Hawks, Tigers get good news when FHSAA football playoff brackets released

The FHSAA released its playoff brackets on Sunday and University of Florida commit Jamari Lyons and his Viera High teammates are the No. 7 seed in the Class 7A. The Hawks will travel to play No. 2 Martin County Friday night. Meanwhile, the Holy Trinity Tigers are the No. 4 seed in Class 2A and have a home game scheduled against Orangewood Christian.

The FHSAA released the brackets for this year’s football playoffs Sunday morning and it was good news for both the Viera Hawks and the Holy Trinity Tigers.

Viera (5-4) received the seventh seed in Class 7A and is scheduled to play at No. 2 Martin County (8-0) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Holy Trinity (9-1), which lost its final regular-season game, got the No. 4 seed in Class 2A. The Tigers drew No. 5 Orangewood Christian (5-5) for a regional quarterfinal next Friday in Melbourne at 7:30 p.m.

The Hawks, who have now lost three of their last four, had a chance to secure a postseason home game if they could win their seventh straight district championship.

However, after losing at home to Melbourne in the district title game two weeks ago, and then on the road at Merritt Island on Friday, Viera had to wait to see where the FHSAA’s RPI rankings would put them.

“I think we’re in the same spot in the bracket that we would be whether we won the district or not,” Viera High coach Derek Smith said. “The only difference is we’re on the road instead of hosting.

“It’s our job to win. You lose, you’re out.”

Martin County, which has outscored opponents 258-53 this season and is known for its high-powered passing game, will certainly challenge an area of Viera’s defense that struggled mightily early in the season.

While playing an undefeated team in the postseason is never easy, the way the brackets unfolded is really a best-case scenario for the Hawks as well as the Melbourne Bulldogs.

The winner of the Viera-Martin County game will take on the winner of No. 3 Melbourne against No. 6 Seminole Ridge.

In that scenario, the two teams in the region ranked highest in the state in Class 6A – Lakeland is rated No. 6 by MaxPreps while Edgewater is No. 7 – are on the other side of the bracket.

Lakeland (9-1), which is actually the No. 5 seed, will get No. 4 Lake Gibson (6-3) in a district rematch. Top-seeded Edgewater (9-1), meanwhile, will take on eighth-seeded Bartow (5-5).

After getting off to the best start in program history, the Holy Trinity Tigers went into Saturday night’s road game against Father Lopez ranked fourth in their region in Class 2A and with a chance to complete an undefeated regular season.

However, the Tigers went to Daytona Beach shorthanded thanks to a rash of illnesses and lost 35-0 to Father Lopez. That had Holy Trinity wondering where it would be seeded, or even if the Tigers would be left out altogether despite being 9-1.

Turned out, the loss didn’t change a thing.

The Tigers are the No. 4 seed and will host Orangewood Christian with the winner facing No. 1 Orlando Christian Prep (8-1), which received a first-round bye.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Brevard County football playoff scenarios released Sunday:

Class 6A

Heritage (7-3) is in, but the eighth-seeded Panthers drew a tough first-round matchup with No. 1 seed Vanguard (10-0).

Class 5A

This is easily the most interesting playoff region in the county.

Merritt Island (9-1) drew the No. 1 seed and a first-round home game against No. 8 Leesburg (6-4). On the same side of the bracket, the Rockledge Raiders (8-2) drew the No. 5 seed as expected and will travel to play No. 4 Seabreeze (7-4).

Should Rockledge and Merritt Island both win, we would get a rematch of a game that decided the District 8 championship in the semifinal round.

On the other side of the bracket, the Satellite Scorpions (8-2) are seeded sixth. They have a date with No. 3 Tavares (9-1) in the regional quarterfinals.

If the Scorpions can pull the upset, then beat the winner of the game between No. 2 Dunnellon (8-2) and No. 7 Bishop Moore (4-6) in the next round, we could potentially have an all-Brevard County matchup to see who goes to the final four.

Class 4A

There was no question the Cocoa Tigers (8-1) would get the No. 1 seed in the region, especially after beating Rockledge in the annual BBQ Bowl Friday night.

The Tigers, who are ranked No. 1 in Class 4A and No. 8 in the state overall, have a first-round bye.

Cocoa will face the winner of the game between No. 4 South Sumter (6-4) and No. 5 Hernando (6-4) in the regional semifinals.

The FHSAA state championship games are scheduled for Dec. 9-11 at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee for Classes 1A-3A. The schedule for Classes 4A-8A is Dec. 16-18 at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.