BRANDON — With two playoff spots still to be determined, Plant City (7-2, 2-1 in Class 7A, District 8) earned a chance to compete against East Bay and Strawberry Crest for a shot at the postseason after the Raiders took care of Brandon (3-7, 0-4) on the road.
Despite controlling the game on the scoreboard, the Raiders had several lapses that led to three turnovers.
"I felt like we had an opportunity to capitalize and we didn't," coach Wayne Ward said. "We were sloppy."
Plant City opened the game with a 34 yard pass that kickstarted a touchdown drive capped by Sterling Day, who added two more rushing scores later.
The defense stopped Brandon's first drive after the Eagles also opened on a pass that resulted in a first down.
A Brandon punt was blocked but as a Raider defender attempted to advance the ball, he was stripped from behind, resulting in a turnover and a fresh set of downs for the Eagles. The defense once again held but the Raider also fumbled the ball away on the enduing punt return.
Along with the turnovers, the Eagles had some chances to get in the end zone. Jordan Chavers returned a kick over 50 yards into Raider territory but the offense couldn't capitalize.
Bobby Winsler, Times correspondent