Viera High football routs Rockledge
The Viera High football team feels like it has something to prove this season. The Hawks sure proved something to the Rockledge Raiders Friday night.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
The Viera High football team’s So … You Believe Us Now? Tour (also known as the regular season) kicked off in earnest on a soggy Friday night in Rockledge.
Viera certainly showed it’s ready for the big stage.
Zack Blanch ran for three touchdowns – all in the first quarter – and the Viera defense dominated as the Hawks rolled over the Raiders 53-7 at McLarty Stadium.
“We played good tonight,” Hawks coach Kevin Mays said.
Viera is coming off the best season in school history (8-2), but the Hawks clearly feel like they still have a lot to prove to the rest of the county.
“I think teams still think, ‘Oh, it’s the same old Viera,’” junior defensive back Trevor Merritt said. “They still think we’re soft. We’ve got a lot to prove.”
The Hawks certainly proved their point to their rivals, scoring on both of Rockledge’s first two possessions before Viera’s offense even had a chance to take a snap.
Merritt helped Viera set the tone early, stripping a Rockledge ball carrier and returning the ball 25 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first series.
“He was running and I saw the ball,” Merritt said. “If I see the ball, I’m going to take it. It’s my ball. So I took it … took it to the house.”
Rockledge would be forced to punt on its next possession and following a high snap, Viera’s Conner Post tackled the Raiders’ punter in the end zone for a safety to make it 9-0.
Viera’s offense then took over as Blanch scored on runs of 17, 2 and 12 yards to help the Hawks jump out to a 29-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
After junior quarterback Hayden Kingston hooked up with Devin Nixon on a 95-yard touchdown pass to make it 36-0, Rockledge finally mounted an offensive drive and scored with just 2.4 seconds left in the half.
The Raiders’ excitement would be short-lived, however, as Viera’s Tre Nixon took the ensuing kickoff back 76 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the half.
Viera would get a 20-yard field goal from Jacob Kutcher and a 15-yard scoring run from freshman Brandon Mays to close out the scoring.
“That was special to watch,” Viera coach Kevin Mays said of seeing his son score his first career varsity touchdown.
Viera visits Satellite Beach next week. Another opponent, another chance to prove the Hawks are a legitimate postseason contender.
“I think until we make the playoffs, we’re still a team that hasn’t made the playoffs,” Kevin Mays said. “Until we get there … yeah, I think we do (have something to prove). Keep that chip on the shoulder.”