The Redman Cup trophy isn’t going anywhere in 2020.
Durant and Plant City’s annual rivalry game, this time held at Durant, ended with a 35-7 victory for the Raiders, who have no completed their first Redman Cup three-peat in nine years. It was an especially big night for junior running back Romello Jones, who scored all of Plant City’s five touchdowns.
The first score of the game came late in the first quarter. Facing fourth down at Durant’s 43-yard line with 3:07 left in the quarter, the Raiders decided to go for it — which would be a recurring theme for both teams all evening — and the gamble paid off with Jones taking that handoff to the house. The Raiders’ two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, giving them a 6-0 lead over Durant.
Plant City scored again on its next drive, which bled into the second quarter. The Raiders chipped away at Durant’s defense and a pair of Nick Felice passes to Mario Williams and Reagan Ealy quickly got them from Durant’s 32-yard line to Durant’s five-yard line. Jones ran to his right for a five-yard score with 9:15 to go in the half and Williams’ two-point conversion pass to Ealy worked, giving Plant City the 14-0 lead it would eventually take into halftime.
After returning the second half opening kickoff to Durant’s 40-yard line, Ealy caught a pass for a five-yard gain and the Raiders only needed two more plays to go the distance. Jones scored on a 35-yard run on third down and Tebo Navarrete’s PAT kick gave Plant City a 21-0 lead.
But Durant had an answer for the Raiders this time. A big kickoff return by Collin Cole set the Cougars up at Plant City’s 45-yard line to start the ensuing drive and Jeremiah Gines picked up enough yardage after catching a Marcus Miguele pass to get to Plant City’s 28-yard line. A first down catch by Tyler Bokor eventually led to Zaevion Jordan getting a few good looks. He caught a pass to get Durant to the PCHS 13-yard line and then took a handoff 13 yards for the Cougars’ lone touchdown of the game with 6:43 left in the third quarter.
A touchback, a false start and 25 seconds later, Jones was back in the end zone — this time with an 85-yard run that saw him bounce off of defenders and a teammate, then shift to second gear.
The final scoring play of the game came with 9:26 left to play. After Plant City forced a turnover on downs at Durant’s 38-yard line, Jones and Williams teamed up to march the Raiders down to the Cougars’ 10-yard line. Shortly after an incomplete pass to Williams in the corner of the end zone, Jones took a pitch to his left for 10 quick yards and another touchdown.