TAMPA — Yes, the final score — Plant 28, Robinson 7 — was lopsided, but the Panthers definitely knew they had been a dogfight when they walked off their home turf victorious Friday night.
Most notably, Panthers starting quarterback Colby Brown didn’t play in the second half after suffering a bruise on his throwing hand following a hit in the first quarter.
Brown, who finished with seven completions in 16 attempts for 59 yards and a 2-yard touchdown pass, wasn’t as sharp after the hit, which came on Robinson’s 2-yard line as he attempted to run in for the game’s first touchdown.
“We thought it best for (Brown) to sit out the second half after checking it out,” Plant coach Robert Weiner said. “It was good to see (quarterback Rex Culpepper) come in the second half and play really well (completing six of eight passes for 41 yards).”
The best performance of the night, however, arguably went to Plant running back Alex Jackson, who finished with nine carries for 142 yards and a 50-yard touchdown run. Jackson was aided by the offensive line, which opened several of those holes for Jackson.
Overall, Friday’s game was an improvement for Plant, which comes off a 27-27 tie last week to the nation’s No. 5 ranked team, Sandy Creek (Ga.) — a game that followed a poor showing in the preseason kickoff classic, which ended in a 35-16 loss to Tallahassee Godby.
Robinson (0-2) didn’t care about that history.
“We came to play and I was proud of our effort,” said Robinson coach Shawn Taylor, who graduated 26 seniors and 16 starters from last year’s squad that reached the Class 5A state semifinal. “We have a lot of young kids, but we have a lot of potential and tonight we have a lot to be proud of.”
Plant, which suffered four sacks and four fumbles (one lost), left with plenty of respect.
“Coach Taylor had his guys fired up and ready to play,” Weiner said. “There were some really big hits and physical play out there. We played well, but Robinson gave us a great fight.”
Robinson 0 0 0 7 -- 7
Plant 8 10 7 3 -- 28
P - Miller 2 pass from Brown (Beck pass from Brown)
P - Safety, Robinson snaps ball through end zone
P - Jackson 50 run (Jackson run)
P - Gilbert 27 run (Houston kick)
P - Houston FG 39
R - Priester 32 pass from Forehand (Camacho kick)