By JOEY KNIGHT
Published December 10, 2006
A Drive For The Ages
A look at Plant's winning touchdown drive:
KICKOFF: Luke Rorech 15-yard return to Plant 22 (Rorech fumble recovered by Chris Kuzdale)
1ST AND 10, PLANT 22: Robert Marve 18-yard run
1ST AND 10, PLANT 40: Lovell Jackson, 2-yard run
2ND AND 8, PLANT 42: Marve 11-yard swing pass to Thompson Brandes
1ST AND 10, NEASE 47: Marve 4-yard sideline pass to Derek Winter
2ND AND 6, NEASE 43: Nease personal-foul penalty on Marve pass to Cam Martin, 15 yards
1ST AND 10, NEASE 28: Marve 5-yard sideline pass to Winter
2ND AND 5, NEASE 23: Marve 4-yard sideline pass to Winter
3RD AND 1, NEASE 19: Marve 4-yard run
1ST AND 10, NEASE 15: Marve sacked for 11-yard loss
2ND AND 21, NEASE 26: Marve 19-yard pass across middle to Winter
3RD AND 2: NEASE 7: Marve 3-yard run (Marve fumble recovered by Mike Walsh)
1ST AND GOAL, NEASE 4: Marve spikes ball
2ND AND GOAL, NEASE 4: Marve 4-yard pass to Winter, touchdown, 0:17 remaining
DRIVE: 12 plays, 78 yards, 2:45
Plant timeouts used: two
MARVE ON DRIVE: 6-for-7, 47 yards; four carries, 14 yards
WINTER ON DRIVE: five catches, 36 yards; also, as the holder on the PAT, he turns a botched snap into a critical two-point conversion
The dramatic finish to Robert Marve's prep career also was a record-breaking one, according to Floridapreprecords.com.
Capping what may go down as the greatest season by a state quarterback, Marve set three single-season records during his dazzling performance (29-for-44, 276 yards, three TDs, two INTs) Saturday.
His 1-yard TD pass to Cornelius Gallon in the second quarter broke the 2-year-old record of 46 held by Florida QB Tim Tebow, who played at Nease.
Marve finished the season with 48 touchdowns and 4,343 yards, breaking Tebow's season-yardage record by 57. His 278 completions broke the 31-year-old record held by former Florida State and Tallahassee Leon star Jimmy Jordan (263).
Agony of victory
While Plant players were getting state championship medals draped around their necks, veteran Panthers assistant Darrell Howton was getting ice applied to his right ankle.
Howton was carted off the field after possibly rupturing his Achilles' tendon during the raucous postgame celebration. "Somebody stepped on my Achilles and popped it," he said while seated in the back of a cart.
Howton, the assistant defensive backs coach, said he would wait until returning to Tampa before consulting a doctor but did not accompany the team on the bus ride home.
"My wife's here with the truck. They'll just throw me in the back," he joked.
Hit of the game
There's virtually no disputing the biggest hit, leveled by 215-pound senior linebacker Brent Thomas.
Thomas flattened Nease quarterback Ted Stachitas after he pitched the ball near Plant's 5-yard line. Stachitas had to leave the game for a play, but scored on a 1-yard sneak on his first play back.
"I just got back in the game," said Thomas, who finished the season as Plant's top tackler (143). "I rolled my ankle, I was out a few series, and I was just hungry and wanted to kill him."
Joey Knight, Times staff writer.