Florida Tech Defeats Warner In Homecoming Game
By SpaceCoastDaily.com // October 27, 2013
PANTERS PLAY AT West Georgia THURSDAY
FLORIDA TECH 37, WARNER 3
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BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Florida Tech (3-5) won its first Homecoming Game over fellow first-year program Warner University (0-9) by a 37-3 score Saturday afternoon in front of nearly 4,000 fans at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium.
“It was great to get our first Homecoming win in school history,” head coach Steve Englehart said.
“All sides of the ball played pretty well. We still have some areas we need to shore up and we committed some mistakes I don’t like seeing. I attribute that to part of the game, unfortunately. Warner made some plays that kept us off-guard like the fake punts. I thought we responded by giving up only one of those. We capitalized on a couple of the punts that went over the punter’s head to put us in great field position.
“Those plays really gave us a chance to play out in front, which we really haven’t done all year. That was good for our team, gave us a lot of energy and allowed our defense to play fast. We still need to continue doing a better job of getting first downs on third downs and do a better job of not allowing the opposing team to get a first down on third down. Overall, we played spirited and pretty well. I’m going to look for us to tweak some of the mistakes we had by watching the film and have a good week this upcoming week.”
Leading 10-3 in the second quarter, the Panthers took advantage of a high snap on a punt by Warner and started at the Royals’ one-yard line. Following a penalty by each team, quarterback Sean Ashley ran the ball in from one-yard out for what would be his first of three straight rushing touchdowns.
Kenrick Walters put an exclamation point on the win with a 17-yard run with 3:22 remaining.
For the first time in its inaugural season, the Panthers scored on the opening drive as Kaleb Leach capped a six-play, 61-yard drive with a seven-yard run less than three minutes into the game.
Warner’s Connor Killeen answered with a 31-yard field goal at the 3:09 mark of the first quarter and could not tack on any additional points the remainder of the game. FIT’s defense held the Royals to negative-11 rushing yards and just 130 yards of total offense. It also held Warner to 2-of-8 on fourth-down conversions.
J.J. Sanders led the defense once again with double-digit tackles as he finished with 11. Anthony Hicks had four of the team’s 23 tackles for a loss. Of his four tackles, two were sacks. Tyler Grow matched Hicks with two sacks.
Bobby Vega totaled 121 passing yards on 14-of-22 attempts. Ashley was 2-of-3 for 22 yards and had 15 yards on five carries along with his three rushing touchdowns.
Aaron George and Xavier Milton led FIT with four catches each. George accumulated 48 receiving yards and Milton had 17. Jarvis Giles paced the Panthers in rushing with 56 yards on 12 carries.
The Panthers will resume their Gulf South Conference schedule on Thursday, Oct. 31 with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Ga. The game will be shown on regional television and ESPN3 for Melbourne area fans.
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MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech (2-5) will host another first-year program in Warner University (0-8) in the Panthers’ first Homecoming Game today at 1 p.m. at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium.
Tickets are available for today’s 1 p.m. game at Pirate Stadium. They can be purchased online at FloridaTechSports.com and at Pirate Stadium starting at 11 a.m.
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Last Saturday, the Panthers scored three unanswered touchdowns in just over nine minutes in the fourth quarter to beat Shorter 28-24. Bobby Vega threw for 203 yards and three touchdowns and Wayne Saunders recovered a fumble for another score.
The Panther defense did not give up any points after the 8:07 mark of the third quarter. J.J. Sanders led the Panthers in tackles for the third straight week, finishing with 15 once again. He also had one of the team’s five sacks.
Warner lost to Alderson Broaddus 51-14 last Saturday at home in Winter Haven, Fla. Alderson Broaddus held a 48-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Warner was limited to 250 yards, 140 were recorded by quarterback Andrew Rodriguez. He totaled 80 in the air and 60 on the ground.
Free live video, audio and stats will be available for the game at FloridaTechSports.com/live.