In a game with many great plays and many untimely penalties the Plant Panthers held on to a slim 28-21 win before a capacity Hillsborough homecoming crowd.
Even though Hillsborough had lost two games prior, they are considered a very good and well coached football team. Tampa Plant being undefeated is arguably the best high school team in Hillsborough County. Adding the fact Plant had not been victorious over Hillsborough in 15 years, there was a play-off atmosphere at Hillsborough's stadium.
Bama commitment Robert Marve put on a show completing 18 of 26 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns, rushed five times for 32 yards, caught one pass, and also, I might add, punted once for 32 yards. Several times, when it seemed as though he might be caught for a loss, Marve would scramble and dodge, gain his footing and throw a perfect spiral thirty yards down field to Thompson Brandes, Cam Martin, or Lovell Jackson (just to mention a few).
Marve was the star of the evening, but his supporting cast was substantial, both on offense and defense. The defense had many critical stops and played with intensity throughout the game. Defensive standouts such as Kuzdale, Midulla, Martin, Thomas and Lerom kept the Terrier offense in check most of the night.
The game had several momentum changes. In the second quarter Hillsborough had just tied Plant 7- 7. Plant regained the lead with Luke Rorech's spectacular 97 yard kick-off return to go ahead by a touchdown. Plant then scored the next two touchdowns.
At one point the Panthers had a comfortable 28-7 lead in the third quarter, but the Terriers battled back. When it looked as though Plant might just blow the game wide open, Hillsborough, showing determination and poise began their come back.
With Plant leading by three touchdowns, Hillsborough scored the next two touchdowns and were within inches of tying the game. Cutting the score to 28-21 Hillsborough had driven down to the Plant three yard line. With only seconds left in regulation and the Terriers with a first and goal, the Panthers' Cornelius Gallon intercepted a potential game tying pass in the end zone to secure the win.