TAMPA — Plant used strong running and stout defense to defeat Alonso 22-12 Thursday night.
Alonso struck first when Brandon Hawkins connected with Derius Davis for a 28-yard pass midway through the first quarter. But Plant responded. After Alonso fumbled a punt, the Panthers took advantage when Wesley Bullock capped a six-play drive with a 2-yard run. The Panthers (6-1, 2-0) scored on their next possession when Bullock broke for a 40-yard run. He finished with 17 carries for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
Trailing 19-6 at halftime, Alonso (4-3, 1-1) didn't quit. Late in the third the defense stripped a Plant ballcarrier. Sean Lengyel returned the fumble 42 yards to pull Alonso within six. But on the ensuing kickoff, Jordan Reed returned the ball 70 yards, setting up a field goal that put the game away.
Mike McCollum, Times correspondent