Preview: Robinson at Plant


Photo M. Hall

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

The annual Battle of South Tampa returns this Friday as Robinson makes the short trip up to Plant for the latest installment of one of Hillsborough County’s most storied rivalries. The Knights, coming off of a 30-18 loss to Wharton last week, are looking for their first victory over Plant since 2004. The Panthers, however, are still looking for a permanent answer at the quarterback position as Syracuse-commit Rex Culpepper (’16) will miss the season with a torn ACL.

REWIND: In week two of the 2014 season, Plant fell behind 6-0 before Culpepper carried them to a 46-18 victory with five touchdown passes. Robinson quarterback Malik Tyson (’16) completed 14 of his 30 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown.


Deangelo “Whop” Philyor (’17)– After missing time last year due to a leg injury, Philyor is healthy and poised to make a big impact for the Panthers this season. Though he only has seven catches for 63 yards in the first two games of the regular season, one just has to look at his production in Plant’s Kickoff Classic three weeks ago to see what he is capable of. In the Panthers’ 31-21 victory over Venice, Philyor finished with almost 200 all-purpose yards and a touchdown while also contributing on special teams with a 66-yard kickoff return that set up a Plant touchdown.

Johayward “ScoopBradshaw (’16)– Bradshaw has proven himself as one of Plant’s key players on defense, collecting 16 total tackles (11 solo) and an interception through two games this season. The senior was second on the team in tackles last season with 110 (26 for loss) and had a hand in five turnovers. In June, he committed to Syracuse, choosing the Orange over other offers such as USF and Indiana.


Anfernee Alston (’17)– As impressive as Alston was in 2014, he might be even more impressive this season. The junior running back is off to a hot start, rushing for 311 yards on 56 carries in the first two games. His average of 5.6 yards per carry is a big reason why the Knights offense has been able to fight through some early-season struggles. Alston’s production goes beyond his two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving). His ability to carry Robinson’s ground game provides for a balanced offensive attack, which is something that will likely continue as the season rolls on.

David Stevens (’16)The 5-foot-9 senior has found success on both sides of the ball this season. Despite being the backup to Alston, Stevens has gotten a chance to show some flashes of his speed. He has 62 rushing yards on nine carries, including a touchdown in the Knights’ season-opening win at Blake. With Stevens running the ball well, it isn’t as tough to keep Alston fresh.

Kickoff for this year’s Battle of South Tampa is set for 7:30 at Dad’s Stadium on the campus of Plant High School (2415 S Himes Ave, Tampa, FL 33629).