TAMPA — After all the fourth-down conversions, drive-extending and touchdown-erasing penalties and confusion with the chain gang, Tampa Bay Tech had the ball on Plant City’s 3-yard line with seven seconds to go.
Quarterback Aaron Midthus put the ball in running back Lamarq Caldwell’s hands, and the senior plowed into the end zone to give the Titans the go-ahead score as TBT (7-3) won on its final drive for the second week in a row, this time by the score of 31-28.
“These kids are going to make me turn 50 before I turn 40,” Titans coach Jayson Roberts said. “The situation was dire, it was either go down and score or lose.”
Quarterback Bennie Coney put Plant City ahead 28-24 with about seven minutes left. Coney, who accounted for 297 of Plant City’s 301 total yards, threw a fade to Antwan Armstrong, who made a one-handed catch for a 4-yard touchdown.
“I know I have to lead my team, they look up to me,” said Coney, who was 17-for-31 for 250 yards with four touchdowns. “It’s all on me, I touch the ball on every play, and it’s all in my hands.”
“I could have asked for anything more,” Coney said of his teammates.” “(Tampa Bay Tech) came out and fought, so I have to hand it to them.”
Plant City (7-3) appeared to have the Titans stopped but a holding call on the ensuing punt gave possession back to TBT, and 10 straight running plays moved the ball to the 4. After Midthus recovered a botched handoff, he drew a pass interference call, setting up Caldwell’s run.
“All we had to do was just not hold on that punt, it was quite simple,” Plant City head coach Wayne Ward said. “If we don’t hold, we get the ball back, and it’s a different score.”