Sand Bright Spot In Panther Loss Against West Georgia
By Ryan Jones // November 1, 2013
Sand runs for 124 yards on 17 carries
West Georgia Defeats Florida Tech 28-14
NEXT UP: The Panthers will host their final GSC opponent of their inaugural season in North Alabama on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. at Pirate Stadium. They will then conclude the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. against Webber International.
CARROLLTON, GEORGIA – Florida Tech fell 28-14 to West Georgia in the Gulf South Conference Thursday night at University Field.
Trailing by 14 points four minutes into the third quarter, the Panthers put together at 15-play, 87-yard scoring drive.
It began with Sean Ashley under center and ended with Bobby Vega finding Xavier Milton on a four-yard slant for Milton’s seventh touchdown of the season.
Looking for the game-tying score, FIT aimed to capitalize on a missed 27-yard field goal attempt by the Wolves’ Mark Bardenwerper midway through the fourth quarter.
Vega threw for three straight first downs with the last being a 21-yard catch by Milton at West Georgia’s 35-yard line. The Panthers were able to work the ball down to their opponent’s 23 and faced a 4th-and 10.
FIT went for the tie as Vega tried to find Aaron George in the back of the end zone. However, cornerback Carlos Hutton deflected the ball and George was unable to corral it as he fell to the ground.
CLICK HERE FOR FLORIDA TECH vs. WEST GEORGIA GAME STATS
West Georgia extended its lead on a 33-yard run by Earvin Anumgba with 3:21 to play. Its defense then did not allow the Panthers to generate any offense on the following drive to preserve the win.
“I told our guys after the game that they absolutely have nothing to hang their head about,” head coach Steve Englehart said.
“They played extremely hard, tough, never gave up like always, had chances to win the game at the end, had a catch that could’ve been called a touchdown and had another opportunity there with Aaron George. The ball was batted around a little bit, came in his hands and couldn’t hang onto it as he was falling down.
“We made it close with five minutes to go and had we tied it, it would have been a different story. Once again, we’re just a play here, a play there away. As we continue to develop and get this game experience, they’ll start making those plays. Everything will come together and click together.”
Vega finished the game 20-of-36 for 149 yards and two touchdowns. He also had three interceptions. Milton had a game-high nine catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Trevor Sand ran for 124 yards on 17 carries in his return from an injury that sidelined him for one week.
“Trevor keeps plugging away,” Englehart said.
“He’s a workhorse. He’s going to be a great player for us the next three years. He’s tough as nails. He needs to hold on the ball a little better after letting the ball hit the ground. He runs so, so hard and runs violently. I love his toughness.”
Justin Arcune led the defense with 12 tackles. He also had one interception, which the Panthers turned into their first touchdown of the game at the 7:41 mark of the second quarter. Anthony Hicks and Chris Stapleton had nine tackles each.
PANTHERS TAKE ON NORTH ALABAMA NOV. 9
The Panthers (3-6, 1-4 GSC) will return to Melbourne for their last two home games of the regular season.
They will host their final GSC opponent of their inaugural season in North Alabama on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. at Pirate Stadium. They will then conclude the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. against Webber International.
Single-game general admission tickets are available for the Panthers’ final two 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. Children under five years of age are free.