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Ely sitting out, Wilder shaken up vs. Hillsborough

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Fri. September 10, 2010 | Adam Berry

TAMPA -- The Hillsborough-Plant rivalry has had its fair share of unusual occurrences over the years, and this year's game has been no different.

Panthers quarterback and Alabama commit Phillip Ely did not play against the Terriers after missing practice this week with a lower leg strain suffered in the preseason game against Manatee and reaggravated in the season opener against Tampa Bay Tech.

Senior Nick Sanders started at quarterback for Plant with Ely out -- something coach Robert Weiner was clearly prepared for after having Sanders take the majority of the snaps during Wednesday's practice. Weiner said Wednesday that Ely's status was "truly a day-to-day thing" and he was comfortable with the team's depth at quarterback.

It briefly seemed like the Panthers would lose their other strongest offensive weapon, as running back James Wilder Jr. went down with what appeared to be a left knee injury with about seven minutes left in the second quarter. Wilder ran for two yards but fumbled the ball after being tackled by a group of Hillsborough defenders. He was helped off the field but returned three minutes later, carrying the ball on back-to-back plays.

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