The Cocoa Tigers Defeat the Palm Bay Pirates 35-14 for the First Game of the Season

The Cocoa Tigers Defeat the Palm Bay Pirates 35-14 for the First Game of the Season

The Tigers celebrate after a big defensive play (Florida Today image).

Written By: Jordan Rocco

“We started off slow we came back in the second half.. we did what Cocoa does Cocoa fast football” – Caziah Holmes

Last Friday the Cocoa Tigers began their journey to their third consecutive state championship appearance by taking on the Palm Bay Pirates at Dick Blake stadium for the first game of the 2018-2019 season.

This was not a easy challenge for the Tigers. The Pirates have made the playoffs for 21 times out of the past 22 years.

The Tigers captains this season are linebackers Brock Holland and Allen Pierce, wide receiver Willie Gaines, offensive lineman Richie Leonard, and kicker/punter Alex Petruzzello.

The game started off slow for the Tigers. They were unable to put up any points in the first quarter. The Pirates scored one touchdown in the first quarter off of a four yard rushing touchdown by Nate Wright.

The Tigers responded to the Pirates touchdown in the second quarter with 9:01 remaining with a touchdown of their own, sophomore quarterback Diego Arroyo threw a 10 yard touchdown to senior wide receiver Jamari Williams. Alex Petruzzello followed the touchdown with a extra point making the score 7-6 Tigers on top.

The Pirates were able to continue to score with a one yard rushing touchdown from quarterback Jaheim Mayes. This made the score 14-7 Pirates on top. The Pirates had a opportunity to run the clock down and go into the second half with a 7 point lead, but they had a fumble and the Tigers gained possession of the ball.

With 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter sophomore quarterback Diego Arroyo found senior wide receiver once again for a 22 yard passing touchdown.

Alex Petruzzello followed the touchdown with a extra point to tie the game up 14-14 going into the second half.

Once the first half ended Coach Schneider spoke to the team and got them pumped up going into the second half.

We do not know what Schneider said in the locker room but whatever it was, worked. The Tigers were unstoppable in the second half.

Junior running back Caziah Holmes ran all over the Pirates in the second half. He started his second half dominance in the third quarter with 8:05 remaining, Holmes ran for a 45 yard touchdown. Nobody could catch the football and track star. Alex Petruzzello responded to the touchdown with a extra point making the score 21-14.

The Tigers defense shut the Pirates down in the third quarter, they were unable to respond to Caziah’s touchdown. With 3:05 remaining in the third quarter “Playstation” Willie Gaines dashed for a 45 yard touchdown. Alex Petruzzello made the extra point to give the Tigers a two touchdown lead 28-14.

Caziah Holmes ran for a four yard touchdown in the fourth quarter with 9:15 remaining. Alex Petruzzello made his fifth extra point of the game and this was the final touchdown of the game.

The Cocoa Tigers defeated the Palm Bay Pirates 35-14. This was coach Ryan Scheider’s first victory as the head coach of the Cocoa Tigers.

The Tigers travel all the way to Port St. Lucie next week to take on the Treasure Coast Titans.

The first game of the season was a spectacular overall game for the Tigers. This was a great start for what looks to be another extraordinary Cocoa Tiger football season.