By: Katherine Smith
Nov 7, 2011
Plant quarterback James Few has the Ivy League in his blood.
His father, Plant co-defensive coordinator John Few, is a graduate of Princeton University. And with a GPA over 6.0 and an SAT score over 1400, Few could probably get an academic scholarship to an Ivy League School. His performance on the football field, however, is opening the door for athletic opportunities.
Cornell became the first to offer Few a football scholarship, Plant coach Robert Weiner said.
This season, his first as a full-time starter, Few has accumulated 1,568 passing yards with 15 touchdowns. He also has two rushing touchdowns.
Few entered the season in a battle with Aaron Banks for the starting job. He asserted himself early on and is a big reason why the Panthers offense is averaging nearly 400 yards a game.
By: Nick Williams
October 15, 2011
Entering Friday night’s non-district game at Brandon, Plant’s offense, known throughout the county for its passing attack, had found more success running the football this season.
Against the Eagles, who were coming off a shutout win against Newsome, the No. 43 nationally-ranked Panthers scorched the defense for nearly 300 passing yards and four touchdowns in a 59-21 victory.
Senior quarterback James Few threw for 195 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. He often caught Brandon’s defense off guard with screen passes that resulted in big plays, including a 43-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Crawford.
Plant led 36-15 at halftime.
“The screen play at Plant hasn’t really been successful over the years, historically,” Few said. “This year, obviously we’ve had some big plays on it, and it’s not necessarily a major point of emphasis, its just one of our plays and we tend to run it well.”
Eight players had receptions for Plant (6-0), led by Dereck Mann with four catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Junior backup quarterback Aaron Banks threw for 50 yards with a touchdown and rushed for 55 yards.
“The last two weeks we’ve really been effective through the air,” Plant coach Robert Weiner said. “It’s been more of a matter of just what we’re starting to think we can do a little bit, more than what we’ve seen against a defense. We’ve run a little pace in our offense and I think that’s sparked our energy a little bit. It’s been good for us.”
Plant jumped out to a 24-7 lead in the first quarter, highlighted by two kickoff returns for touchdowns by Austin Roberts (67 yards) and Austin Aikens (70).
Senior running back Tyrell Garner led Brandon (2-4) with 131 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Plant faces Alonso next week in a game that will decide the district championship.
“Obviously they’ve had a great year so far and I have great respect for (Alonso coach) Brian (Emanuel). He’s done a great job where ever he’s been as a coordinator and I’ve heard nothing but great things from outside people and Alonso people as well. We know we’ll have our hands full next week.”
- P – Crawford 43 pass from Few (Rogers pass from J. Few)
- B – Garner 11 run (Cope kick)
- P – Roberts 67 kick return (Aman kick)
- P – Safety
- P – Au. Aikens 70 kick return (Aman kick)
- P – Mann 5 pass from Few (kick failed)
- B – Dooley 11 run (Cabilete pass from Knipple)
- P – Mann 14 pass from Few (kick failed)
- P – Aman 30 FG
- P – Watts 3 run (W. Few kick)
- B – Garner 1 run (run failed)
- P – Casselli 14 pass from Banks (W. Few kick)
- P – Martin 3 run (kick failed)
Plant’s Austin Aikens returned the opening kick-off 80 yards for a touchdown, while the Panther defense forced 4 turnovers in a 36-0 homecoming victory over Tampa Bay Tech.
The Panthers (4-0) scored all of their 36 points in the first half that was capped off by an Antonio Crawford 90-yard interception return for a touchdown. Crawford also ran for a score, while QB James Few threw two touchdowns on the night.
For the season, the Plant defense has now allowed only 33 points in four games (8.3 ppg).
The Titans now fall to 2-3 on the season.
The last time Plant got up big on Tampa Bay Tech at Dad’s Stadium, the Titans came from 24 points down to pull off the upset.
Plant got up big again, but unlike that 32-30 loss in 2009, the Panthers held on for a 36-0 victory Friday night, Plant’s homecoming. The Panthers improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2006 when they won their first of three state championships, while Tech fell to 2-3.
“We got at them pretty early and were able to put it away,” Plant coach Robert Weiner said. “We did remind the team of last time when we were in a similar situation.
