VIDEOS: Florida Tech Holds On For 28-24 Win Over Shorter, #1 West Georgia Due Up Next
By Florida Tech // November 1, 2015
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech Holds On To 28-24 Win Over Shorter, Steve Englehart addresses media following the game Saturday night. (SCD Video)
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – With the team’s top two leading rushers in Trevor Sand and Gary Holmes out with injuries, true freshman Antwuan Haynes was asked to carry the load for Florida Tech (6-3, 4-1 GSC) Saturday night.
All Haynes did was break the school records in both rushing yards and carries as the Panthers held off Shorter (2-6, 1-4 GSC) for a 28-24 win at Florida Tech Panther Stadium.
“It was a great win,” said head coach Steve Englehart. “I told the guys last night and I told them before the game ‘I don’t care how you win, just win the football game’ and that’s what they did. We knew it was going to be tough. It is every year against Shorter.”
Haynes amassed 242 yards on 28 carries in the contest, breaking Sand’s records of 191 yards and 26 rushes set in 2014.
ABOVE VIDEO: Haynes amassed 242 yards on 28 carries in the contest, breaking Sand’s records of 191 yards and 26 rushes set in 2014. (SCD Video)
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida native more than doubled his rushing yards on the season, entering the game with 207 to his credit.
“He’s a special player,” said Englehart.
“The fans of Florida Tech are in for a treat for the next three years watching him. The O-line played a huge part tonight…Antwuan hit the holes, he made the cuts, he made people miss and he ran people over. He’s a special talent.”
The game couldn’t have gotten off to much worse of a start as Mark Cato had a snap go off of his facemask and into the hands of Shorter’s Wesley Clay, who returned the fumble 86 yards for a touchdown.
The Panthers responded to the adversity, though, rattling off a rushing score from Haynes and a passing touchdown from Cato to Kenny Johnston to garner the lead midway through the opening quarter.
The Hawks, however, would score the final 10 points of the half to hit the locker room up 17-14 on FIT.
After the two teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, Cato punched in his second trip to the end zone for what ended up being the deciding score.
ABOVE VIDEO: Mark Cato speaks about the victory over Shorter and next weeks matchup vs. #1 West Georgia. (SCD Video)
Shorter had one final chance late but was turned over on downs, allowing the Panthers to pick up one more first down and run out the clock for the team’s program best fifth straight win.
Though the powerful triple option rushing attack of the Hawks was able to pick up an impressive 297 yards on the ground, the Panthers more than held their own with 251. Cato and the passing attack accumulated 121 yards through the air, compared to just 11 from DeVante James and Shorter.
ABOVE VIDEO: Senior OL Matt Garcia talks about the work the FIT Pipeline accomplished on Saturday. (SCD Video)
As has been the case all year, T.J. Lowder was solid, snagging three passes for 70 yards, including 43 on the first play from scrimmage.
Tevin Kirkland had a monster game, tallying nine tackles, three tackles-for-loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Chris Stapleton was equally impressive with a game-high 14 tackles, one TFL, a forced fumble and an interception.
ABOVE VIDEO: Chris Stapleton was equally impressive with a game-high 14 tackles, one TFL, a forced fumble and an interception. (SCD Video)
For the Hawks, B.J. McCoy continued his assault on Gulf South Conference defenses with 194 yards and a pair of scores on the ground. Kartez Carr chipped in 63 yards rushing on just five carries.
Santavious Bryant and Jordan Shaw led the way for the Hawks with eight tackles apiece. Bryant also registered a tackle for loss and brought in Shorter’s only interception of the game.
The Panthers now turn their attention to a showdown with GSC leader and No. 1 ranked West Georgia next Saturday at Florida Tech Panther Stadium. The Game will mark not only FIT’s Senior Day but also the Panthers’ annual Homecoming Game.
Jerry Durney and Paul Van Scott will call a radio broadcast of the game, which will be available on 89.5 FM WFIT, at WFIT.org and through the free TuneIn Radio app.
Links to additional coverage will be available at FloridaTechSports.com/live.