Plant Whips Robinson 51-9 in Playoff Tuneup – TBO
By: Katherine Smith
November 11, 2011
Plant and Robinson wanted a good test heading into next week’s playoffs. The Panthers passed with flying and running and returning colors, while the Knights had an epic fail.
Plant (9-1) closed out the regular season by extending its winning streak in the South Tampa rivalry to seven with a 51-9 running clock victory against Robinson (8-2). Plant opens the first round of the Class 8A playoffs against Orlando Boone on Nov. 18, while Robinson goes on the road in class 5A to face Orlando Bishop Moore.
Scoring on three of the first four possessions of the game, the Panthers jumped out to a 23-0 first-quarter lead before the Knights knew what hit them. They capitalized on four Robinson turnovers and 10 penalties.
“I’m actually furious. We’re a much better football team than this,” Knights coach Mike DePue said. “We’re going to go back to work on Saturday with the kids and we’re going to get ready for the playoffs. This may be a little reality check for them. We’ve got a lot of growing up to do and I’m talking every kid on the team.
“We dressed 58 kids (but) we’re going to take the 40 kids who want to play next week.”
Plant dressed way more than 58 and got nearly the entire team into the game, with five different players scoring. Junior defensive back/wide receiver Dereck Mann had his first three-touchdown game since his youth football days, scoring on two of senior quarterback James Few’s three touchdowns passes, and also on an 88-yard punt return.
Senior wide receiver Austin Aikens snagged two touchdown passes, including a 24-yard score that put the Panthers up 30-0 midway through the second quarter.
Junior running back Wesley Bullock opened the second half with a 76-yard touchdown run, where he bounced off defenders, emerged from a scrum and eluded three Robinson players chasing him to the end zone.
“When the ball is in Wesley Bullock’s hands, there’s a chance of something great happening,” Plant coach Robert Weiner said. “He makes you respond to two things – No. 1, if he’s coming at you, you better be good and No. 2, you better be strapped up and ready to make your best play. If those two things don’t happen, he’s going to be still running when he goes by you.”
Bullock was one of 13 players who touched the ball on offense for Plant and helped amass 285 total yards. Robinson was held to 135, with senior Byron Pringle leading the team with 64 yards.
“I think they were a good test,” Weiner said. “Sometimes when you get things rolling early on, things run away a little bit. If we can score, or at least come up big in all three facets of the game, then we have a chance of pulling away from somebody. And that’s what we did.”
P—Mann 24 pass from Few (Van Aman kick)
P—Mann 88 punt return (Rogers pass from Crawford)
P—Bostic 62 interception return (Bullock run)
P—Aikens 24 pass from Few (Van Aman kick)
P—Mann 6 pass from Few (Van Aman kick)
P—Bullock 76 run (Van Aman kick)
P—Aikens 12 pass from Banks (Van Aman kick)
R—Safety, bad snap out of end zone
R—M. Duclos 6 run (Thomas kick)