Plant QB Banks wants shot at soccer
TAMPA - Plant quarterback Aaron Banks showed off his footwork as he danced away from Robinson defenders and scored from 12 yards to give the Panthers a 26-24 win against the Knights on Friday night. After the game, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior said although he is hoping the Panthers make another run at a state title in football, he was also hoping to make an impact on one more sport for his high school — soccer. Banks, who played forward for the Panthers his freshman and sophomore seasons, said he hoped to join Plant's soccer team as a striker. As a sophomore, he had two goals and three assists. Plant soccer coach John Feely said both Banks and his football teammate, defensive back Michael Harlow, have approached him about joining the soccer program after football ends."It can be hard to add players in the middle of the season," Feely said. "But I think both players have the athleticism and ability to contribute." Feely, in his first season as Plant head coach, said although he hasn't seen Banks on the soccer pitch, he is confident he will make a smooth transition back to the game. "I have not seen (Aaron) play," Feely said. "But I've spoken to many of his former teammates and he is a very fast and dynamic player who knows how to win." Defense keeps Cougars cruising When senior defensive back Randy Baker charged from the left side to swat away a 26-yard King field goal attempt in the third quarter of Durant's 31-0 win against the Lions, it didn't set a school record or seal the Cougars' victory. However, what it did do was keep the Lions off the board, give Durant its fourth shutout of the season en route to the school's first 10-0 regular season, and keep the mainly unheralded defense at 84 points allowed this season. Baker leads the team with 71 tackles and has two interceptions and five fumble recoveries, while the defense has 19 fumble recoveries, 19 sacks and nine interceptions. Durant hosts Tampa Bay Tech on Friday in the Class 7A-Region 2 quarterfinals. Also under 100 Robinson's undefeated season fell to Plant as Banks scrambled away from defenders and found the end zone on the Panthers' final drive to defeat the Knights in come-from-behind fashion. The Robinson defense also held opponents to sub-100 points this season, allowing just 92 points en route to a 9-1 mark. The Knights host Port Orange Atlantic in a 5A-Region 2 quarterfinal on Friday. Tough late losses keep Sickles on the outside For the second straight season, Sickles recorded at least seven wins, and for the second straight season, the Gryphons will be on the outside looking in as the playoffs begin next week. Sickles (7-3) dropped all three of its games this season by allowing fourth-quarter touchdowns to spoil would-be wins. The Gryphons pulled off a 23-22 win over Class 6A-District 8 champ Hillsborough, but sandwiched the win with one-score losses to district runner-up Armwood and Jefferson. The Gryphons got a 42-yard field goal from Daniel Lezotte with three seconds left Friday night to finish the season with a 31-29 win against Alonso.