The Plant Panthers defeated district rival Bradenton Bayshore Bruins 26-20 Friday at Dads' Stadium. The Panthers improved to 5-2 overall and 2-0 in Class 4A District 11. Bayshore fell to 1-5 and 0-2.
Less than two minutes into the second quarter, Plant quarterback Brad Wakefield swept 11 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Plant lead.
Bayshore's Elijah Freeman returned the ensuing kickoff 37 yards, leaving the Bruins with good field position. Five plays later, senior running back Charles Whitfield rambled 6 yards, cutting the Panthers lead to 7-6.
Just past the midway mark of the second quarter, Plant increased its lead to 13-6. Bayshore quarterback Jeff Light intended a pitch to Whitfield, but linebacker Willie Johnson grabbed the ball in midair and returned it 57 yards for the touchdown.
As time expired in the first half, junior Brett Getman booted a 38-yard field goal, pulling the Bruins within four points, 13-9.
Getman kicked a 34-yard field goal in the third quarter, closing the gap to 13-12.
In the closing moments of the third quarter, Johnson scored another touchdown for Plant, at running back. He ran around right end 45 yards and Plant led 20-12.
The Panthers opened the fourth quarter with an impressive 52-yard touchdown drive, with all yardage on the ground. Donte Williams capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge, giving the Panthers a 26-12 lead.
The Bruins then drove 79 yards on 10 plays to close the score to 26-20. Whitfield scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard run.
The Panthers then ran out the clock.