REPLAY: Space Coast Tar Heels Open Season With Hard Fought 19-6 Win Over Georgia Cobras
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Senior Editor // February 10, 2019
Tar Heels Return to Space Coast Daily TV in Two weeks, travel to Daytona Beach next week
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: On a rainy, sloppy Saturday night at Jay Donnelly Field on the campus of Astronaut High School, Brevard County’s semipro team, the Space Coast Tar Heels kicked off their season with a hard-fought 19-6 win over the Georgia Cobras.
BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – On a rainy, sloppy Saturday night at Jay Donnelly Field on the campus of Astronaut High School, Brevard County’s semipro football team, the Space Coast Tar Heels kicked off their season with a hard-fought, 19-6 win over the Georgia Cobras.
The Tar Heels registered a hat trick of touchdowns as they scored on offense, defense and special teams in the win.
The game was well played but certainly had moments that reflected it was indeed the first contest of the season. Both teams moved the ball but mistakes and untimely penalties stalled drives and allowed others to continue as both sides of the ball were guilty of infractions.
Both the Tar Heels and Cobras defenses played well holding the respective offenses out of the end zone until just before the end of the first half. In fact, each team scored their only offensive touchdowns with less than two minutes to play in the second quarter.
After recovering a fumble by Space Coast quarterback Cam Stroud, the Cobras offense struck first.
Following a fourth down and long conversion that placed that gave Georgia a first and goal from the Space Coast one-yard line, the Cobras needed all four downs to get into the endzone as the Tar Heels nearly pulled off the goalline stand.
On fourth down Georgia quarterback Will Davis took the snap from the shotgun and found paydirt. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Cobras led 6-0
On the ensuing kickoff, former Heritage High running back Dedric Witherspoon set the Tar Heels up with excellent field position as he returned the ball to the Cobras 42-yard line with 1:37 to play before the break.
As it did for most of the night, the Tar Heels offense struggled to move the ball but a roughing the passer followed by a pass interference penalty in the endzone a few plays later gave Space Coast the ball on the one-yard line with 20 seconds to play in the half.
On first and goal Stroud handed off to true fullback Will Snell who pounded his way into the end zone and then danced his way back to the sideline to tie the game at 6-6.
The Tar Heels do have a solid kicker in Alex Garcia and he nailed the extra point to give Space Coast a 7-6 halftime lead. The second half was played in a steady mist of rain and wind and the defenses dominated especially the hometown Tar Heels unit.
Neither team scored in the third quarter and if you know how football works, it was obvious the team that committed the biggest mistake at this point would likely lose the football game.
That mistake came with a little less than six minutes to play in the game when on fourth and 12 from the Cobras 22-yard the Tar Heels Rashad Payne wasn’t touched and flew in from the left side blocking the Cobras punt attempt.
The ball rolled into the endzone where a mad scramble ensued with Dontavious Elmore finally recovering the ball for a Space Coast touchdown. The extra point attempt failed but Space Coast led 13-6.
The Cobras started to move the ball on the ensuing drive as the Tar Heels defense was bending late in the game but it didn’t break.
Following a play that saw Space Coast nearly intercept the Georgia quarterback, the Cobras signal caller pressed his luck on the very next play, and this time, it cost his team six points.
On third and ten with 3;30 to play in the game, Georgia’s Bruce Thomas dropped back to pass and looked to throw to the sidelines but Space Coast defensive back Kalil Owens was ready and jumped the route intercepting the ball.
Owens made sure he caught the ball first falling down in the process but the Tarheels play in a league that uses NFL rules so Owens got up and promptly returned the ball 69-yards for a touchdown.
The extra point failed but the pick-six gave the Tar Heels an insurmountable 19-6 lead with a little over three minutes to play.
As it had done all night, the Tar Heels defense finished off the Cobras and following a failed fourth-down attempt with under a minute to play, Space Coast took over and went into victory formation ending the game.
Space Coast is now 1-0 and including the preseason have won four of their last five.
While defensive coordinator David Dye’s entire defense played great on the night, linebacker DeJoun Fisher, defensive end Rashad Payne and of course defensive back Kalil Ownes with the pick-six, stood to out in the contest.
The offense will play better. Defenses are generally ahead of their counterparts early in football seasons. The Tar Heels return to the practice field on Tuesday night where issues such as timing between quarterback Cam Stroud and his receivers will no doubt be a central focus.
Space Coast head coach Mark Lucas and his team (1-0) will travel to play the Miracle City Cougars next Saturday in Daytona Beach.
Be sure not to miss the Tar Heels return to Astronaut High School and Space Coast Daily TV in two weeks when they host the Bay Area Reapers from Saint Petersburg, Florida.
Those two teams squared off on Saturday night as well with the Miracle City Cougars posting a 30- win over Bay Area. The Tar Heels are ranked sixth in the FCFL while Bay Area is 11th and Miracle City 12th.
The Tar Heels play in the Florida Champions Football League. The FCFL is a non-profit organization of 18 adult amateur American minor league football teams that play in the sunshine state.
The quality of football is good and the players play for the love of the game. The Tar Heels need your support and Saturday night football is a good way to spend an evening in Brevard County.
Season passes are available. For more information CLICK HERE or call 321-607-0235.
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS