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Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
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Hillsborough Game of the Week: Sickles at Plant

WHEN: Tonight, 7:30

WHERE: Dad's Stadium, Tampa

Sickles' dynamic offense vs. Plant's aggressive defense

Many people may say the reason Sickles is 5-0 is because of running back Ray Ray McCloud III, who already has 1,002 rushing yards on 122 carries with 10 touchdowns. But the Gryphons' attack is much more than McCloud. Sickles quarterback Issac Holder, for instance, has completed 49 of 97 passes for 839 yards and 10 touchdowns with one interception. Holder also has rushed 39 times for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Overall, Sickles is averaging 462.3 total yards and 36.6 points a game. Plant, meantime, counters with its traditional up-field attack, led by linebacker Andrew Beck, a University of Texas commit, who is averaging eight tackles a game.

Plant's stout offensive line vs. Sickles' quick defensive front

Plant will be without starting center Richard Bush, who is recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot (expected to return in a week or two). The Panthers, however, will still be strong up front with Denton Dowell moving to center from where he started at guard. Dowell has the benefit of experience after starting at center for 12 games in 2012. Plant also has OL anchors Jake Fruhmorgen and Ray Raulerson in perfect health. That said, Sickles will present Plant with one of its best challenges up front with ends Josh Black (nine sacks through five games) and Deven Santana. “Both teams have their share of skill players, but I think the key to this game is along the defensive and offensive lines,” Sickles coach Brian Turner said.

Plant's tradition vs. Sickles' desire

Plant has won four state titles the past seven years and has a reputation as a local perennial powerhouse. Sickles wants to rise to that level. The Gryphons do not appear the least bit intimidated by Plant, which is proceeding through this week with a great deal of confidence. If Plant gets an early lead it will be interesting to see how the Gryphons respond — and vice versa. “This is not a district game so it really doesn't mean anything for the playoffs,” Sickles coach Brian Turner said. “But it is a statement game. This game should help show us how good we are. Beating Plant would be a big boost to our program.”

By the numbers













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Note: Averages per game

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