Atkins breaks two school records as Hawks top South Fork
Senior receiver now Viera's all-time leader in receiving yards, touchdowns
Viera High receiver Sean Atkins became the school's all-time leader in receiving yards and touchdowns Friday night. Atkins caught three touchdown passes and ran for another as Viera defeated host South Fork 49-3.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
STUART – Well, that was one for the record books.
Not only did the Viera Hawks dispatch the host South Fork Bulldogs 49-3 Friday night, Sean Atkins became the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards and total touchdowns.
That’s not all:
* Senior wide receiver Shamaar Mohr caught two touchdown passes and now has 53 receptions for 1,171 yards and 11 TDs. He is closing in on what is believed to be the county record for most receiving yards in a single season (1,236).
* Sophomore quarterback Bryce Norton threw for 309 yards and five touchdowns, while also rushing for 153 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown run.
So far, this season, Norton has thrown for 2,524 yards and 27 touchdowns and is just 11 yards away from becoming a 1,000-yard rusher as well. He has a chance to become the school’s first player to throw for more than 3,000 yards and rush for more than 1,000 in the same season.
He’s also got 3,528 total yards and has scored 10 touchdowns on the ground and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass as well.
* Senior linebacker Hunter Lee had nine tackles, assisted on four others and now has a team-high 113 total tackles for the season.
* Viera got interceptions from three sophomores – Jackson Hatfield, Kato Holmes and Bryce Reynolds.
* Oh yeah, and the Hawks stretched their Class 7A, District 6 winning streak to 17 games. Viera has now gone undefeated in district play for five consecutive seasons.
* And because Viera was able to get up on South Fork so quickly – it was 21-0 after the first quarter – the Hawks were able to play a lot of their backups and players recently brought up from the JV team.
“It’s really exciting seeing all the young guys playing because that was you a couple of years ago and all the seniors hyped you up when you made a play,” Atkins said. “It was awesome seeing that. It’s just all love for the team.”
Atkins, who caught touchdown passes of 8, 8 and 30 yards, now has 139 career receptions for a school record 2,255 yards, surpassing the old record of Tre Nixon.
“That’s just another stat line,” Atkins. “It’s awesome. It’s a blessing.”
The senior receiver also scored on a 62-yard fake punt Friday night, giving him 41 career touchdowns and setting another school record.
Overall, Atkins has caught 25 touchdown passes, rushed for 431 yards and 11 scores and returned 27 punts for 688 yards and five touchdowns.
“That’s cool for Sean. He deserves that,” Viera coach Derek Smith said. “I mean, he’s a folk hero to our kids. Our kids love him. Our kids would do anything for that kid and it’s great when a kid like that gets to step up and do that.”
Much like Homecoming and Senior Night, the Hawks couldn’t have asked for the night to go any better.
Freshman running back TJ Johnson flashed some potential, freshman kicker Jared Perdomo alternated on kickoffs and other players got a chance to shine. Reynolds’ interception, for example, came on the game’s final play and resulted in a big celebration.
“He’s a good, young DB,” Viera senior defensive back Garrett Kaminski said of Reynolds. “It’s definitely fun watching the young kids get in, especially that – first varsity game and he gets a pick. It’s definitely good.”
With one more game – at Heritage – left on the regular season schedule, the Hawks certainly seem like they’re on a roll.
“Especially on the offensive side of the ball,” Kaminski said. “The defensive side, too. We’ve fixed up a lot of things. But on offense, you can tell they’ve really brought it together. They’re starting to click. Bryce (Norton) is really comfortable with what he’s doing and we’re doing good all around.”
Smith said he gave his team one simple message before Friday night’s game, and that was to not give Viera’s future playoff opponents something to exploit down the road.
“We weren’t playing our opponent tonight,” Smith said. “The message tonight was don’t give our future playoff opponents something on film that shows we have a weakness.
“I wanted, from tackle-to-tackle and tailbacks-to-receivers, make sure we looked crisp on our offense. And defensively, I wanted to make sure everybody lined up correctly and did their jobs. That was tonight’s goal.”
In terms of opponents, Viera’s degree of difficulty will start to ramp up considerably starting with the regular season finale against Class 6A, District 14 champion Heritage (8-1), which was won eight in a row and was ranked second in its region in the FHSAA playoff point standings after nine weeks.
Viera (6-3), which has now won six in a row, was ranked second in its region.
That 0-3 start to the season seems like a distant memory. These Hawks are now on a roll.
“We knew, especially the older kids, that we couldn’t give up on each other,” Kaminski said. “We started out hard with three tough games. We didn’t start pointing fingers. We really just came together after that.
“And that’s when we really started bringing it to together and started winning.”