TAMPA — The buzz in Tampa on Friday revolved around Class 7A, District 8 with Sickles having to forfeit games, and Gaither's head coach resigning. Meanwhile, district rival Plant did what it has done throughout this season — execute in all parts of the game — as the Panthers rolled over Freedom 59-0. Things started sluggishly for the Panthers as its first offensive drive ended with Patriots senior cornerback Keljuan Johnson intercepting Dane Frantzen on the 1-yard line. However, Plant (8-0, 5-0 in 7A-8) quickly responded on defense when Drew Miller and Jamil Thomas combined for a safety on the next play and Freedom (3-5, 1-4) never recovered. Plant added its first touchdown two possessions later as Frantzen hit Whop Philyor on a slant for a 32-yard touchdown. Plant locked up its 12th straight playoff appearance, and Wiregrass Ranch's win against Gaither sets up a showdown for the district top seed next Friday between the Panthers and Bulls.
Key drives: Starting with just under five minutes left in the first quarter, Plant scored on its next six offensive drives. The final one came at the start of the second half with a running clock. Plant backup quarterback Kyle Trina led an eight-play, 50-yard drive, connecting with Cameron Duggins on a 13-yard touchdown pass in traffic.
Stars of the game: Alex Carvajal had two punt returns for touchdowns (29 and 60 yards) … Philyor had an interception and a 60-yard return to setup a score and added two TD catches. … Thomas, who aided in the safety to open the scoring, added an interception as well … Frantzen was 9-of-16 for 150 yards and four touchdowns in one half of play … Juwan Burgess caught three passes for 62 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown. … Christian Watson showed a nice burst on a Frantzen pass that looked overthrown, turning it into a 35-yard score … Tobin Snead added a 1-yard scoring run for the Panthers.
Stat of the game: Plant held Freedom to 58 yards of offense and three first downs.