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Panthers stay unbeaten

CLASS 3A: Howell, Ifeanyi score in Plant's 2-1 win against Armwood.


© St. Petersburg Times, published February 14, 2003

TAMPA -- Plant kept its unbeaten streak alive on Thursday with a 2-1 win over Armwood.

The Panthers (14-0-3) will face their stiffest challenge on Tuesday when they travel to face state champion Palm Harbor University (22-1-2), a 2-0 winner over St. Petersburg.

Plant had a number of chances early but could not beat Hawks goalie Michael Devore. In the 28th minute, Juan Tello bounced a shot off the post. Moments later, Devore tipped a header from Donny Griewe over the bar.

On the ensuing corner kick, Nick Spatz crossed to Griewe, who headed it across to Tommy Howell, who headed it into the goal when Devore collided with another player.

"We should have been up by more than 1-0 at the half, but that's pretty much the way we've played all year," Plant coach Kelvin Jones said. "We don't blow teams out. We've been hitting nothing but the post, the side of kids' faces, anything but the back of the net."

Plant scored its second goal in the 50th minute. Griewe controlled the ball at the top of the box, then played it to Spencer Anderson, who hit a one-touch pass to Obi Ifeanyi for the finish.

If the Panthers thought they could coast after that, Armwood (7-9-1) had other thoughts.

With two minutes left, Jordan Gorrochotegui broke down the left wing, got past a defender and beat goalie Loren Shumard to pull within 2-1.

With less than a minute to play, Robert Read nailed a long free kick toward the upper corner, but Shumard hauled it in.

"We knew it was going to be a physical game, and we matched up well with them," Armwood coach Franklin DeRochemont said. "Our guys never gave up."

DeRochemont, in his fourth year coaching the Hawks, hopes to keep the momentum going after this season's success.

"Our goal four years ago was to make it to regionals. Now, we want to build on that," he said.

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