WATCH: Merritt Island Mustangs Highlighted in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Promo of ‘Friday Night Lights in Florida’
By Space Coast Daily // January 1, 2022
Merritt Island Mustangs finished season with 13-2 overall record
ABOVE VIDEO: Gov. Ron DeSantis released a video on Friday highlighting Friday Night Lights in Florida. In the video, the Merritt Island Mustangs had a heavy presence in the film which featured the State Semifinal game between Sebring at Merritt Island. Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered the opening coin toss and watched the Merritt Island Mustangs punch their ticket to the Class 5A State Championship game.
BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Gov. Ron DeSantis released a video on Friday highlighting Friday Night Lights in Florida.
In the video, the Merritt Island Mustangs had a heavy presence in the film which featured the State Semifinal game between Sebring at Merritt Island.
On December 3, Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered the opening coin toss at Merritt Island High School as the Mustangs punched their ticket to the Class 5A State Championship game after a 12-10 win over Sebring, thanks to a last minute 43-yard field goal by Merritt Island’s Brady Denaburg seen only on Space Coast Daily TV.
Merritt Island would eventually to go on to finish runner-up in Class 5A and finish the season with overall record of 13-2.
Merritt Island Head Coach Hurlie Brown and quarterback/ kicker Brady Denaburg would go on to win Space Coast Daily Coach of the Year and Player of the Year, respectively.
There was not much Denaburg did not do on the football field this year. He was the starting quarterback, placekicker, punter, and a team captain. But, most of all, he was a leader. The Mustangs did not lose to a team from the state of Florida during the regular season. Their only loss was to Cairo, Georgia during week 5. A big part of this record was the play of Denaburg.
A book could be written about the key plays Denaburg made in 2021, but three come to mind. And all three occurred in the state semifinal game against Sebring. With the Mustangs down 10-9 in the 4th quarter, play number one was made. With two minutes and twenty-five seconds left in the game, the Mustangs were facing a third and twenty-five from their own 25-yard line. On an outstanding run, Denaburg made players miss to pick up 15 yards for a manageable 4th and 10.
The very next play, he eluded two defensive players to connect with his receiver, picking up 11 yards for a 1st down.
Play number three was “The Kick.” With 48 seconds left in the game, Denaburg calmly stepped up and kicked a 43-yard field goal that sent the Mustangs to the state final.
Denaburg’s calm demeanor and his incredible play, not only in the Sebring game but for the entire season, make him the FNLR/SCD Player of the Year.
Hurlie Brown led his Mustangs farther than any Mustangs team in recent memory.
Brown is a player’s coach. He coaches hard, but attributes all of the team’s success on the players and coaches.
As Brown said after the state semifinal game against Sebring, “It’s not about me, it’s about these kids.” He wants people to know that the kids have done what he has asked and have done things the right way.
Following a tough loss to Miami Central in the State Championship, Coach Brown embraced each Merritt Island football player when he presented their State Runner-Up medals and thanked each player’s contribution to a historic year. The video, only seen on Space Coast Daily TV, struck a cord with the viewing audience and Merritt Island faithful, in despite of the defeat, the team showed a great display of sportsmanship and appreciation to represent the Merritt Island community with great pride. The video has over 13,000 views and over 400 reactions.
ABOVE VIDEO: Merritt Island Mustangs football players receive their Class 5A State Championship Runner-Up medals from Head Coach Hurlie Brown following a tough 49-14 loss to Miami Central. Merritt Island finishes the season with a 13-2 overall record.
Here is Head Coach Hurlie Brown following the State Championship:
ABOVE VIDEO: Merritt Island Mustangs Head Coach Hurlie Brown addressed the media after the Mustangs finished the season with a 13-2 overall record and finished 2021 season as State Runner-Up in Class 5A.