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Plant up five spots in RivalsHigh 100; Abilene drops to No. 25 after loss

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Mon. September 13, 2010 | Adam Berry

After a preseason loss to Manatee sent Plant plummeting down the national rankings, the Panthers are starting to claw their way back up.

Plant stayed put at No. 43 in ESPN RISE's weekly standings, remaining where it stood after a season-opening 10-0 win against Tampa Bay Tech. The Panthers' 20-13 triumph over Hillsborough on Friday night was good enough to move them up five spots to No. 62 in the latest RivalsHigh 100, released Monday.

Rivals ranked the Panthers at No. 67 last week, but their close win over Hillsborough -- in which James Wilder Jr. rushed for 196 yards and all three of the team's touchdowns -- continued their steady ascent. The preseason No. 1, Plant fell all the way to No. 78 after the 48-10 loss to Manatee but bounced back 11 spots last week.

Plant's opponent this week, Abilene (Tex.), suffered a free fall in the rankings -- although not quite as severe as the Panthers' preseason plunge -- after a 24-21 loss to Cocoa on Friday. The Eagles dropped from No. 1 to No. 29 in ESPN's poll, and Rivals moved them down from No. 5 to No. 25.

Armwood, meanwhile, dropped one spot to No. 23 in the Rivals poll, and Jefferson moved up six to No. 59 following its 52-26 victory over Newsome. Florida has 14 teams in the top 100, more than California (10) and Texas (eight). For the complete RivalsHigh 100, click here.

Jefferson once again received votes in ESPN's latest rankings, while Plant stood still at No. 43 after being the second-ranked team in the preseason and falling to No. 40 before its first official game. For the complete Fab 50 ESPN RISE standings, click here.

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