TAMPA — Going into its home finale against Plant, Alonso was still clinging to playoff hopes.
Sure, the hopes were slim and involved scoreboard watching, but hope was there — for a while.
But after a scoreless first quarter, Plant flexed its muscle, grabbing a lead and never trailing en route to a Class 8A, District 6 win that snuffed out the Ravens’ postseason hopes.
Plant quarterback Colby Brown led the Panthers on three scoring drives in the second quarter and Plant blocked an Alonso punt and returned it for a touchdown to take a 28-13 lead into the half.
The score was tied at 7 early in the second after Ravens quarterback Chris Oladokun hooked up with wide receiver Marcus Mosely on a 65 yard touchdown pass and run.
But despite forcing three Plant turnovers (two fumbles) and getting 136 yards and two touchdowns from running back Ish Witter, Alonso couldn’t keep up.
Brown finished with 247 yards passing on 17 completions and two touchdowns. He spread his completions out among seven receivers. The Panthers added touchdowns in the second half from Patrick Brooks (3-yard run) and Clarke Miller (6-yard catch from Brown).
Backup quarterback Rex Culpepper tossed a fourth-quarter touchdown to John Rutledge and Justin Valdes ran 24 yards for a score to complete the Panthers’ scoring.