Bradenton, Florida - In a game that received national attention and television exposure, the Plant Panthers might agree they didn't feel like defending state champions at the end of it. After suffering injuries to three of their biggest stars in the 1st half against Brandenton Manatee, the Panthers trailed 28-10 at halftime in a rematch of the 2009 Class A championship game. It just got worse from there.
Plant quarterback Phillip Ely injured his lower right leg and left the game after a 1st quarter fumble. Later, RB James Wilder, Jr sustained a hand injury and OT Tony Posada was seen limping after a play where Ely's backup, Nick Sanders, was sacked. All three injured players have committed to Division 1 schools.
It all certainly took the wind out of No. 2 nationally ranked Plant, which then allowed 19th ranked (also nationally) Manatee to score 20 points in the 3rd quarter and go on to a 48-10 win.