Florida High School Athletic Association Denies Cocoa Tigers Appeal Regarding 37-36 Loss to St. Thomas Aquinas

By  //  September 11, 2023

FHSAA officials noted Bylaw 4.2.1 as the reason for the denial

WATCH: The Friday night thriller between the Cocoa Tigers and St. Thomas Aquinas lived up to the hype and ended with controversy in the game’s final minutes. The Tigers had the ball back leading 36-34 with 1:28 left on the game clock and began celebrating what would’ve been an incredible win against a nationally-ranked opponent on the road.


WATCH BREVARD COUNTY FOOTBALL GAME REPLAYS BELOW

Cocoa Tigers Head Coach Ryan Schneider: It was officiating mistakes that led to the controversy. It was a great game between two great programs. We have nothing but respect for St. Thomas Aquinas Football.

“I see a lot of people saying St. Thomas Aquinas Football cheated us last night,” said Cocoa Tigers Head Coach Ryan Schneider via X. “I know the STA coaches and they are men of integrity and faith. It was officiating mistakes that led to the controversy. It was a great game between two great programs. We have nothing but respect for St. Thomas Aquinas Football.”

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA – The Cocoa Tigers filed an appeal regarding last Friday’s 37-36 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas and was denied by the Florida High School Athletic Association on Monday.

The Florida High School Athletic Association has denied Cocoa High School’s appeal of its 37-36 loss at St. Thomas Aquinas, which claimed the game officials did not follow proper procedure in the final minutes of the game.

FHSAA officials noted Bylaw 4.2.1 as the reason for the denial. The bylaw states, the outcome of all interscholastic contests are final, and cannot be reversed, except where the rules of the sport permit or in the case where a winner must forfeit its victory or points.

“I see a lot of people saying St. Thomas Aquinas Football cheated us last night,” said Cocoa Tigers Head Coach Ryan Schneider via X.

“I know the STA coaches and they are men of integrity and faith. It was officiating mistakes that led to the controversy. It was a great game between two great programs. We have nothing but respect for St. Thomas Aquinas Football.”

The Tigers had the ball leading 36-34 with 1:28 left on the game clock and began celebrating what would have been an incredible win against a nationally-ranked opponent on the road.

After a few kneels, mismanaged penalties, and confusion regarding timeouts, Cocoa was put in a position to give the ball back to St. Thomas with 30 seconds left in the game.

A miraculous throw by Raiders quarterback Andrew Indorf put his team on the 2-yard line, eventually setting up the game-winning walk-off field goal to win the game 37-36.

The handling of the final minutes has raised many questions in regard to officiating and the timeouts St. Thomas called when the scoreboard showed the Raiders only had one timeout left.

Cocoa Tigers 4-star edge rusher Javion Hilson makes the tackle during Friday’s matchup against St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale. (Cocoa Football FB image)

The defending State Champion Cocoa Tigers led for most of the game with a dominating performance from both sides of the ball.

Enough can’t be said about what this offense has done to start the 2023 season. Sophomore quarterback Brady Hart, in just his third start at the helm for the Tigers, threw for 480 yards and five touchdowns on the road against a nationally-ranked opponent. Three-star wide receiver Jayvan Boggs tallied his seventh touchdown in just two games after scoring four on Friday.

Cocoa isn’t a team to embrace moral victories, but this is a game the Tigers can be proud of regardless. This group continues to perform at a very high level and will have a lot to build on from the St. Thomas matchup.

The Tigers (2-1) are set to host the Eau Gallie Commodores (3-0) on Friday.

PREP FOOTBALL WEEK 3 SCOREBOARD

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β–  Astronaut 0 at Merritt Island 54 – Watch game replay below.
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β–  Centennial 0 at Heritage 23
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β–  Winter Haven 0 at Eau Gallie 35
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β–  Ft. Pierce Central 41 at Bayside 7
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