Plant Rallies to Defeat Jefferson and wins District Title
Oct 29, 2006
By: Robert Sumpter
Plant celebrates the winning touchdown
In front of over 5,000 screaming fans Jefferson High School was the setting for what was anticipated to be the game of the year for Hillsborough County fitting undefeated Tampa Plant with their All State Quarterback and Alabama commit Robert Marve against Tampa Jefferson and they’re All State Quarterback Stephen Garcia.
The opening possession of the game, Plant showed that they came ready to play as they had an impressive 18 play 90 yard drive culminating in a 9 yard touchdown pass from Robert Marve to Derek Winter.
It didn’t take long for Jefferson to respond as they took the ensuing kickoff and marched 64 yards down the field ending with an 11 yard touchdown pass from Garcia to tight end Byron McLeod.
From there, the defenses took control of the game forcing two interceptions from each quarterback and only allowing a 36 yard field goal by Plant in the second quarter.
In the fourth quarter, both offenses started to come alive as Jefferson drove down the field and scored on a 9 yard touchdown run by Garcia putting the Dragons up 13-10 with less than 10 minutes left in the game.
The game looked as if it was over with Jefferson having possession of the ball with less than two minutes at the Plant’s 28 yard line and the Panthers out of time outs.
Plant caught a break when Jefferson choose to throw the ball on third and forth down and came up empty with two incompletions stopping the clock with 1:28 seconds left to go in the game.
With the game on the line, Marve and company went to work. On the first play of the drive, he hit Luke Rorech for 52 yards down the sideline getting the ball to the Jefferson 20 yard line. Three plays later, Marve found wide receiver Derek Winters for a 9 yard touchdown with 19 seconds left in the game giving Plant the 17-13 win.
“This was a great win for us. All year long people have been doubting how good of a team we are. We don’t choose who we play we just go out and play the games. Now hopefully everyone will stop talking about the teams we play and start talking about how good of a team we have.” Plant quarterback Robert Marve said.
For the night, Marve finished with 229 yards and two touchdowns out dueling Jefferson quarterback Stephen Garcia who finish with only 93 yards passing.
“I know everyone was talking about this game and our team as the Robert Marve show but it isn’t, we are a complete team and I am just so proud of how are entire team played today from our offense, defense and our special teams.” Robert Marve said.
The victory gives Plant the district title for the second year in a row, but it also gives this Plant team a measure of respect. Both teams now will get ready to prepare for the postseason as they will both try to win the 4A state title.
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