Cocoa Tigers Advance to Class 4A State Championship After Second Half Comeback to Defeat Bolles 35-24
By Space Coast Daily // December 4, 2021
Cocoa will face the Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs in the Class 4A state championship Dec. 16
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – The Cocoa Tigers defeated Bolles High School 35-24 in an impressive come-back victory on Friday night to advance to the FHSAA Class 4A State Championship on Dec. 16.
The Tigers trailed 24-7 in the first half and went on to score 28 unanswered points in the second half to defeat the Bulldogs.
Kickoff for the Class 4A State Championship game is set for 7 p.m. at the newly renovated DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale as Cocoa will face the Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs.
The Chiefs ended the Tigers’ season last year in the 2020 state semifinal game 45-15.
The Tigers return to the state championship game for the first time since 2018. This is will be the seventh state championship appearance in program history, and second under Tiger head coach Ryan Schneider.
Cocoa finished the regular season with an 8-1 record and began the 2021 postseason with a first-round bye. The Tigers then hosted South Sumter High School, shutting out the Raiders 41-0 in the regional semifinals. Cocoa then advanced to the state semifinals and put together a remarkable second-half comeback to defeat Bolles 35-24.
The Tigers will look to bring a championship back home for the first time since 2016, which is highlighted in the below video.
ABOVE VIDEO: Cocoa High School Football – 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame
ABOVE VIDEO: SCD SPECIAL – Cocoa Tigers Football State Championship Game Rewind In 3 Minutes.
The game lived up to the hype, with Cocoa on its home field breaking the Tornadoes’ five-year hold on the playoff series with tenacious defense, opportunistic offense and a few favorable “bounces” that resulted in a 24-21 Tiger victory and a showdown date at the Citrus Bowl with 11-time state champion, Jacksonville Bolles.
The championship game turned out to be anti-climactic as the Tigers controlled the Class 4A state title game from start to finish. As it was all season, the 31-17 championship win was a team effort with sterling performances by the offense, defense and special teams.
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