BY COREY LONG
Special to the Times
BEAVERTON, Ore. — Plant finished 2-1 in pool play Thursday at the Nike 7on tournament, falling in the day's finale 30-16 to powerhouse Miami Northwestern.
Plant took an early 8-0 lead when Phillip Ely hit tight end Stephen Greacen for a touchdown and the two-point conversion. Northwestern got things rolling behind quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to take a 16-8 lead into the half.
The Panthers took the first possession of the second half and scored a touchdown that tied the score at 16. That was it for Plant's offense, however, as Ely threw two interceptions while trailing 24-16.
Still, Panthers coach Robert Weiner was very happy about the first day.
"We had a lot of young players step up and in this environment that's a great thing to see," Weiner added. "This is such a competitive environment and they responded very well."
Weiner got caught in the moment and was whistled for an unsportsmanlike conduct after a one-sided conversation with the referee.
"Whenever there's a football on the field I'm going to be excited," he joked. "This is fun and I'm passionate about football and competition."
Plant started with two victories. Against Texas' Martin High, the Panthers scored 19 unanswered points to turn a 9-6 deficit into a 25-9 lead and held off a late rally to win 25-17.
Juniors Austin Aikens and Tyrell Mills had spectacular catches in the second half to help the Panthers pull away for a 25-13 win over Butler (N.C.) High.
The results of Friday's games will make up the seeding for the elimination round with the championship game scheduled for 6:50 p.m.