By: Bill Ward
September 3, 2011
They didn’t and Weiner, a Jesuit alumnus, ended up down Himes Ave. at Plant where he’s won three state championships. Facing his former team for the first time since he left Jesuit, Weiner’s Plant players put an exclamation point on the seeming slight with a 34-20 victory in front of a standing room only crowd at Dad’s Stadium.
Weiner doesn’t talk about his parting from Jesuit eight years ago, but his players felt the need to show up for him.
“I know how much this game meant for him and I know how much he wanted to get this victory,” said senior cornerback/running back Antonio Crawford. “We just went out there and finished business.”
Crawford handled a lot of business for the Panthers, accounting for 135 of Plant’s 255 rushing yards, and two touchdowns. Junior running back Wesley Bullock also scored two touchdowns and finished with 89 rushing yards.
Crawford’s first touchdown in the third quarter gave the Panthers a 19-6 lead. Jesuit pulled within six points at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Tommy Eveld engineered a 10-play, 75-yard drive which he capped off with a 30-yard touchdown strike to Aaron Paulsen, who started at quarterback for Jesuit.
Plant did its own rotating at quarterback with senior James Few getting the majority of the snaps and setting the tone early for the Panthers by completing six-consecutive pass attempts. He finished 8-of-10 for 184 yards.
The Tigers had a chance to go ahead with less than five minutes remaining in the game. Eveld was once again driving the Tigers and got them to the Panthers 20 yard line. But a sack and false start penalty backed Jesuit up and facing fourth-and-25, Eveld threw a pass that was intercepted by Plant senior safety David Lerom.
Plant converted that turnover into a touchdown, but found themselves up by only seven with 2:45 remaining in the game when Eveld, who finished with 160 passing yards and 40 rushing yards, ran seven yards for a touchdown.
On the Panthers next possession, Crawford made sure the Tigers didn’t get any closer with a third-down, 52-yard touchdown run that put the game away for good.
“I’ve never, never, never, even eight years ago, said one bad thing about Jesuit,” Weiner said. “I have nothing but respect for Jesuit. Anything that’s positive about my coaching today is positive because of the influence I was given during my days there at Jesuit.”
- P-Bostic (kick blocked)
- P-Bullock 1 run (pass failed)
- J-Clonts 4 run (kick failed)
- P-Crawford 8 run (Van Aman kick)
- J-Paulsen 30 pass from Eveld (Greene kick)
- P-Bullock 48 run (Few pass from Banks)
- J-Eveld 8 run (Greene kick)
- P-Crawford 52 run (Van Aman kick)
By Katherine Smith
The Tampa Tribune
August 31, 2011
TAMPA It’s been nearly 20 years since Jesuit and Plant have faced off on the football field and while a lot has changed for both programs, some similarities remain.
When the two teams last met in 1994, Plant head coach Robert Weiner was an assistant coach at Jesuit, as were several of Weiner’s Plant assistant coaches, including co-defensive coordinator John Few.
Plant wide receivers coach T.J. Lane and special teams coach Matty Walker were standout players for the Tigers in that game. Jesuit offensive line coach Brian McNulty was a Division I prospect playing alongside Lane and Walker.
In what was former Plant head coach Roland Acosta’s final game, Jesuit defeated the Panthers 23-14 on Nov. 4, 1994. The two face off for first time since then on Friday night at Dad’s Stadium.
In 1994, Jesuit, then led by current Berkeley Prep coach Dominick Ciao, was one of the most successful teams in Hillsborough County. Plant, not so much.
Now Plant is one of the top programs in the state, with three state championships in the past five years. Jesuit is enjoying a resurgence under head coach James Harrell, now in his second season at the Tigers’ helm.
Harrell was Plant’s co-defensive coordinator during the Panthers’ 2006 and ’08 state runs. Jesuit assistant coaches McNulty, offensive coordinator Ty Alvarez and Scott DeCamp were Panthers assistants during those state title seasons also, as well as the one in ’09.
Confused yet? Here are more connections. Weiner, Few, Lane, Walker, tight ends coach Jeff Murphy and defensive assistant Kirk Willet all graduated from Jesuit. Panthers defensive backs coach Bo Puckett got his first break in coaching at Jesuit before joining Weiner at Plant.
