PANTHERS BEAT TEXANS IN SHOOTOUT, 37-31

By  //  September 21, 2014

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ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech head coach Steve Englehart celebrates historic win with his team. SEE STORY, PHOTOS AND VIDEO BELOW

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The Florida Tech Panthers outscored the Tarleton State Texans 37-31 in a classic shootout featuring more than 1,200 yards of total offense. (Matt O’Hern image)

SEE STORY BELOW

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE GAME STATS

COMPLETE SCORING SUMMARY

• TARLETON:  Z. Henshaw rush for 4 yards, clock 07:39. B. Barnes PAT.
• FLORIDA TECH: Trevor Sand rush for 4 yards , Ashley PAT.


ABOVE VIDEO: Following Florida Tech Football’s first win over a ranked team in the program’s history, Space Coast Daily spoke with Coach Steve Englehart, running back Trevor Sand and & linebacker J.J. Sanders.

Panther QB Mark Cato accounted for almost 400 yards of total offense for Florida Tech – 354 yards in the air and 44 yards on the ground. (Matt O'Hern image)

Panther QB Mark Cato accounted for almost 400 yards of total offense for Florida Tech – 354 yards in the air and 44 yards on the ground. (Matt O’Hern image)

Following Florida Tech Football’s first win over a ranked team in the program’s history, Space Coast Daily spoke with Coach Steve Englehart, running back Trevor Sand and linebacker J.J. Sanders. • TARLETON: C. Strahan pass complete to B. Tandy for 77 yards. B. Barnes PAT.
• FLORIDA TECH: Trevor Sand rush for 3 yards.Ashley PAT.
• FLORIDA TECH: Trevor Sand rush for 51 yards. Ashley PAT.
• TARLETON: B. Barnes field goal attempt from 32 GOOD, clock 01:18.
• TARLETON: C. Strahan pass complete to L. Meyers for 21 yards. B. Barnes PAT
• FLORIDA TECH: Mark Cato pass complete to Gabe Hughes for 64 yards. Ashley PAT.
• FLORIDA TECH: Brion Ashley field goal..
• TARLETON: C. Strahan rush for 7 yards.
• FLORIDA TECH: Mark Cato pass complete to Tyler Bass for 7 yards. Ashley PAT failed.

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Florida Tech played the Texans of Tarleton State as part of the four-game slate of the Lone Star Football Festival at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas. SpaceCoastDaily.com was on the scene to bring you live updates and social media posts. (Matt O’Hern image)

SPACECOASTDAILY.COM LIVE WITH THE PANTHERS

Matt O'Hern

Matt O’Hern

SpaceCoastDaily.com featured on-the-scene coverage from AT&T Stadium via live updates and social media posts provided by Matt O’Hern, who reported directly from the Florida Tech Panther sideline at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas.

PANTHERS DEFEAT NO. 12 TEXANS 

BY RYAN JONES, FLORIDA TECH

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Trevor Sand gained 152 yards and three scores on the ground, and Tyler Bass scored the game-winning touchdown on a seven-yard pass from Mark Cato with 3:56 remaining, as Florida Tech overcame the powerful offense of the 12th ranked Tarleton State Texans, 37-31, at AT&T Stadium.

Trevor Sand runs past the Tarleton State defense Saturday night at AT&T Stadium. Sand picked up 152 yards and scored three TDs in the Panther's big win in Texas. (Amanda Stratford image)

Trevor Sand runs past the Tarleton State defense Saturday night at AT&T Stadium. Sand picked up 152 yards and scored three TDs in the Panther’s big win in Texas. (Amanda Stratford image)

It is the first time in FIT’s first two years of football competition that the Panthers came out victorious against a ranked opponent.

Tarleton State got the scoring started with a Zach Henshaw four-yard rush for six points midway through the first quarter. FIT responded with an 11-play 78-yard drive capped with a four yard scoring run from Sand to tie the game at seven apiece.

The Texans didn’t take long to recapture the lead as Collin Strahan connected with Bubba Tandy on a 77-yard touchdown strike. The Panthers countered with a pair of Sand touchdown romps, one from three yards out and another for 51 yards, which gave FIT its first lead of the game at 21-14.

Tarleton State was able to answer back with 10-straight points to close the half, including a 21-yard scoring reception from Le’Nard Meyers as time expired to send the Texans into the locker room with a 24-21 advantage.

Gabe Hughes gave the Panthers the lead back early in the third quarter, taking a short pass from Cato and toeing the sideline for 64 yards and a score. Brion Ashley added a 36-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to extend the Panther lead to 31-24.

Vince Perry and Kenrick Walters Jr. take down a Tarleton State player at AT&T Stadium. (Amanda Stratford image)

Vince Perry and Kenrick Walters Jr. take down a Tarleton State player at AT&T Stadium. (Amanda Stratford image)

Following a fumbled exchange between Cato and Sand, Strahan faked a handoff and glided into the endzone from seven yards out to knot the game back up at 31 aside with 8:56 remaining in the game.

However, the Panthers wouldn’t be denied as Bass took a pass in the flat and scooted into the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown of his own, giving FIT a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. J.J. Sanders ripped the ball from the Texans’ Cody Burtscher, and the Panthers were able to hold off the Texans with a Tyler Rosenblatt interception as the clock hit zeroes.

In total, Cato racked up a career-high 354 yards and two scores on 25 of 38 through the air to help lead the Panthers to the best record to start a season in program history at 3-0. FIT received two 100-yard receiving performances in the game, as Xavier Milton hauled in nine catches and 138 yards, both team-highs, and Hughes added 104 yards on just three receptions.

J.J. Sanders

J.J. Sanders

In his first game of the season, Sanders had a banner day with 12 tackles and the late forced fumble. Additionally, Sanders recorded a game high 3.5 tackles for a loss, including a sack. Chris Stapleton also put forth a dominating effort for the Panthers, finishing the day with 12 tackles and a sack. Manny Abad and Rosenblatt chipped in one interception each to help hold the Texan offense at bay.

Tarleton State received another strong start from Strahan, who put up 305 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on 23 of 39 passing and added 75 yards and another score on the ground. Tandy put up big numbers in the receiving game, recording 154 yards on seven receptions, including a 77-yard touchdown catch.

VIDEO: Panthers Receive A Grand Welcome In TexasRelated Story:
VIDEO: Panthers Receive A Grand Welcome In Texas

FIT will return to action next Saturday, Sept. 27, against FCS opponent and 12th-ranked Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Florida at 4 p.m. ET.

Season and individual game tickets remain for FIT’s four remaining home games. Tickets are available by calling 321-674-6228 or stopping by the Clemente Center Ticket Office Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

BELOW PHOTOS & VIDEO BY MATT O’HERN

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ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech running back Trevor Sand scores on a sweep play vs. Tarleton State University at the Lone Star Football Festival at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

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ABOVE VIDEO: The Panthers get pumped up at AT&T Stadium before their game against the Texans of Tarleton State.

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