FHSAA 4A football state championship preview: Cardinal Gibbons vs. Cocoa

The 2021 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) football state championships continue this week with the 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A and 8A title games at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

The games kick off on Thursday night, as the Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs (10-2) will travel just four miles to take on the Cocoa Tigers (11-1).

Here is everything you need to know about the 4A FHSAA football championship game:


How did Cardinal Gibbons get here?

Defeated Pine Crest 42-0 (Regional Semifinals), defeated Gulliver Prep 36-33 (Regional Finals), defeated Lakewood (St. Petersburg) 36-18 (State Semifinals)

Players to watch for Cardinal Gibbons:

Quarterback Dylan Rizk- 68.3% completion, 1933 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 9 interceptions (55 carries, 437 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns) (Junior)

Running back Kamari Moulton- 128 carries, 904 rushing yards, 16 touchdowns (Junior)

Running back Willie Reed- 67 carries, 342 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns (Junior)

Wide receiver Jesse Anderson- 37 receptions, 476 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns (Junior)

Wide receiver Davon Kiser- 27 receptions, 429 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns (Cornell University commit) (Senior)

Linebacker Tray Brown- 95 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 3 sacks (Senior)

Defensive End R Mason Thomas- 62 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 11 sacks (Iowa State commit) (Senior)

Defensive Back Isaiah Farris- 25 total tackles, 3 interceptions (Senior)

Safety Tre’Mone Drisdom- 3 interceptions (Leads team) (Junior)

What’s At Stake for Cardinal Gibbons?

The Chiefs are seeking their third football state title in school history and their second straight (Defeated Bolles in 2020) 

How did Cocoa get here?

Defeated South Sumter 41-0 (Regional Semifinals), defeated The Villages Charter 54-21 (Regional Finals), defeated Bolles (Jacksonville) 35-24 (State Semifinals)

Players to watch for Cocoa:

Quarterback Davin Wydner- 71.2% completion, 3328 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, 8 interceptions (Senior)

Running back OJ Ross- 237 carries, 1791 rushing yards, 36 touchdowns (Holds offers from Arkansas, Kentucky, Miami, Ole Miss and others) (Junior)

Wide receiver Jamaryae Robinson- 64 catches, 1279 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns (Senior)

Athlete Donte Cook- 55 catches, 851 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns (Senior)

Running Back Damargio Grimes- 22 catches, 394 receiving yards

Linebacker Samadrae Hawkins- 151 total tackles (106 solo), 2 sacks, 1 interception (Sophomore)

Defensive Back Cedrick Hawkins- 106 total tackles (65 solo), 3 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries (Holds offers from Arizona State, Florida, Florida State and others) (Junior)

Linebacker Lavel Bryant- 72 total tackles (47 solo) (Senior)

Linebacker Marcus Hopkins- 47 total tackles (37 solo), 7 sacks (Tied for team lead) (Senior)

Defensive End Loren Ward- 48 total tackles (27 solo), 7 sacks (Sophomore)

What’s At Stake for Cocoa?

The Tigers return to the state championship game for the first time since 2018 (Lost to Raines 27-13). They are seeking their fifth football state title in school history and first since 2016.


Date: Thursday, December 16, 2021

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: DRV PNK Stadium: Fort Lauderdale, FL

LIVE Stream: https://fhsaa.boxcast.com/#/broadcasts/lusmn8yrillg3f42dlgg (Non-Spectrum Customers)

http://www.myspectrumsports.com/floridagames/player.html?broadcast=lusmn8yrillg3f42dlgg (Spectrum Customers)

Score Prediction

Cardinal Gibbons 27, Cocoa 21

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