Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Football: Plant 27, Wharton 7

TAMPA — Wesley Bullock and Plant's defense were more than enough on a night when penalties, a long storm delay and Wharton's stingy defense made things ugly.

Bullock took the opening kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown and Bernard Rogers returned a fumble for another score on the next play, and that was all the Panthers needed to hold off Wharton in a 27-7 victory Saturday night.

Bullock rushed for 94 yards, Colby Brown threw for 100 yards and a touchdown in his first start for Plant and the Panthers (4-1, 1-0) held Wharton to 164 yards of offense in the Class 8A District 6 opener for both teams.

"We basically took what they gave us," Bullock said. "It wasn't much, but it was enough to get us this win."

Plant, the defending 8A champions, seemed vulnerable to an upset as it was playing without starting quarterback Aaron Banks, who suffered a shoulder injury against Tampa Bay Tech.

Instead, Plant had a more conservative game plan against Wharton (3-2, 0-1) and got some help from a pair of big plays in the game's first 33 seconds.

Bullock fielded the short opening kick, ducked behind a three-man wedge and burst down the left sideline for a 77-yard score.

On the first play after the score, Chase Litton completed a short pass to DeAndre Washington, who fumbled while fighting for more yards. Rogers, a junior defensive back, scooped up the ball and took it in for a 23-yard touchdown.

Just like that, Plant had a cushion for their new quarterback, although Brown started as a freshman and sophomore at Orlando Olympia.

The Panthers played it safe nonetheless, placing a big share of the offense on Bullock and letting their defense harass Wharton's 6-foot-6 quarterback Litton into a subpar performance. Litton finished 11-of-39 for 122 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

"Our defense is resilient and relentless," Plant coach Robert Weiner said.

They had to be on a night when the Panthers had 16 penalties for 170 yards, at least eight of them on personal fouls. Many of those were late hits on Litton.

The game was rescheduled for Saturday after lightning strikes Friday forced officials to send everyone home. Lightning strikes Saturday caused another 2 1/2-hour delay during halftime.

Football: Plant 27, Wharton 7 10/07/12 [Last modified: Sunday, October 7, 2012 12:18am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi had to battle without his best stuff again, which is becoming a more common occurrence, leading to long at-bats — including 13 pitches to Kennys Vargas in the fifth — and running up his pitch count to 118 without finishing the sixth.

  3. Roberto Aguayo faces stiff test to keep Bucs' placekicker job


    TAMPA — The wind is never going to be at Roberto Aguayo's back when he lines up for a field goal or extra point this offseason in his quest to remain the Bucs' kicker.

    Roberto Aguayo, coming off a rookie season in which he had an NFL-worst 71 percent field-goal accuracy, made only 1 of 4 Tuesday on the narrow goalposts at One Buc Place as he begins his battle to keep his job.
  4. Rays at Twins, 2:10 p.m. Sunday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Today: at Twins

    2:10, Target Field, Minneapolis

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Wing Jonathan Drouin could be the only piece that Tampa Bay has to acquire a badly needed top-tier defenseman.