Mike McCollum, Times Correspondent
St. Pete Times
October 15, 2011
BRANDON — The Plant offense was on full display Friday night as the Panthers steamrolled Brandon 59-21.
The Plant offense struck early and often, mostly through the air. Senior quarterback James Few threw for three touchdowns, with junior wideout Dereck Mann on the receiving end of two.
Fueled by their no-huddle offense, the Panthers scored 30 points by the end of the first quarter. The Panther special teams also got involved, with Austin Aikens and Austin Roberts returning Brandon kickoffs for touchdowns.
“We’ve got a big stretch coming up with Alonso next week with the district lead on the line, then Armwood after that,” coach Robert Weiner said. “But I’m confident we’ll be ready for the challenge. We seem to be hitting our stride at the right time.”
The bright spot for Brandon was its ground game. The Eagles ran for 297 yards, led by senior running back Tyrell Garner and bruising fullback Cyrus Dooley.
By: Katherine Smith
The Tampa Tribune
September 9, 2011
After one quarter of play between the two oldest high schools in Tampa, it looked like Hillsborough was going to beat Plant for the first time since 2005. But then the second, third and fourth quarters happened with the Panthers (2-0) scoring 36 unanswered points to close out the game and beat Hillsborough (1-0) 36-6 at Chelo Huerta Field for its fifth consecutive win in the series.
“Football is a game of making plays. We didn’t make any plays in the first quarter,” Plant coach Robert Weiner said. “And then on two really busted plays, we threw the ball to Austin Aikens and he goes makes two plays and then we’re on a roll.”
Aikens (3 receptions, 73 yards, 2 touchdowns) capitalized on one of Hillsborough four turnovers when he caught one of his two leaping touchdown passes, a 29-yarder from senior quarterback James Few with 4:33 remaining in the first half. After a sluggish start, including an interception, that was the first of Few’s six-consecutive completions, three of which were touchdowns.
Plant fell behind by six in the first quarter after a sluggish start. But then the offense sprang to life. Few closed out Plant’s scoring in the second quarter with a two-yard touchdown run, a scoring drive that was aided by Aikens 37-yard reception, to give the Panthers a 17-6 halftime lead. Things looked promising for the Terriers in the first quarter when a seven-play, 52-yard scoring drive ended with senior quarterback Jeremy Agrinzonis’ one-yard touchdown run. Senior running back Anthony Brown (10 carries, 58 yards) was also picking up huge chunks of yardage against Plant’s defense.
But the momentum shifted in Plant’s favor after the first turnover and Hillsborough never regained it. Plant’s defense held the Terriers to only 23 yards in the second half. Unlike Plant, who scored on three of the Terriers turnovers, Hillsborough was unable to capitalize on Few’s first-quarter interception, missing a 32-yard field goal attempt. “We threw the ball and ran the ball, then missed a field goal,” Hillsborough coach Earl Garcia said. “We had 26 plays in the first quarter and a half, then turned the ball over. They made two jump balls and then penalties hurt us and we had more turnovers. Those turnovers killed us. “It was self inflicted, but they did a good job.”
Hillsborough has to regroup in time to host Newsome, which nearly upset Jefferson, while Plant travels to Bradenton Manatee to take on New Jersey’s Bergen Catholic.
“I think every week you want to take a step forward and we took a step forward tonight against a very, very good team that’s got great speed and they’ve got great size on the line,” Weiner said. “We took a step forward tonight of being able to fight through the same kind of malaise (we had against Columbus) at the beginning of the game and then we were able to get into a rhythm and then get a flow.”
H — Agrinzonis 1 run (kick blocked)
P — Van Aman 30 FG
P — Aikens 29 pass from Few (Van Aman kick)
P — Few 2 run
P — Mann 10 pass from Few (Van Aman kick)
P — Aikens 7 pass from Few (Van Aman kick)
P — Van Aman 37 FG
P — King tackled in end zone for safety
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.