Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Preseason football: Manatee 48, Plant 10

Plant’s James Wilder Jr., one of the nation’s top recruits and an FSU commit, can’t elude the grasp of a Manatee defender.

SCOTT MCINTYRE | Times

Plant’s James Wilder Jr., one of the nation’s top recruits and an FSU commit, can’t elude the grasp of a Manatee defender.

BRADENTON — ESPN tried to coax a playoff atmosphere out of a preseason game, and initially, Plant obliged.

They talked as if this exhibition rematch of a state final was real. There was momentum to attain, impressions to make, stars to showcase.

But as the fourth-quarter running clock mercifully wound down and the 6,000 or so fans filed out of Hawkins Stadium late Friday, the Panther partisans could only find consolation in the fact this one didn't count.

Technically, anyway.

On a humid night, Plant lost its aura of invincibility, some of its swagger, and even its quarterback for a stretch in a 48-10 loss to Manatee that ended with Division I-A commitments James Wilder Jr. and Tony Posada nursing cramps.

Not to mention a team — ranked No. 2 in the Powerade ESPN Rise Fab 50 coming in — nursing its psyche.

"We're a team that's always been able to turn a negative into a positive," said Panthers coach Robert Weiner, whose squad also lost to the Hurricanes in the 2009 preseason before rebounding to top Manatee in the Class 5A final.

"This is where you find out whether they have the mental makeup or not."

Before Plant's wheels came off, Antonio Crawford showcased his. On the game's first play, the 5-foot-11 junior took a short swing pass from Phillip Ely and darted up the Manatee sideline for an 80-yard touchdown.

From there, the 'Canes embarked on a 48-3 run.

Manatee responded with a six-play, 53-yard scoring drive capped by wildcat formation quarterback Mike Blakely's 2-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Krull.

Two Panther possessions later, Ely injured his lower right leg after being tackled inside his own red zone and fumbling. Manatee scored the next play and Ely exited the rest of the half.

Weiner said Ely, who returned in the second half and unofficially finished with 154 passing yards, stretched a muscle in the leg. Ely said afterward his leg was "perfect."

His defense, manhandled up front and occasionally discombobulated in the back, wasn't. Nor were the Panthers' special teams; new kicker Grant Van Aman made two TD-saving tackles on long 'Cane returns.

Manatee made it 21-7 when Blakely broke at least a half-dozen tackles on a sweep play for an 89-yard TD. Three plays later, Ely backup Nick Sanders fumbled inside his 20 after taking a vicious hit in his backfield.

Manatee lefty Cord Sandberg tossed the first of his two TDs the next play. Sandberg finished with nearly 200 total yards.

"This was a true test tonight and obviously it didn't turn out the way we wanted it," Ely said. "But I'm going to will this team to win."

Bradenton Manatee 48
Plant10

Preseason football: Manatee 48, Plant 10 08/28/10 [Last modified: Saturday, August 28, 2010 1:17am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi goes on 10-day DL with back strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi is hoping his struggles this season can be tied directly to the lower-back strain he has tried to pitch through since spring training. Toward that end, the Rays placed Odorizzi on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday retroactive to Tuesday.

    Rays center fielder Mallex Smith smiles after hitting a single advancing runners in the third inning. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.