And Plant defensive line coach Billy Minahan, who played for the Panthers, shares a special connection to Jesuit. His father, Wild Bill Minahan, was the Tigers’ head coach for several years, including 1968 when Jesuit won its only state championship.
By: Eduardo A. Encina and Joey Knight
St. Pete Times
August 31, 2011
TAMPA — Crazy as it seems, Friday night’s tussle for Himes Avenue supremacy could use a bit more spice. Specifically, we’re talking salt. What better to toss on the proverbial pretzel that serves as the Jesuit-Plant backdrop? The subplots of this ballyhooed meeting feature so many twists, and the coaches’ resumes are so intertwined, one could chew on them for hours. We’re guessing 75 percent of the coaches who will take the sidelines Friday have worked for both schools at some point. This is hype at its piping-hot best. Here, in no particular order, are the connections, compelling story lines and case history of this game.
The Cat Family
Current varsity coaches who have been associated with both the Panthers and Tigers (in alphabetical order)
Alma mater: Jesuit (1981)
Currently: Jesuit offensive coordinator
Previously: Plant director of scouting (2004-09); Jesuit assistant (1993-2002)
Alma mater: Fort Myers Cypress Lake (1983)
Currently: Jesuit secondary coach
Previously: Plant defensive backs/special teams (2004-09); Jesuit defensive backs (2002-03)
Alma mater: Jesuit (1980)
Currently: Plant defensive coordinator (2005-present)
Previously: Jesuit linebackers coach (1990-2004)
Alma mater: Chamberlain (1975)
Currently: Jesuit head coach (2010-present)
Previously: Plant co-defensive coordinator (2005-08); Jesuit defensive assistant (1994-2004)
Alma mater: Jesuit (1996)
Currently: Plant defensive back coach (2004) wide receivers coach (2005-present)
Alma mater: Plant (1978)
Currently: Plant defensive line coach (2004-present)
Previously: Jesuit defensive assistant (1988-2002)
Alma mater: Jesuit (1995)
Currently: Jesuit offensive line coach
Previously: Plant OL assistant (2006-09)
Alma mater: Jesuit (1983)
Currently: Plant tight ends coach (2004-present)
Alma mater: Ben C. Rain High (Mobile, Ala.)
Currently: Plant defensive backs coach (2004-present)
Previously: Jesuit JV defensive coordinator/varsity scout (1996-2001)
Alma mater: Jesuit (1997)
Currently: Plant special teams coach (2005-present)
Previously: Jesuit JV/special teams coach (1998-2002)
Alma mater: Jesuit (1983)
Currently: Plant head coach (2004-present)
Previously: Jesuit wide receivers/special teams coach (1988-2002)
Alma mater: Jesuit (1994)
Currently: Plant defensive assistant/scout (2008-present)
The teams have met off and on through the years, but Friday’s meeting will be the first since 1994, a 23-14 Jesuit triumph. That game also possessed a circus-type atmosphere at Dads Stadium. Three days before, Plant icon Roland Acosta announced it would be his last game as Panthers coach. Current Plant receivers coach T.J. Lane, then a two-way Tigers star, helped Jesuit pull away by recovering a Plant second-half fumble at his 1-yard line.
What they’re saying
“I’ve never been one who’s downplayed a game to our kids. I’ve never said to our kids in the state championship game that it’s just another game, because it’s true. It’s true about this one as well. The one thing we know is that we don’t have to push any buttons for our kids just like I know James doesn’t have to push any buttons for his kids at Jesuit.” — Weiner
“I think by Friday night both teams will be like horses in the starting gate waiting for that door to open.” — DeCamp
“This is a neighborhood rivalry game that hasn’t been able to satisfy itself for 17 years. You’ve got a lot of history because you’ve got a lot of us who went to Jesuit who lived in the Plant district, so we’re all kids who grew up together.” — Few
“It’s going to be like the playoffs.” — Walker
Photos from Jesuit and Plant’s pregame practice sessions as the two squads prepare to square off Friday night at Dad’s Stadium in South Tampa. For high-resolution copies of any photo from the gallery, please contact Ron Kolwak of the Tampa Tribune at (813) 259-8223 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. All photos by BILL WARD/The Tampa Tribune. http://www2.tbo.com/photoalbum/2011/sep/01/game-of-the-week-for-sept-2-2011-jesuit-vs-plant/