The right direction
Plant High quarterback Tucker Gleason knows the way to the end zone, much to Gaither’s dismay. The Panthers win their region quarterfinal 36-16.
Highlights from Round 1 of the playoffs. Find recaps at www.tampabay.com/ high-schools/
• No. 3 Plant 36, No. 6 Gaither 16: Plant came in with a run-first mentality, and that showed as QB Tucker Gleason and RB Walter Wilbon III pounded it up the middle all night. Gleason finished with 88 yards rushing, and Wilbon, who scored three touchdowns, had 148. Leonard Parker was the only other Panther to score, finding the end zone on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Gleason.
Up next: At No. 2 Viera, a 39-0 winner over Sickles. Also in this region, No. 1 Lakeland beat No. 8 Wiregrass Ranch 43-7.
• No. 1 Venice 59, No. 8 Tampa Bay Tech 23: Treshaun Ward had a 74-yard touchdown in the first half, but Venice scored the final 28 points. Up next: Hosts No. 5 Braden River.
• No. 5 Braden River 28, No. 4 Plant City 23: Brian Battie rushed for a Braden River-record 349 yards on 39 carries, including four touchdowns. The junior lost two fumbles, but made up for it with scoring runs of 1, 40, 27 and 96 yards. Up next: At No. 1 Venice.
• No. 2 Armwood 54, No. 7 Groveland South Lake 0: Hawks returned three interceptions for touchdowns, all in the second quarter. Offensively, Armwood were lead by Eric “EJ” Wilson (144 all-purpose yards), who scored on a run of 52 yards and was on the receiving end of 25-yard toss from Cam’ron Ransom. Up next: Hosts No. 6 Lake Weir, a 30-21 winner over No. 3 Mitchell.
• No. 6 North Fort Myers 24, No. 3 Largo 17: Shomari Mason’s two TD runs gave North Fort Myers a 13-3 halftime lead. But a punt return for a TD and Andre Bell’s 19-yard score pulled the Packers ahead 17-13. Late in the game, a Hunter Kobylanski score and two-point conversion gave North Fort Myers the final lead, which they held onto after recovering a late Largo fumble in the red zone. Up next: At No. 2 Charlotte, a 44-20 winner over No. 7 Clearwater.
• No. 1 Nature Coast 57, No. 8 Gainesville Eastside 26: Michael Weston rushed for a game-high 240 yards and scored four touchdowns. Up next: Hosts No. 4 Baker County, a 28-14 winner over No. 5 Hernando.
• No. 2 Zephyrhills 35, No. 7 Crystal River 0: Unbeaten Bulldogs have five shutouts this year, all by a running clock. Doug Crawford passed for 223 yards and three touchdowns Friday, and led Zephyrhills in rushing with 110 yards while Cartrell Strong had a scoring reception of 63 yards and an 87-yard touchdown run. Up next: Hosts No. 3 North Marion.
• No. 2 Jesuit 44, No. 7 DeSoto County: Rick Parks and Nick Spurlin had two TDs each for the Tigers. Up next: Hosts No. 6 Immokalee.
• No. 4 Lakewood 10, No. 5 Sarasota Booker 6: Spartans used three interceptions to shut down Booker’s offense. Up next: Hosts No. 8 Jefferson, a 19-16 winner over No. 1 Hardee
• No. 4 Tampa Catholic 13, No. 5 Lakeland Christian 10: Drew Hutson hit a 20-yard field goal with four seconds left. Up next: at No. 1 Clearwater Central Catholic.
• No. 6 Calvary Christian 34, No. 3 Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 31: Junior Aidan Shahriari kicked a 22-yard field goal with 1:18 to play. The right-footed kicker had been battling a pulled right hip flexor, but he made two second-half field goals to beat a team the Warriors had only beaten once in their prior five games. Up next: at No. 2 Berkeley Prep.
• No. 3 Zephyrhills Chr. 55, No. 6 St. Francis Catholic 0: Warriors got two interception returns for touchdowns by Kavbion Marbra and two touchdown rushes by Javion Hanner — all in the first half. St. Francis’ bus broke down n the way, so ZCA sent vans to pick up the players, which led to a 50minute delay. Up next: At No. 2 Foundation Academy.
• No. 3 Carrollwood Day 41, No. 6 Southwest Florida Christian 3: QB Chris Butash threw for more than 300 yards and five touchdowns — three to Shelton Quarles Jr. — as the Patriots recorded their first playoff victory. Up next: at No. 2 Seffner Christian. Also in this region, No. 1 Admiral Farragut will host No. 5 Cambridge Christian, a 547 winner over No. 4 Fort Myers Evangelical Christian.