Plant City senior running back Dazmond Patterson will play in the Raiders' regular-season opener against Strawberry Crest on Friday night, Raiders coach Wayne Ward said Thursday evening.
Patterson, who served a one-game suspension in last week's kickoff classic game at Hillsborough for an unspecified violation of team rules, has participated in practice all week and will start Friday, Ward said.
Patterson, a Hillsborough County rushing champ contender, accumulated 1,751 total yards from scrimmage last year, including 1,232 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
Without Patterson last Friday, the Raiders rushed for just 66 yards in a 19-14 preseason loss to Hillsborough.
in that game, Plant City committed three turnovers, including two special teams fumbles on returns, allowing the Terriers to open the game with 19 unanswered points in the first quarter.
"We're going to go out and run our offense this week," Ward said. "We're going to run the ball. The difference between us and Hillsborough last week was the turnovers and we've really worked on that in practice this week."
Ward will see a familiar face on the opposite sideline. New Strawberry Crest coach Gerold Dickens came to the Chargers from Ward's staff, where he was a defensive assistant and recruiting coordinator.
-- EDUARDO A. ENCINA (firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @EddieHometeam)