PLANT CITY — The Plant City football team handed the game to Durant on a silver platter — on more than one occasion — Friday night.
But when it needed it most, a star player sealed the Raiders’ win.
With 59 seconds left and Durant facing second-and-long, Plant City senior defensive end Sedrick King used his lengthy 6-foot-4 frame to intercept a pass at the line of scrimmage, sealing a 14-13 win for the Raiders in a Class 7A-District 8 game against their biggest rival.
“I heard the Durant quarterback say some kind of ‘S’ word, to me it was ‘screen’, and I felt the tackle trying to push me forward, so I just sat back and waited for the ball to come my way,” King said.
Durant’s Dontriel Perry blocked a punt attempt with 6:12 left in the fourth quarter to give the Cougars the ball at the Raiders 8.
Two plays later, Trey Van De Grift lofted a 5-yard pass to Garrett Rentz in the end zone to cut Plant City’s lead to 14-13. The Raiders twice jumped offside on the extra point, putting the Cougars a few feet away from the end zone. The Cougars attempted a 2-point conversion, but the runner was stopped short.
“The biggest play of the game is the stop for the extra point when they went for 2,” Plant City coach Wayne Ward said. “Our (defensive coordinator) has those guys dialed in and when we needed to make a play when it counted, we made a play.”
Plant City (3-0, 1-0) took a 14-7 lead in the third quarter when Landon Galloway connected with Tarvares Chase for a 16-yard touchdown pass, Galloway’s second touchdown pass of the night. Galloway finished with 165 passing yards and two interceptions with one fumble.
The Raiders committed three turnovers, allowed three sacks and had 65 yards in penalties.
With a one-point lead and three minutes remaining in the game, Plant City gave winless Durant one more chance with a short punt that allowed the Cougars to start a potential game-winning drive from Plant City’s 47-yard line.
Plant City running back Hassan Bailey finished with 155 total yards, including an 80-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.
Durant returns to action Friday at home against Gaither, while Plant City travels to Bloomingdale.
Durant 0 7 0 6 — 13
Plant City 7 0 7 0 — 14
PC — Bailey 80 pass from Galloway (Hoyle kick)
D — Griffin 34 run (Wells kick)
PC — Chase 16 pass from Galloway (Hoyle kick)
D — Rentz 5 pass from Van De Grift (run failed)