(Viera, FL) – Last Saturday’s match-up between two strong North Conference teams were underway at the Viera Regional Park fields. As many nickname it, the “Backyard Brawl” between Suntree-Viera Lightning and neighboring league, Rockledge Raiders. The Lightning Junior Rookies started off the “Backyard Brawl” in a close scoring 7-6 win over the Raiders.
“Rockledge won the Superbowl at the Senior Flag level last year, so they were the team to beat, in our opinion, going into this year. Last year in the playoffs, we came up on the short end of a 7-6 OT defensive struggle. This year, I was so happy for the boys, that we came out on the winning end. They just worked so hard, they deserved this. ” Offensive Coordinator John Malatino explains.
When asked the team strengths for the game against Rockledge, Coach Malatino elaborates “Game ball has to go to the whole defense for the impressive job of allowing only one touchdown against all of the size and speed Rockledge has. We know those guys are coached up and were ready to go. “
“The offensive line did a great job of creating a surge for the running backs. As usual, we had 6 different running backs throughout the game. I thought we should have done a better job of avoiding penalties. Holding and False start Penalties stalled both of our first two drives of the game. The only touchdown, was on a terrific run by Blake Hayes and extra point scored by Andreas Foreman. Key blocks by Aiden Allen, Hayes Kingston, and Jaden Jenkins made it happen.”
“I also can’t forget the onside kick recovery we had at a critical point of the game. Great kick by Blake Mays, great pressure on the Rockledge return team by Luke Campbell, and great fumble recovery by Cooper Vice.”
Coach Malatino praises his staff , “Hats off to the coaching staff this week as well. Great job of getting the boys ready to play a physical game. Our focus now is on to Sebastian and then on to the playoffs.”
During the Mighty Mite game, the Lightning pounced on the Raiders with a 40-0 shutout. Coach Rick Helton credits his whole team for the victory.
“It was a total team effort with offense, defense and special teams. Pointing out an individual would take away from the great play of all.” Coach Helton continues “Our offensive and defensive lines dominated the line of scrimmage which allowed us to open up the offense a bit.”
“Our first play of the game going for a touchdown with the back untouched certainly set the tone of the entire game.”
The Suntree-Viera Lightning Junior Rookies and Mighty Mites will now hold the title of North Conference Champions for their divisions.
Along with the Junior Rookies 7-6 and Mighty Mites 40-0 victories, the Lightning continued to dominate over Rockledge in other “Backyard Brawl” match-ups with the Pee Wees 36-18 and Seniors 36-8. In turn, the Raiders took home some victories over the Lightning; Rookies 25-0, Bantams 13-0 and Juniors 24-3. For their final season games, Suntree-Viera Lightning will face the Sebastian Sharks this Saturday at Barber Park in Sebastian. Rockledge Raiders will take on the Merritt Island Mustangs at Mitchell Ellington Park in Merritt Island.