Week 8 of Brevard County high school begins a day early, and it immediately offers games crucial in the race for playoff spots.
Thursday brings three games, each with significant postseason implications involving the five Brevard teams involved.
For Viera, which opened its District 6-7A season two weeks ago with a win over Melbourne, the game at Martin County is magnified because each team plays just three district games. The Hawks and Tigers are the two teams at 1-0, meaning the winner will be at the top of the heap with one to go.
That is where Viera coach Kevin Mays wants his players to be focused.
“We’ve told them that it puts us in the driver’s seat,” Hawks coach Kevin Mays said. “We want to be able to control our own destiny.”
Melbourne could help the Hawks clinch the district title by winning at South Fork. In combination with a Viera victory, that would leave the two teams that would still be able to tie the Hawks, Melbourne and Martin County, on the losing end of a tiebreaker.
In District 5-4A, both Cocoa and Astronaut are unbeaten and playing in Orlando with opportunities to solidify their standing.
The War Eagles could clinch a playoff spot with a Friday win at Lake Highland Prep. It’s a significant improvement for a team that won just two games last season and hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2011.
Combined with a Tigers win at Jones on Thursday, that would set up a game for the district title next week, when the War Eagles visit Cocoa.
Thursday Brevard high school football capsules
A similar situation exists for District 14-5A leaders Merritt Island and Palm Bay. Both are 2-0 against district opponents and play separately Thursday night, the Mustangs at Titusville while the Pirates host Space Coast.
Next week, they play each other at Merritt Island.
For the Terriers and Vipers, Thursday’s games are the key to the postseason. Each needs a win to stay in the thick of the race.
Heritage, meanwhile, plays its Friday home game against the other unbeaten District 14-6A team, Sebastian River. The Panthers, at 2-0 in the district, are a half-game behind the 3-0 Sharks, but the winner will be the only unbeaten.
Sebastian River could clinch 14-6A with a win over Heritage and an Eau Gallie loss at Jensen Beach, but a Commodores win could leave open the possibility of a three-way tie for first. If the Panthers and Eau Gallie win, the Commodores remain in control of their own destiny.
Another team playing for its playoff fate is Melbourne Central Catholic. Should the Hustlers lose at John Carroll on Friday, the Rams and Holy Trinity would be assured of District 6-3A’s two playoff spots. They would meet in Melbourne on Oct. 30 to play for the district title.
Contact McCallum at 321-242-3698 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Brian_McCallum and at facebook.com/FLtoday.brianmccallum.
Cocoa up to 4; Panthers still unranked
Merritt Island at Titusville, 7 p.m.
Space Coast at Palm Bay, 7
Cocoa at Orlando Jones, 7:30
Rockledge at Satellite, 7
Sebastian River at Heritage, 7
Archbishop Curley at Holy Trinity, 7
Viera at Martin County, 7
Eau Gallie at Jensen Beach, 7
Melbourne at South Fork, 7
Bayside at Okeechobee, 7
Melbourne CC at John Carroll, 7
Merritt Island Christian at Lake Mary Prep, 7
Astronaut at Lake Highland Prep, 7:30
High school sports | floridatoday.com/sports/high-school-sports/