The Plant City Dolphins' latest run for the ring came to an unfortunate end Friday morning.
After putting up back-to-back shutout wins in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the United Youth Football League 8 Weighted national championship tournament, the Dolphins were bested by the Oxford Circle Raiders in a 12-0 game.
Neither team could put any points on the board in the first half, but the Raiders opened up the scoring on their first drive of the third quarter. They broke off a pair of big runs to pick up crucial first downs and punched in their first touchdown with 5:28 left in the quarter. The Raiders couldn't convert the extra point attempt and committed a penalty that gave Plant City great field position on the kickoff, and the Dolphins were able to drain the clock as they drove into OCR territory.
But an interception at the Raiders' 20-yard line early in the fourth quarter eventually led to Oxford Circle's next touchdown, a 51-yard dash into the end zone, and another missed extra point attempt set the score at 12-0. Plant City threw another interception on its next drive, this time with 1:40 left in the game, and the Raiders were able to run the clock out to seal the win.
The 8W Dolphins were the only Plant City team to make it to Friday's series of championship games.