Florida Tech Comes From Behind To Defeat Shorter 28-24
By SpaceCoastDaily.com // October 19, 2013
Florida Tech TO FACE Warner University NEXT WEEK
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech head coach Steve Englehart talks about his team’s come-back victory over Shorter at home on Saturday afternoon.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – If there’s one trait Florida Tech has shown numerous times in its inaugural season it’s resiliency.
Trailing 24-7 heading into the fourth quarter on Saturday, the Panthers (2-5, 1-3 GSC) scored three unanswered touchdowns in just over nine minutes to win their first Gulf South Conference game 28-24 over Shorter (0-7, 0-4 GSC) at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium.
“Every win is good,” head coach Steve Englehart said.
“There’s been very few times where teams and coaches have come back that many points in the fourth quarter. It just doesn’t happen very often. For this team to do that shows me that we’re growing up. I told them at the end (of the game) that’s a veteran type of win – veteran teams win games like that. You don’t see very many young teams win games like that.
“I think it will help propel us moving forward and it will continue to help us grow as a team. The never give up attitude has always been so strong with our team. This just gives them that reassurance that it’s never over until it’s over. I think they’ll fight even harder in the fourth quarter even when we are down. I’m very proud of them.”
Down by 17 points with 15 minutes to play, FIT needed a momentum changer from its defense to try to get back into the game. On the second play of the fourth quarter at the Panthers’ 23-yard line, Justin Arcune popped the ball out of the hands of Shorter running back B.J. McCoy and into the paws of safety Tyler Rosenblatt.
Bobby Vega then went to work, finding Gabe Hughes on two straight completions over 15 yards. His last pass of the drive was corralled by Xavier Milton for a 21-yard touchdown.
Shorter went four-and-out on its next possession to set up another scoring drive. Trevor Sand found a hole on 3rd-and-9 from FIT’s 30-yard line and broke loose for 30 yards. However, Shorter’s Wesley Clay knocked the ball loose. Standing in the right place at the right time was Wayne Saunders, who scooped it up and took it 40 yards to cut Shorter’s lead to just three.
After the Hawks couldn’t generate a first down when they received the ball back, Vega was once again a catalyst in one final scoring drive. This time from 10 yards out, he found Milton for the go-ahead touchdown.
Vega finished the game 21-of-34 for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Saunders had a team-high six catches for 37 yards. Milton had 60 yards on four catches and two touchdowns. Aaron George scored the Panthers’ first touchdown and ended with 39 yards on four catches. Sand carried the ball nine times for 82 yards.
FIVE SACKS PACE DEFENSE
J.J. Sanders had 15 tackles for the second straight game and one sack. Lyndon Edwards had nine tackles, two were sacks.
Justin Arcune finished with eight tackles, one was a sack, and he forced the game-changing fumble. The defense registered five sacks after posting six last week.
“For the first time this year, the offense and the defense fed off each other,” Englehart said.
“And I’ll tell you another thing we fed off of in the fourth quarter – we fed off that 12th man. The fans were unbelievable and they pumped energy into our guys. I know they especially pumped energy into our defense. Man, I could not be happier with this win.
“We have faced adversity all year and this is going to be one of the most mentally tough teams in the dang country (with) everything we’ve had to go through and we’ve had to bounce back from,” Englehart said.
“I’m proud of them, especially after a heartbreaker last week. For them to come back this week and do what they did, I think it was great.”
HOMECOMING NEXT WEEK
FIT welcomes alumni back to campus next week for Homecoming. In the Panthers’ Homecoming Game, they will take on another first-year program in Warner University. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Pirate Stadium.
Fans unable to attend can watch the live broadcast, listen to the audio feed and follow the live stats at FloridaTechSports.com/live.
ABOVE IMAGE: Florida Tech’s head coach, Steve Englehart talks with his team before kickoff against Shorter in the Panthers’ Breast Cancer Awareness Game today at 2 p.m. ET at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium.
ABOVE IMAGE: Florida Tech returns to Melbourne to host Gulf South Conference provisional member Shorter in the Panthers’ Breast Cancer Awareness Game today at 2 p.m. ET at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium.
BREVARD COUNTY — Florida Tech (1-5, 0-3 GSC) will host Shorter (0-6, 0-3 GSC) today at 2 p.m. ET at Pirate Stadium. A link to live video, audio and stats can be found below the picture for this article.
FLORIDA TECH VS. SHORTER GAME PREVIEW
MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech returns to Melbourne to host Gulf South Conference provisional member Shorter in the Panthers’ Breast Cancer Awareness Game today at 2 p.m. ET at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium.
All fans are encouraged to wear pink as breast cancer survivors, and those that are fighting the disease, will be recognized at halftime.
Tickets are available for the game and all four of FIT’s remaining home games at FloridaTechSports.com, by dialing 321-674-6228 and at the Clemente Center Ticket Office Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for FIT faculty and staff with school ID, seniors ages 65 and above, children ages 5-16 and active duty military with ID. FIT students with ID and children under five years of age are free.