Plant City stops Durant
PLANT CITY - The drums were rumbling, the band's trumpets were blaring and the noise coming from both sidelines was deafening. Plant City sophomore quarterback Bennie Coney had driven his team 79 yards in the final six minutes of the Raiders' Class 5A-District 6 game against Durant on Friday night with the Raiders' chances of reaching the postseason coming down to one play. There was the snap, then the handoff to sophomore running back Dazmond Patterson, and then the score. Patterson converted a run for the 2-point conversion, and with 49 seconds remaining in the game, the scoreboard read, Plant City 27, Durant 24. "I didn't think we could do it," said Coney.Trailing 24-19 with 6:50 left in the game, the 6-foot-2, 200 pounder went 5 of 5 for 68 yards and rushed for another 10 yards to put his team on Durant's 1 yard-line. "They took away our running game on the inside with Dazmond, but they were playing soft on my slot receivers, so we marched down the field throwing short screens," said Plant City coach Jason Strunk on his team's game-winning drive. "We were going to keep hitting them with until they could stop it." Plant City then entrusted the ball in Patterson's hands, who put the finishing touches on a 217-yard, two touchdown performance. He had 196 yards and one touchdown in the first half. "I knew we were going to make it," Patterson said. "We had faith in each other. We believed in each other and we were going to make it." Coney ended the game with 108 passing yards and 34 rushing yards with one touchdown. Senior receiver Cortez Hargrett added 68 yards rushing with a touchdown and 54 yards receiving on six catches, two of which were during Plant City's game-winning drive. With the win, Plant City (6-3) put itself in the driver's seat for a playoff berth. "We can do no worse than a district title or second place," Strunk said. Plant City led 19-0 at halftime, but allowed 21 unanswered points in the third quarter and a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to give Durant a 24-19 lead. Durant got the ball back with 43 seconds left in the game but was out of timeouts. Plant City's defense forced three incomplete passes and sacked the quarterback on fourth-and-long to turn the ball over on downs. Junior quarterback Je'Twan Smith led Durant with 109 rushing yards. Smith also rushed for a touchdown and passed for 106 yards and another touchdown. Durant (6-2) needs a win against Newsome on Friday to keep their playoff dreams alive. P. City61308-27Durant00213-24 PC - Patterson 15 run (kick blocked) PC - Coney 10 run (run failed) PC - Hargrett 53 run (Banks kick) D - Claypool 13 pass from Smith (Bass kick) D - Smith 3 run (Bass kick) D - Hicks 7 run (Bass kick) D - FG Bass 31 PC - Patterson 1 run (Patterson run)
Reporter Nick Williams can be reached at (813) 259-7851. Reporter Nick Williams can be reached at (813) 259-7851. Reporter Nick Williams can be reached at (813) 259-7851.