Phillip Ely was considered a game-time decision coming into Friday night's Class 5A state semifinal rematch with Lakeland, and it looks like that decision has been made: He's sitting out.
Ely was in sweats and tennis shoes during pregame warmups Friday night at Dads Stadium. The senior signal-caller couldn't practice all week due to a back injury that kept him out of most of Plant's regional final victory over Countryside last week.
Earlier this week, Ely told the Times that he felt "like a 90-year-old man" due to the back injury, which is similar to the one that hampered him last year. Ely is 28-2 as a starter, with both losses coming this year.
Backup QB Nick Sanders, also a senior, will make his second career start -- his first in the postseason. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Sanders also started Plant's 20-13 victory over Hillsborough earlier this season, throwing for 147 yards on 15-of-22 passing.