Friday Night Lights: Middleton vs. Plant

This week's feature game is a close one between Plant and Middleton. The game looked to be a blowout by Middleton but Plant scored two big touchdowns to bring it within 3 points late in the fourth quarter. Read on to get a score by score recap and also take a look at our Friday night photo gallery.

The game kicked off just after 7:30 at Plant High School in South Tampa. Both teams started out slow. Plant's first drive was a run dominate drive that took six minutes to go 30 yards. After failing to convert on third down they punted but Middleton went three-and-out.

On Plant's second possession they started right where they left off using the run to move the chains. Big number 22 kenny Allen, 6-foot-2 235, is a bruising runner who was getting big yards early on in this game.

Then just when it looked like Plant was starting to move the ball again, Middleton standout A.J. Jones LB/WR/S picked off QB Robert Marve and returned it to the fifteen yard line. With the offense looking ineffective Jones took things into his own hands and gave the offense a kick-start. With a short field to work with it took only three plays for QB Dominic Grooms to hook up with senior wide-out Quentin Williams for a 15 yard TD pass.

On the ensuing drive Plant quarterback Robert Marve led his team straight back down the field, not with his arm, but with his Mike Vick like scrambles. The drive ended in a three yard TD run by Kenny Allen.

Middleton would score one more before the half, making the score 14-7 when the two teams went back to the locker room.

After the half A.J. Jones would strike again this time on the offensive side of the ball. Jones ran a shallow slant and caught a laser pass from Groom, Jones did the rest taking it up the middle, splitting the defense with his blazing speed and running thirty-five yards for the score.

Middleton added a field goal to make the score 24-7 late in the third. However, Plant was not ready to lay down just yet. They came alive in the fourth quarter, starting with a WR reverse pass from senior Dylan Brown to fellow WR, sophomore Derek Winter for a long 58 yard touchdown.

Then with only three and a half minutes to go Sophomore cornerback Cornelius Gallon intercepted a Middleton pass and took it back 79 yards, weaving his way through defenders for the touchdown.

Plant brought the score to 21-24 with about three minutes left in the game. However they weren't able to stop Middleton who scored again five plays later on a 21 yard TD run by Andres Harris.

Although they made a late comeback it wasn't enough to over come the big lead Middleton built. The final score was 31-21, but close to the very end. After the game I had a chance to catch up with the highly touted A.J. Jones to talk about his play and the teams win.

"I think I played pretty well, but I could have played better on both sides of the ball." Adding, "I'm a team player and I feel like we have to put teams away when we're up. We always get in the situation where we are up and we don't finish teams off. We don't need to blow them out but we have to put the game out of reach."

Do you think your interception was a momentum changer?

"I was just doing my job and it came at a good time to get the offense going."

A.J. Jones was a gamebreaker on this night and he showed why he has 29 offers and is one of the biggest recruits in the state. His offers include Tennessee, Ohio State, USF, USC, Auburn, Florida, and LSU to name a few. He has a top 6 which includes USC, LSU, Florida, OSU, Alabama, and Tennessee. However, don't expect a decision any time soon, he wants to wait till signing day.

Friday Night Photo Gallery:


Chris Kuzdale


Jay Chisholm


Kaimarcus Jones


Kenny Allen


Neil Harrell

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