“We wanted to make sure we closed the deal.”
Senior wide receiver Austin Aikens got the party started when he returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, his first of two scores. Then on the Panthers’ next possession, senior defensive back/running back Antonio Crawford scored his first of two touchdowns.
Plant’s offense and special teams weren’t the only units to put points on the board. Crawford returned one of the Plant defense’s three interceptions 94 yards for a touchdown. The Panthers defense also did a great job of shutting down the Titans’ ground game.
Tech entered Friday night’s game averaging more than 220 rushing yards a game. With leading tackler Mike Tate in the Titans’ backfield most of the night, the Panthers held Tech to 31 rushing yards and 86 yards of offense.
“Our defense has done a great job all season,” Weiner said.
Plant’s offense helped the defense by sustaining drives. Senior quarterback James Few threw for 137 passing yards and two touchdowns. Plant didn’t punt the ball until 3:59 remained in the third quarter.
The Titans were able to get a little something going when they opened the third quarter, but penalties (31 total, 18 against Plant) and back-to-back big plays by Plant senior safety Drew Madhu stalled Tech’s offense.
“Even though there were a lot of penalties, I think we did a good job of making sure that we controlled the game and that there wasn’t sloppy personal fouls,” Weiner said. “The game didn’t get chippy.
“It was played well both ways.”
P-Aikens 85 kickoff return (Van Aman kick)
P-Crawford 1 run (Banks run)
P-Aikens 32 pass from Few (run failed)
P-Casselli 21 pass from Few (Bostic run)
P-Crawford 94 interception return (Van Aman kick)
|Scoring Summary by HomeTeam Tampabay.com|
|TD||Hil — Jeremy Agrinzonis ran 1 yards for a touchdown. PAT missed.|
|FG||Pla — Grant Van Aman kicked a 31-yard field goal.|
|TD||Pla — James Few threw 29 yards to Austin Aikens for a touchdown. PAT was good by Grant Van Aman.|
|TD||Pla — James Few ran 2 yards for a touchdown. PAT was good by Grant Van Aman.|
|TD||Pla — James Few threw 10 yards to Dereck Mann for a touchdown. PAT was good by Grant Van Aman.|
|TD||Pla — James Few threw 7 yards to Austin Aikens for a touchdown. PAT was good by Grant Van Aman.|
|FG||Pla — Grant Van Aman kicked a 36-yard field goal.|
|SFTY||Pla — Plant High School scored a safety.|
August 24, 2011
To preview the 2011 prep football season, The Tampa Tribune is counting down the top 10 teams in Hillsborough County. These preseason rankings were voted on by the Tribune’s four staffers who cover high school football — Eddie Daniels, Katherine Smith, Bill Ward and Nick Williams. Today: No. 2 Plant
Plant High football coach Robert Weiner said this year’s Panthers team has the feel of the 2006 squad — the one that began the run of four state championship game appearances in five seasons.
That year, Plant won its first of three state titles.
This season, playmakers James Wilder and Phillip Ely are gone, but the cupboard isn’t bare. The Panthers’ Division I talent is spread through every facet of the game with defensive back Antonio Crawford (Georgia Tech), strong safety Drew Madhu (Stanford), wide receiver Austin Aikens and offensive lineman Nathan Shienle.
A quarterback battle throughout the off-season resulted in junior Aaron Banks and senior James Few emerging as the front-runners to take Ely’s spot and the defense looks strong from top to bottom.
Miami Columbus comes to Dad’s Stadium on Friday night in a preseason battle between two of the top teams in the new Class 8A, but last year’s 29-7 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas in the Class 5A championship game isn’t far from the Panthers’ minds.
“I wish we didn’t have that experience, but for all the guys that were on that team, it was definitely a humbling experience,” Madhu said. “We don’t want to feel that way again. It reminds us that each day we’ve got to push our team and give it our all and not take off any plays.”
KICKOFF CLASSIC: Friday vs. Miami Columbus
SEASON OPENER: Sept. 2 vs. Jesuit
Top 10 teams:
- Plant City
- Robinson (tie)
- Tampa Bay Tech (tie)
- Berkeley Prep