Hawks make homecoming night one to celebrate
Nine different players score TDs in 64-7 win over South Fork
Viera's Miguel Rodriguez brings down a South Fork ball carrier during Friday night's homecoming game, won by the Hawks 64-7.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
Talk about spreading the love around.
The Viera Hawks scored nine touchdowns in Friday night’s 64-7 homecoming game victory over South Fork.
And nine different players scored them.
So much for the idea Viera might be a little rusty coming off its bye week.
“We had so much energy coming off this bye,” senior wide receiver Quinton Russack-Cradeur said. “Not playing … we want to play every week. We came out here with a lot of energy and it was homecoming so we had to get the W.”
Although the Hawks had already clinched their fourth straight Class 7A, District 6 championship, Friday’s win gave Viera a 3-0 record in district play.
If the Hawks (6-1) can close out the regular season with another win next week on Senior Night against Heritage (7-2) they will likely secure the No. 1 seed in the Class 7A, Region 2 playoffs. That would ensure they would be at home through at least the regional finals.
The Hawks certainly looked the part Friday night.
Tim DeMorat scored on a 5-yard run, then threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Trey Schaneville, a 14-yard touchdown pass to Sean Atkins and a 30-yard scoring pass to Travis Jones to give Viera a 28-0 lead.
And that was just the first quarter.
“I was happy with the guys and the way they came out,” Viera coach Kevin Mays said. “After the bye week, I didn’t know if we would come out sluggish. We came out and looked pretty good.”
Viera’s defense and special teams had a big night, too.
A fumble recovery by Bear Bollinger led to the Hawks’ third touchdown, Qunelius Phillips had an interception and Viera’s Miguel Rodriguez and Aaron Thomas both blocked punts.
It was the block by Rodriguez that led to a safety and a 30-0 lead for the Hawks.
The ensuing possession would lead to a 19-yard touchdown pass from DeMorat to Russack-Cradeur and once again, the Hawks were on the board.
And for the fourth time on the night, DeMorat found a different receiver for the touchdown.
“We’ve got a lot of options,” Russack-Cradeur said. “The coaches call our names and we execute.”
That ability to spread the will also come in handy once the postseason arrives as teams will not be able to focus on stopping just one receiver in order to slow the Hawks down.
If Friday night showed anything, it’s that DeMorat has a lot of weapons to choose from.
“We don’t necessarily tell him who to throw to,” Mays said. “We give him the option of who’s open based on the defense.
“Tim’s really playing well right now. Receiver wise, we’ve got like six guys that we’re comfortable throwing the ball to.”
With Viera already leading 37-0, Phillips electrified the home crowd by scooping up a bouncing punt and racing 40 yards for a touchdown that made it 43-0 with just over five minutes left in the half.
If that weren’t dominant enough, moments after South Fork scored its lone touchdown of the night on a 45-yard fumble return following a bad handoff exchange, Viera’s Cortez Reid returned the kickoff to the 7-yard line.
One play later, Nate DePlancke took it in for the score to make it 50-7.
The second half was played with a running clock, but that didn’t stop the Hawks from getting two more scores.
Noah Cherichel raced to a 52-yard touchown run and moments later it was Bryce Norton took it in from 53 yards out to close out the Warriors (2-7) and make Viera’s homecoming game a huge success.
Not only that, but because the Hawks had such a big lead, they were able to give some playing time to their second and third-string units so that a lot of younger players got some valuable experience.
Couple the way the Hawks’ offense looked Friday night with the dominating effort Viera has gotten from its defense all season, and you’ve got one happy coach.
“The defense has been real strong,” Mays said. “If we can get the offense catching up to the way they’ve been playing, hopefully we can make a run in the playoffs.”