Florida Tech Football Looks Crisp During Spring Game
By SpaceCoastDaily.com // March 24, 2013
Stetson OPENER just 168 days
VIDEO & IMAGES BY MICHAEL MOORE II
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – In front of an enthusiastic crowd, Team Panthers defeated Team Florida Tech 17-7 in the program’s first-ever spring game at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium.
As was the case in the intrasquad scrimmages that occurred last fall, the football team was split into two separate teams. One team wore the program’s home black uniforms with “Panthers” across the chest and the other donned the away white uniforms with “Florida Tech” above the jersey number.
With the program’s inaugural game against Stetson University on Saturday, Sept. 7 just 168 days away, FIT showed improvement from the team it was last fall and the one that started spring workouts Feb. 19.
The Panthers shut down their counterparts in the second half, while scoring two touchdowns. Keith Lovett forced a fumble, recovered it and took it 15 yards for a touchdown with 9:30 left to play in the third quarter. Alex Brack hit the extra point to give the Panthers a 10-7 lead.
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In the fourth quarter, Panther quarterback Dan Masteller set up a one-yard touchdown run with a 22-yard completion to Peter Zapalla. Masteller racked up 110 yards on 10-for-18 passing. He was aided by newcomer Davis Fluker, who broke away from the Florida Tech defense for a 71-yard run in the first quarter.
“I’m happy for our practice year to be over because now I feel like for the first time we’re all on the same team,” head coach Steve Englehart said.
“I thought we played pretty well and played a clean game. The only mistakes were the two touchdowns that were called back, one on the Panthers and one on the Florida Tech team. Next year, we won’t be able to afford having touchdowns called back and points taken off the board. Also, the defense gave the offense several first downs with penalties like jumping offsides.”
Dalin Modican reeled in Florida Tech’s lone touchdown at the 10:03 mark of the second quarter. He finished with 102 receiving yards on six catches, one was a 54-yard grab. Trevor Sand nabbed four balls for 69 yards and added 34 yards on the ground to end with 103 all-purpose yards.
Sean Ashley saw action at quarterback for Florida Tech and went 10-for-18 with 143 yards and one touchdown.
“I think our guys have come a long way,” Englehart said. “Our biggest obstacle is going to be overcoming our youth. With the addition of some transfers in August, we’ll add some depth and give some guys that have a lot of talent, but might not be quite ready to play, a year or two.”
The Panther defense forced two turnovers with Lovett on the receiving end of both. Anthony Hicks had two sacks and the rest of the defense had eight tackles for a loss, which in total amounted to 38 yards.
‘TEAM IS CRISPER’
Englehart believes the entire team has made improvements since the first spring practice.
“I think the team is crisper,” he said.
“They know what to expect. Overall, our offensive line has made some really good improvements with the addition of Coach (Chad) Raymond. They didn’t show that 100 percent tonight, but I’ve seen it every day in practice. Our defensive line has really improved from last year to this year with the addition of Coach (Rod) Hardy. He’s done a good job. We’ve improved in every position and we’ll continue to get better. The biggest improvement is our guys know where they’re going now. Coaches don’t necessarily have to yell at them and tell them all the time if they’re missing a line or not going to the right spot.”
As the team looks toward its inaugural game on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. at Pirate Stadium, its focus will shift to getting stronger in the weight room.
“We have about four weeks before finals,” Englehart said.
“We have to get stronger. Everyone needs to put on 10 pounds of muscle and get stronger in order to compete in the Gulf South Conference. When summer starts, a good portion of our team is going to stay. That’s going to create a bond because those guys are going to live and work out with one another for three months before the season starts. I think we’ll see a lot of improvement from a physical standpoint from now until August.”
“In those four weeks, they’ll be lifting about four days a week and doing some conditioning. We have to get stronger. Everyone needs to put on 10 pounds of muscle and get stronger in order to compete in the Gulf South Conference. When summer starts, a good portion of our team is going to stay. That’s going to create a bond because those guys are going to live and work out with one another for three months before the season starts. I think we’ll see a lot of improvement from a physical standpoint from now until August.”
Florida Tech will report to campus on Aug. 10. It will begin workouts for its first season on Aug. 12.
GET YOUR TECH FOOTBALL SEASON TICKETS NOW
For the inaugural season, season tickets are available in the premium section between the 40-yard lines on FIT’s sideline. The season ticket price for adults is only $65. Florida Tech employees, seniors ages 65 and above, and children ages 5-16 are only $40.
Season tickets can be purchased online at FloridaTechSports.com and Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Clemente Center or by calling 321-674-8032.