VERO BEACH – The Fighting Indians took a powerhouse in Palm Bay in their regular season finale, Friday night but came up short with a 28-0 loss..
“They execute very well,” Coach Gary Coggin said of Palm Bay. “They have something to prove night on both sides of the ball.” Palm Bay is 7-0 this season and ranked number 4 in Class 4A in the Associated Press. Vero Beach is 6-2 and is preparing for the start of the postseason next week. Palm Bay’s defense is allowing only 7.6 points per game.
Vero Beach was not able to prepare as much for this game as they would have liked, due to a flu bug. Many players were not able to practice until Wednesday.
In the first quarter, Palm Bay quarterback Steven Hughes hooked up with wide receiver Caleb Alves on a 29-yard touchdown completion. At the end of the first quarter, Palm Bay led 7-0.
In the second quarter, Hughes scrambled for an 18-yard touchdown run.
With 1:52 left in the first half, Vero Beach quarterback Todd Fennell was sacked by Palm Bay’s Kenon Berry. Fennell fumbled the ball and Berry was able to pick it up for a 6-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
At the end of the first half Palm Bay lead Vero Beach, 21-0.
In the third quarter, with 6:21 left, Palm Bay quarterback Hughes found Caleb Alves again, this time for a 10-yard touchdown completion. In the fourth quarter, neither team was able to get on the scoreboard. The final score was Palm Bay 28, Vero Beach 0.
“I’m proud of our players,” Coach Coggin said. “They went out with little preparation and battled. We had our moments early; had some good drives and we were able to move the ball. We just weren’t able to put points on the board.”
For the game, Vero Beach had just 31 yards rushing. Vero Beach quarterback Todd Fennell was 9 of 13 passing for 48 yards and a fumble.
Vero Beach falls to 6-3 as Palm Bay remains undefeated, going 8-0. The shutout ends Vero Beach’s 94-game scoring streak.
Vero Beach begins playoffs in two weeks. They will travel to a district champion. Vero is undefeated on the road this year.