Panthers Edge Florida Tech In Triple Overtime

By  //  October 28, 2012

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Missed Opportunities Dominate Scrimmage

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – In a scrimmage spanning four 15-minute quarters and three overtimes, perhaps it was fitting that a missed opportunity decided the outcome of Florida Tech’s intrasquad football game.

The Panthers squad defeated the Florida Tech team 220-18 in triple overtime in a college football scrimmage Saturday night at Palm Bay High School. (Image by Ed Pierce)

Divided into “Florida Tech” and “Team Panthers,” each squad struggled with missed scoring opportunities throughout the scrimmage, with the Panthers eventually winning 20-18 in triple overtime.

After batting to a 12-12 tie through regulation play, each team blew a chance to win in the first two overtimes. In the first overtime, Justin Ramsaran’s 41-yard field goal attempt for the Panthers fell just short of the goal post, while Florida Tech’s Kurt Krier was prevented from making a 39-yard field goal try as a bad snap sent the ball 10 yards past the holder.

In the second overtime, Krier’s field goal attempt hit the left crossbar and bounced off, ending another Florida Tech opportunity. But the Panthers couldn’t convert as quarterback Brendon Tillett’s pass was picked off short of the end zone.

Each squad finally broke through in the third overtime. Wide receiver Kenny Johnston of the Panthers grabbed a Sean Ashley pass for a 13-yard touchdown and then caught a two-point conversion pass from Ashley.

Key player

Johnston’s TD was made possible thanks to an 11-yard first-down run by Ashley, who stood out among a bevy of quarterbacks in the game, thanks to his ability to find room to run and a strong knack of finding open receivers for the Panthers.

“We had too many penalties, but that’s why we’re playing this year. It’s a matter of getting our guys experience. It just shows we don’t have a seasoned team yet.” Florida Tech head football coach Steve Englehart

Florida Tech marched right back in the third overtime, aided by two pass interference calls that gave them the ball at the 2-yard line. Dan Masteller gained a yard for Florida Tech on a quarterback sneak before handing off to Trevor Sand, who crossed the goal line for a one-yard score, cutting the Panthers’ lead to 20-18.

But Masteller’s two-point conversion pass fell incomplete and the Panthers emerged with the victory.

“It was fun to get a thrilling overtime game in. We even went to three overtimes, so the teams had to go for two. We need to sharpen up a lot of things and be more disciplined,” Florida Tech head football coach Steve Englehart said. “We had too many penalties, but that’s why we’re playing this year. It’s a matter of getting our guys experience. It just shows we don’t have a seasoned team yet.”

Collin O’Neal’s 29-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Daniel Owen gave Florida Tech a 6-0 lead nearly eight minutes into the first quarter. The extra point was blocked, proving to be a foreshadowing of things to come.

Freshman Alex Brack booted a 39-yard field goal for the Panthers in the second quarter to cut Florida Tech’s lead to 6-3, set up by a 33-yard run by Johnston.

With 15 seconds remaining in the first half, Krier kicked a 37-yard field goal to boost Florida Tech to a 9-3 halftime advantage.

Steve Englehart

Getting closer

The Panthers struck back in the third quarter on Ramsaran’s 31-yard field goal trimming Florida Tech’s lead once more to just 9-6.

Then in the fourth quarter, sophomore receiver Peter Zappala hauled in a 43-yard strike from Ashley, giving the Panthers a first down at the Florida Tech 6-yard line. On the next play, Ashley broke off-tackle for a 6-yard TD run, but Brack’s kick was blocked, leaving the Panthers clinging to a 12-9 lead.

Krier’s 34-yard field goal for Florida Tech with 6:10 to play in regulation tied the game at 12-12.

Neither squad was able to score in its final two possessions in regulation, although Krier missed a 51-yard attempt at a game-winning field goal with eight seconds left in the fourth quarter.

“We have a young team right now. We need to keep our composure a little bit,” Englehart said. “We’ll talk about the penalties and lining up right more than the X’s and O’s and the actual plays of the game this upcoming week. Between the whistles and plays of the game, we’re actually good for the most part.”

Florida Tech will compete in its final scrimmage of the fall at 1 p.m. Saturday at the school’s new Panther Field, adjacent to the recently completed Varsity Training Center on the southwest corner of the FIT campus. Admission is free.