The Raiders’ inexperience proved costly in their Week 1 loss.
In a big Week 1 matchup between Plant City and Tampa Bay Tech, the Titans came out on top in a 34-0 shutout, a game in which the Raiders’ lack of experience across the roster showed.
Tampa Bay Tech received the ball first and Plant City’s defense came out strong. A sack on third down forced the Titans to line up in punt formation following their first drive and a blocked punt on the ensuing play left the Raiders with great field position, down inside the Tech 25-yard line.
Plant City worked their way inside of the five, facing a first and goal, but ultimately stalled out and had to settle for a field goal attempt that then missed wide.
On the Titans’ second drive, defensive penalties proved problematic for the Raiders. Near midfield, facing a third-and-7, an encroachment penalty gave Tech a manageable third down that they would convert on a short pass to keep the drive alive.
A few plays later the Raiders committed another costly penalty on third down, jumping offside to give the Titans a free first down.
Then came one more big penalty from Plant City on the drive, a personal foul while backed up in their own red zone that gave the Titans a first-and-goal from the eight-yard line.
Tech running back James Evans scored off of an inside handoff on the next play, his first of three touchdowns on the night, for a 7-0 lead.
The Raiders went three and out on the following drive and Tech responded with a touchdown. The Titans added one more score in the first half and found the end zone two more times in the third quarter to seal the 34-0 final.
Plant City’s defense was a bright spot from a gloomy game, early at least. They looked physical and fast to start, but penalties and short fields proved too much to overcome before the game began to slip away.
The Raiders’ offense on the other hand understandably lacked consistency, with a junior quarterback making his first varsity start and every receiver who hauled in any of their 20 receiving touchdowns last season lost to graduation.
And all things considered, Tech was a tough first test as the Titans finished last season with an 8-4 record and a run to the regional finals.
The Raiders will look to get back on track this Friday as they return to Plant City to take on the Jefferson Dragons for their first home game of the 2021 season.