WATCH: Controversy Over Officiating Flares as Cocoa Loses to St. Thomas Aquinas 36-34 in Final 9 Seconds
By Juan Rodriguez, Sports Editor // September 9, 2023
tigers led 36-34 in the final minutes
Then, a series of clock and referee errors gave the ball back to the Raiders, who kicked a late FG to escape with a win 😱
— SBLive Sports (@SBLiveSports) September 9, 2023
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.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA – 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.
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.
“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 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
■ Rockledge 59 at Viera 21 – Watch game replay below.
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■ Astronaut 0 at Merritt Island 54 – Watch game replay below.
■ Cocoa 36 at St. Thomas Aquinas 37
■ Centennial 0 at Heritage 23
■ Harmony 0 at Palm Bay 47
■ Taylor 6 at Cocoa Beach 36
■ Winter Haven 0 at Eau Gallie 35
■ Palm Beach Christian 6 at Holy Trinity 42
■ Ft. Pierce Central 41 at Bayside 7
■ Satellite 25 at Melbourne 8
■ Lake Howell 35 at Space Coast 0
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