Nixon, defense lead Viera past Astronaut 42-3


Viera quarterback Hayden Kingston connected on touchdown passes of 50 and 60 yards to Tre Nixon during Friday night's win.


The Viera High offense is getting plenty of notoriety this season – and with good reason.

Wide receiver Tre Nixon caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Hayden Kingston and ran for a third score as the Hawks celebrated their homecoming game in style with a 42-3 victory over the visiting Astronaut War Eagles Friday night.

Viera (4-0) has outscored its opponents 193-16 this season and is still ranked No. 10 in the Class 7A state poll.

But let’s talk about the 16 points the Hawks have given up. Six of them came on a special teams touchdown when Sebastian River picked up a fumbled punt snap and scored. The three points Astronaut got Friday night came on a field goal following another Viera turnover deep inside the Hawks’ territory. So really, the only long touchdown drive given up by Viera’s defense all season came at the end of the first half of the Rockledge game.

“The defense should probably get more credit than the offense gets because they’re playing lights out,” Hawks coach Kevin Mays said.

That swarming defense paid off again Friday as Viera defensive lineman Daniel Hayasaka forced a fumble that was picked up by Trevor Merritt, who returned it 65 yards for a touchdown.

“It’s all the coaching,” Merritt said. “We have great coaches … plus we have decent athletes that can play football.”

The Hawks got one of those athletes back Friday night as Taylor Streeter made his return after breaking his leg in the spring game.

“It feels amazing to be back on the field with the guys again,” Streeter said. “It was tough (being out), but I’m just glad to be back.”

Nixon caught touchdown passes of 50 and 60 yards and also ran one in from eight yards out to help secure the win. Devin Nixon scored on a 7-yard run and Quinn Jones had a 10-yard touchdown run for Viera.

Next week is the big one as the Hawks travel to Eau Gallie for a key district game. Viera lost to Eau Gallie and Melbourne last year and missed the playoffs.

“We were in the same spot last year and we blew it,” Mays said. “We’ve got to prepare a little harder than we did last year. Next week’s what you play for. You’ve got to win that game, really, to have a chance at the playoffs. It really becomes a playoff game.”

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