Godby whips Class 8A power Plant, 35-16

Godby whips Class 8A power Plant, 35-16

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Godby whips Class 8A power Plant, 35-16

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TAMPA

Defending Class 5A state champion Godby picked up where it left off last season, defeating Tampa-Plant 35-16 on Saturday in the inaugural Fox Sports Florida Kickoff Classic at Raymond James Stadium.

Godby, which has won four state titles, stifled Plant’s offense early, forcing three turnovers and preventing the Panthers from crossing midfield until late in the second quarter. Plant, with three state titles of its own (2006, ’08, ’11), had the advantage of being at home and being from a larger classification (8A).

But the Cougars led 21-0 at the half and 35-0 after three quarters to force an automatic running clock.

“In the first half, our defense just did such a magnificent job keeping field position,” Godby coach Ronnie Cottrell said. “They really stayed in their half of the field most of the time and we had some really awesome kicking game plays in the first half that kept them backed up.

“But you saw in the second half how explosive they are. We would have never dreamed that would happen, so we’re really pleased to get out of here with a win.”

Godby senior quarterback J.T. Bradwell had 122 passing yards and two touchdowns to go with 65 rushing yards, while Kenny Young rushed for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Derrick Sampson had two interceptions.

“This is a chance of a lifetime,” Cottrell said. “This is an awesome event that Fox Sports has done. To me, it puts you in the environment you’re going to be in the playoffs and in the championship game. This is a beautiful stadium, and like I said before the game, this was a chance of a lifetime for our players to be involved in a game like this.”

Plant senior quarterback back Colby Brown led the Panthers’ offense with 346 passing yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw four interceptions.

Brown led two scoring drives in the fourth quarter that ended in touchdown passes to senior receiver Cameron Winter.

“You got to get it from the beginning of the game,” Plant coach Robert Weiner said. “They came out, obviously, more focused and more (ready) to play. I thought we were focused when we came out, but you can’t get down 21-0 there early on. We couldn’t turn field possession in the first quarter and that was a big problem, and we had three turnovers five minutes into the second quarter.”

Godby next will hit the road again for a game against DeMatha High in Maryland on Labor Day.

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