LISTEN LIVE: Florida Tech Takes On Fort Valley State Tonight In Georgia
By Florida Tech // October 17, 2015
SET TO KICK OFF AT 6 P.M.
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Wrapping up the non-conference portion of its schedule before heading down a crucial stretch of Gulf South Conference games, Florida Tech (3-3, 2-1 GSC) travels to Fort Valley, Georgia Saturday as Fort Valley State (4-2, 4-0 SIAC) looms ahead.
The Panthers will face the Wildcats at 6 p.m. ET at Wildcat Stadium on what appears likely to be a chilly night.
Fully aware of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference leader’s ability, the Panthers will not take their opponent lightly.
“They have a really good, athletic defensive line,” said head coach Steve Englehart.
“They do some things up front with their front seven that I think we have got to be ready for… Offensively, they have got good skill position athletes. They have a wide receiver, Jevon Bell, that they want to get the ball to. We are going to have to know where he is at.”
The Wildcats are one of the most dangerous and powerful offenses in the SIAC, ranking first in both scoring offense and total offense. Fort Valley State has scored an average of 30.0 points per game through its first six games, racking up 334.3 yards per game along the way.
The passing attack has been the main source of production for the Wildcats as the team averages 190.8 yards per game through the air, good for second in the SIAC.
Otis Brown has garnered the most yards under center for the Wildcats with 162.5 per game, while Malcom Eady leads with eight scoring passes. Jevon Bell spearheads the receiving corps with 20 catches for 370 yards and four touchdowns.
Jalen Whalen takes the majority of the hand-offs for FVSU, toting the rock 47 times for 217 yards and a touchdown. Four players have recorded at least 100 yards rushing on the year.
Defensively, Leon McQuarker leads the way with 44 tackles, including 28 solo stops. Stefon Harper leads the team with 8.0 tackles for loss and is also the primary pass rusher with a team-high 3.0 sacks. Tracey White has been a ball-hawk in the secondary, picking off five passes on the year.
FIT will look to show more consistency than was present a week ago against West Alabama. The Panthers got off to a hot start, racking up 353 yards of total offense in the first half. However, inopportune turnovers and poor red zone play led to just 17 points on the board for FIT.
In the second half, Florida Tech only gained an additional 121 yards and hung just seven points on the board. However, the defensive unit held strong the entire game and held off the Tigers for a 24-13 win.
Mark Cato had arguably his strongest performance of the year, completing 15-of-23 for 361 yards, two touchdowns. Gabe Hughes broke the century mark for the first time in 2015, hauling in two passes for 101 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown bomb.
Trevor Sand, provided his usual workman-like performance, carrying 20 times for 115 yards and a score.
The Panther defense held UWA to 348 yards of total offense. Skylar Sheffield led the way with eight tackles, including one of FIT’s three sacks. The secondary was swarming all game long, with Manny Abad, Nate McDowell and Henry Montgomery III each registering three pass breakups.
The Panthers and Wildcats share one common opponent on the 2015 schedule in GSC foe Delta State. Fort Valley State opened the season by travelling to Cleveland, Mississippi, falling to the Statesmen by a score of 48-7. The Panthers, on the other hand, were far more successful in their trip to The Magnolia State.
Florida Tech left Horace McCool Stadium with a 41-37 win over then No. 5 DSU. It was FIT’s first victory over a ranked GSC opponent.
A link to live stats is available at FloridaTechSports.com. Fans can listen to Jerry Durney and Paul Van Scott call the game on WFIT 89.5 FM.
The radio broadcast can also be heard on WFIT.org and through the free TuneIn Radio app.