Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bolles Run over in Final; Cocoa Throws Just One Pass in Dominant Performance

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bolles Run over in Final; Cocoa Throws Just One Pass in Dominant Performance

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Barney

ORLANDO | The perfect season met a forgettable ending on Thursday night.

Bolles' run at a state championship came crashing down at Camping World Stadium, done in by an inspired Cocoa team that waited six long years for another shot at a title. The Tigers earned it with a 31-17 victory over the Bulldogs in the Class 4A championship game, their first since 2010, and the Bulldogs fourth consecutive loss in the title game.

The Tigers (12-1) made up for that gap in time - a five-year exile in the state semifinals that ended with one-sided losses to powerhouse Miami Booker T. Washington - with a rushing display reminiscent of a vintage Bolles team. The Tigers threw just one pass, rushed for 425 yards and connected on three monster touchdowns, 70, 75 and 72 yards, that turned what could have been a coronation for Bolles' 21-player senior class into another crunching loss in the final.

"We tried our best we just didn't make our tackles, give credit to them, they're the better team," said Bolles coach Corky Rogers, whose team finished 12-1.

Cocoa cycled running backs Javian Hudson and Lasedrick King with quarterback Bruce Judson to dice the Bulldogs with big play after big play in a dominant opening half, and then stamped its place in history with a backbreaking 72-yard run by King with 10 minutes and 27 seconds left for the final separation it needed.

That put years of frustration in the rearview for Cocoa, and kept Rogers from his best shot at a state championship since he last won in 2011. With the graduation losses and a still evolving 2017 classification in the works, it was no doubt Bolles' best shot to add to its state-record 11 football championships.

Rogers said all along that he'd have rather faced Washington again in the title game instead of Cocoa and the Tigers came out quickly and proved why.

They ran so well against the Bulldogs that they didn't attempt a pass until just under the two-minute mark in the third quarter. Bolles had its best shot to make a game of it after that. Down 24-10 and with a chance to make it a one-possession game, the Bulldogs drove to the Cocoa 12. But the Bulldogs stalled on downs and King stuck in the dagger two plays later. …

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