The Melbourne Bearkatz advanced to the state playoff quarterfinals for the first time in school history Friday night, defeating Glen Rose by a final score of 42-28.
The Katz got on the board first after recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff, after which they drove 73 yards in three plays, taking only 58 seconds off the clock. The Beavers answered two possessions later, ending the first quarter tied at seven.
Melbourne didn’t wait long to break the tie, scoring 45 seconds into the second quarter as Gabe Lawrence connected with Eli Harrell on a 29-yard touchdown strike. The teams traded turnovers the rest of the quarter before Glen Rose scored just before the half to tie the game going into the break.
Continuing the trend, the Katz scored just two minutes into the third quarter, as Lawrence hit Alex Bray on a four-yard pass. Glen Rose then scored 14 unanswered and led 28-20 with 7:20 left in the third. It was all Bearkatz from there, as Lawrence and Harrell connected on their second touchdown of the night to cut the deficit to two points.
Harrell then intercepted his second pass of the night, leading to a 67-yard touchdown drive, capped off by Alex Bray’s three-yard touchdown run. After forcing a Glen Rose punt, the Katz only needed two plays to score again, as Noah McSpadden broke a 57-yard touchdown run.
After an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the Katz kickoff pinned the Beavers on their own three-yard line, and freshman Holden Hutchins sacked the Glen Rose quarterback for a safety, setting the final score at 42-28.
The Bearkatz advance to the state quarterfinals for the first time in school history, where they will face the Osceola Seminoles on the Friday after Thanksgiving.