It’s a battle of Hillsborough heavyweights on Friday night from Dad’s Stadium in South Tampa. It’s the premier school matchup between Armwood and Plant, a game that you certainly don’t want to miss. This is a matchup that we’ve had circled on the calendar since Armwood’s 21-3 victory last season in Seffner, but it’s a new year, with new players, and a different venue.
We’re here to introduce you to just some of the many college prospects on both sides of the ball and on both sidelines on Friday night. Here’s just some of the guys to watch out for:
Warren Thompson, 2018 WR, Armwood:
Thompson will not be playing tomorrow night because of an ejection in last Friday’s game against Chamberlain. He’s a difference maker on the outside, and he’s going to be sorely missed by Head Coach Sean Callahan and the rest of the Armwood offense. On the year, he’s had 189 receiving yards on 13 receptions and two touchdowns. He’ll be back in action in Armwood’s next game against Blake on September 30th.
Davis Bak, 2017 LB, Plant:
Bak has been one of the true leaders, both statistically and in actual in-game situations, of the Plant defense thus far. He’s an important piece of Head Coach Robert Weiner’s defensive schemes, and a lot of that revolves around his ability to get in the backfield. Bak already has nine TFL on the season. He’s has 23 tackles on the season, which leads the defense. He’ll be a major part in stopping the Armwood running game on Friday.
Darrian McNeal, 2017 UTL, Armwood:
May missed this game due to injury. At this time last season, McNeal was breaking big runs on quarterback keepers. This year, he’s on the outside catching passes after QB Devin Black came into the picture: 129 receiving yards on eight receptions and a touchdown in 2016. The Arizona commit has been solid with the change, and if he has a big game against the Panthers again this season, Armwood will be in a position to get the win.
Judge Culpepper, 2018 UTL, Plant:
When you look at Culpepper, you can’t help but notice how well he’s built. He’s got a great frame at 6’5”, 250 lbs., and what’s interesting about him is his speed at tight end, and that’s something that a lot of colleges have picked up on in recent weeks. He’s been limited to 38 receiving yards on three receptions, but the Plant offense isn’t exactly built to have a tight end on every down. He’s thrived on defense with two sacks and 13 tackles on the year, and he’ll need to put pressure on Black to force Armwood mistakes, and to give opportunities for his offense.
Devin Black, 2018 QB, Armwood:
The Hawks have embraced and implemented Black into their offense very well in the first three weeks of the season, and Friday night will be a huge test for him. He’s already 46-of-73 with 657 passing yards and five touchdown passes. He’s averaging 219 yards a game, which is about 37 yards a game better than what he did last season with Lennard. His confidence is getting better each game with the Hawks, and he’ll look to put some big numbers and fill up the stats sheet, in addition to lighting up the scoreboard Friday.
Whop Philyor, 2017 WR, Plant:
Philyor has been nothing but spectacular in 2016. He’s has seven receiving touchdowns this season with 362 of Plant’s 698 passing yards this season. Philyor has also made teams pay in the run game, breaking two long runs for a total of 78 yards. His speed is incredible, and if you can’t keep track of him, he’s gone almost immediately. The Armwood secondary is going to have to pay extra attention to this huge playmaker.
Jerome Ford, 2018 WR, Armwood:
With Thompson out on a one-game suspension, the majority of the offense passing schemes will be split between Ford and McNeal. With Ford, there’s a lot of things you have to consider. His ability to catch the ball is great, we’ve known that, but he’s got the ability to make a lot of guys miss. He’s got 221 receiving yards on 12 receptions on the year, and he’s caught three of those for touchdowns. The interesting thing will be seeing just how Plant defends the combo of McNeal and Ford. If they double-team one, the other may have a chance to make a big play. It’ll take crafty play calling by Weiner and the Panther defensive staff to figure this one out.
Thomas Allen, 2017 LB, Plant:
Allen has been one of the more vocal leaders on the Plant defense. He’s one of the best linebackers in the area (Indiana commit). He’s has 19 tackles so far this season, seven of them for a loss, and he’s been a leader that the Panthers can rely on when things get tough. With the combination of Allen and Bak in the middle of the defense, Plant fans can feel good about this game.
This rivalry game will bring one team their first defeat of the season. Neither team wants to give this one up. Watch for both sides to have high-tempo offense and swarming defensive play. We’ll have all the coverage from Dad’s Stadium on Friday night on our Twitter page.