage Panthers, winners of 6A District 14 will face the Eau Gallie Commodores.
Eau Gallie finished 7-3 and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2013 under first-year head coach Chris Sands. The Panthers defeated the Commodores 33-17 back in week 4 in a very hotly contested matchup.
The No.1 Brevard County Ranked Rockledge Raiders, who finished 9-1 pick up a well deserved No.1 seed in Class 5A Region 4 and will host the Coconut Creek Cougars from just outside of Pompano Becah.
The Cougars finished 6-4 this year.
At 5-5, Merritt Island never put together two consecutive wins this year but never lost two in a row either as the Mustangs alternated wins and losses and will return to the playoffs for the 11th straight year.
The Mustangs will travel to FT. Lauderdale to face the Chiefs from Cardinal Gibbons. The Chiefs finished 8-2 this year and knocked Rockledge out of the playoffs last season.
The Cocoa Tigers finished 7-3 under first-year head coach Ryan Schneider but their strength of schedule was tough enough to earn the four-time state champs a No.1 seed in Class 4A Region 3 and as a result, have a bye week to start the playoffs.
The Astronaut War Eagles return to the playoffs under their second-year head coach Justin Wordin for the first time since 2015. The War Eagles are arguably the surprise of the county this year finishing 9-1.
Astronaut will face Avon Park in a first-round matchup with the winner facing the Cocoa Tigers. The Red Devils finished 5-5 this year.
In Class 3A, Brevard County sends two more teams to the FHSAA playoffs. The 6-4 Melbourne Central Catholic Hustlers will face a team familiar to Space Coast area teams, the Green Wave of Father Lopez.
Holy Trinity will face 8-2 Cardinal Newman. The Tigers return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015 and will be looking for the programs first-ever postseason win.
In the end, four of the eight new head coaches in the area made the playoffs. Cocoa’s Ryan Schneider, Eau Gallie’s Chris Sands, Merritt Island’s Hurlie Brown and Viera’s Derek Smith combined to finish 26-14.
Sickles (7-3) at Viera (7-3)
Eau Gallie (7-3) at Heritage (8-2), 7:30
Coconut Creek (6-4) at Rockledge (9-1), 7:30
Merritt Island (5-5) at Cardinal Gibbons (8-2), 7:30
Cocoa (7-3), bye
Avon Park (5-5) at Astronaut (9-1), 7:30
MCC (6-4) at Father Lopez (8-2), 7:30
Holy Trinty (5-4) at Cardinal Newman (8-2), 7:30
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