Image of Cocoa Tigers Football Player Consoling Bolles Team Leaders After State Semifinal Grabs National Praise

Cocoa Tigers defeat Bolles Bulldogs 35-24

The Cocoa football player senior linebacker Terrell Brown (top) consoles Bolles football players  Linebacker Jack Pyburn (left) was the game’s leading tackler and anchored the defense much of the night by accounting for 9 total tackles and 2 tackles-for-loss. He also added 6 hurries on Cocoa quarterback Davin Wynder. Splitback Kade Frew (right) was the downright leader on the offensive side of the ball for the Bulldogs all night by totaling 37 carries for 167 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Frew also led the Bulldogs in receptions (6) for 65 yards. (Image by JustinBarneyTV via Twitter)

BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – After battling a 17-point deficit in the second half, the Cocoa Tigers punched their ticket to the Class 4A State Championship in stunning comeback Friday night by defeating Bolles 35-24.

The victory by Cocoa was an all-time classic and showed the Tigers resiliency by overcoming a 24-7 deficit at halftime and scoring 28-unanswered points in the second half. It was a thrilling finish. Exemplified Cocoa’s season in a nutshell. A game that came down to the wire with the ‘Cardiac Cats’ delivering in the clutch, once again.

Cocoa’s first four games each came down to one-point. Long story short, Cocoa is used to comebacks and nail-biting finishes this year.

But a bigger story grabbed national attention immediately following the game and it was the sportsmanship showed by a Cocoa football player after the game towards two Bolles football players who just suffered a heartbreaking defeat.

In what has been a challenging couple of years for all high school students due to COVID-19 protocols. This image took on a far greater meaning for many across the nation that were drawn to this image. It encapsulated a sincere moment between competitors that, despite the result, far more unites us than divides us. Even if you play on the other team.

The Cocoa football player in the image is senior linebacker Terrell Brown (top) who helped the Tigers post a shutout in the second half.

The Bolles football players in the image were two seniors who played their last high school football game in their careers. Linebacker Jack Pyburn (left) was the game’s leading tackler and anchored the defense much of the night by accounting for 9 total tackles and 2 tackles-for-loss. He also added 6 hurries on Cocoa quarterback Davin Wynder.

Splitback Kade Frew (right) was the downright leader on the offensive side of the ball for the Bulldogs all night by totaling 37 carries for 167 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Frew also led the Bulldogs in receptions (6) for 65 yards.

The image has spread across multiple social media platforms with thousands of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ with numerous positive reviews on the kind gesture and sportsmanship after a hard-fought playoff game.

Cocoa will now take on defending-state champ Cardinal Gibbons in the Class 4A State Championship on Dec. 16 in Fort Lauderdale. The game will be a rematch of last year’s 2020 State Semifinal that ended in a 45-15 win for Cardinal Gibbons over the Cocoa Tigers at Tigers Stadium. Cardinal Gibbons went on to defeat Bolles in the state championship 35-21.

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