VIDEO: Left Upright Holds Off Dramatic Florida Tech Comeback Against Newberry 31-28
By Florida Tech // September 6, 2015
ABOVE AND BELOW VIDEO: 51 yard game-tying attempt was thwarted by the left upright, handing the Panthers a crushing 31-28 defeat to Newberry Saturday night at Florida Tech Panther Stadium.
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLOIRDA – It would have been quite a storybook situation for former FIT soccer player Drake Hillman’s first live American football field goal.
However, the Englishman’s 51 yard game-tying attempt was thwarted by the left upright, handing the Panthers a crushing 31-28 defeat to Newberry Saturday night at Florida Tech Panther Stadium.
Kenny Johnston did all he could to keep the Panthers, who were hampered by a myriad of injuries during the course of play, in the game. FIT suffered injuries to several key players, including Mark Cato, Trevor Sand, Tevin Kirkland, Gabe Hughes and even Johnston himself. Despite missing the end of the game, the lanky tight end registered three touchdowns on seven catches for 86 yards.
The Panthers jumped out to a 14-3 advantage after a 12 yard scoring reception by Johnston and a 74 yard scamper from Sand. FIT lost momentum, though, with the loss of Cato in the second quarter. With the Panther signal caller out, the Wolves captured a 17-14 lead heading into halftime.
FIT held a late lead, but a Raleigh Yeldell 7-yard touchdown scamper pushed the Wolves ahead with just 34 seconds remaining. The Panthers ran an efficient two-minute offense to get within striking range but Hillman couldn’t quite sneak his first collegiate field goal attempt inside the uprights.
Sean Ashley was admirable in relief of Cato, tossing for 194 yards and two scores. Despite missing a large chunk of the game, Sand tallied 134 yards and a touchdown on just 13 carries.
Defensively the Panthers shared the effort, with 15 players recording multiple tackles. Chris Stapleton and Trai Cadore were the leading tackle-getters, securing seven apiece. Cadore also recovered a Newberry fumble, returning for 10 yards.
Yeldell finished with 279 total yards and two trips to the end zone. Kevin Miller led the Newberry rushing attack, garnering 121 yards on just eight carries. The Wolves defense was led by safety Arnez Gray, who made nine stops. Alstevis Squirewell menaced the Panthers with a pair of tackles for loss.
The Panthers will have another tough matchup on their hands next week, as FIT makes its way to Hammond, Louisiana to take on Division I squad Southeastern Louisiana at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Jerry Durney and Paul Van Scott will call the game on WFIT 89.5 FM. The broadcast will also be available at WFIT.org and through the free TuneIn Radio app.
Additional links to live coverage will be posted to FloridaTechsports.com.
ABOVE VIDEO: Steve Englehart Postgame Interview Following 31-28 Loss to Newberry.
ABOVE VIDEO: Sean Ashley was admirable in relief of Cato, tossing for 194 yards and two scores.
ABOVE VIDEO: Kenny Johnston, the lanky tight end registered three touchdowns on seven catches for 86 yards.