DURANT — Durant running backs Chris Atkins and Jamarlon Hamilton both went well over the 100-yard mark as the Cougars stayed undefeated with a 22-7 home win over rival Plant City.
Running mostly off-tackle Atkins finished with 133 yards on 27 carries and had the clinching touchdown on a 5-yarder with 8:34 left in the game. Hamilton bullied his way for 127 yards on 19 attempts.
"I'm just excited we won because it was a battle. We knew it would be," said Durant coach Mike Gottman.
Danny Bowers booted three field goals, all easy makes in slick conditions, for the Cougars (5-0, 2-0 in District 7A-8).
The game started 74 minutes late due to lightning. Perhaps the wet weather affected the Raiders early. Plant City fumbled on two of its first three plays, and Durant turned them into a 9-0 lead.
Raiders freshman Sterling Day, getting the start due to an injury to Ervin Michael, coughed it up on the game's first snap. He injured his arm and did not return.
After drawing a Raider encroachment on fourth and 1, Durant scored on the next play with Hamilton spinning out of a tackle for a 10-yard TD. The Raiders hit on a 61-yard pass from Nick Rodriguez to Tavares Chase, but it went to waste thanks to a fumble on the next play. Durant drove from its 36, using three runs of 10-plus yards (two by Hamilton) to set up Bowers' 39-yard field goal.
Durant forced five turnovers. Rodriguez passed for 153 yards but was picked twice.
The Raiders got inside the Durant 5 with four minutes left in the game but the drive ended when Evan Moody sacked Rodriguez. Durant finished with 283 yards on 54 carries.