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EAST BAY 17, PLANT CITY 14

Two forced and recovered fumbles by the East Bay defense, including one in the final minutes to end Plant City's last drive, proved enough for the Indians. The Raiders (0-1) couldn't overcome the Indians' (1-0) well-balanced play.

"They had some momentum coming off the kickoff classic but defensively I thought we played a typical bend-don't-break defense," East Bay coach Brian Thornton said.

Fullback Josh Hudson rushed for 83 yards but timely third-down conversions propelled the Indians offense. Aaron Mills tossed a 33-yard completion to Lamarque Caldwell on third down that set up a 32-yard go-ahead field goal by Forrest Meredith in the third quarter.

"We were very opportunistic. When we really needed it, those plays (third-down conversions) really worked," Thornton said.

Plant City quarterback Bennie Coney dominated in the first half, completing 9-for-9 for 94 yards. Except for a 6-yard rush by Daz-mond Patterson and a fumbled handoff, Coney was involved in every play through the 14-14 halftime tie.

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