VIDEO: Panthers Receive A Grand Welcome In Texas
By Matt O'Hern // September 20, 2014
Tune into SpaceCoastDaily.com Saturday at 5:45 p.m. for on-the-scene coverage from AT&T Stadium via live updates and social media posts provided by Matt O’Hern, who will be reporting directly from the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas.
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech President & CEO Dr. Anthony Catanese comments on his visit to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, the site of President John Kennedy’s assassination. The Panthers are in Texas to play in the Lone Star Football Festival on Saturday, Sept. 20.
ABOVE VIDEO: Trevor Sands comments on his visit to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, the site of President John Kennedy’s assassination.
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech’s entourage enters AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Panthers are in Arlington to play in the Lone Star Football Festival.
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech President & CEO Dr. Anthony Catanese comments on his impression of AT&T Stadium. The Panthers are in Arlington,Texas to play in the Lone Star Football Festival on Saturday, Sept. 20.
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech head football coach Steve Englehart talks about his impression of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Panthers are in Arlington to play in the Lone Star Football Festival.
ABOVE VIDEO: Panther Trai Cadore talks about AT&T Stadium. The Panthers are in Arlington,Texas to play in the Lone Star Football Festival on Saturday, Sept. 20.
SNAP SHOTS: FLORIDA TECH TOURS AT&T STADIUM
SPACECOASTDAILY.COM LIVE WITH THE PANTHERS
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – There are few athletic facilities in the world that carry the same stunning grandeur as AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas.
“Obviously this is a trip that we’ve been looking forward to for quite some time, ever since we were picked to go out and play in this game,” Panther head coach Steve Englehart said.
“I know our guys are really excited on a lot of different levels because of this game. The stadium and having the opportunity to play in a professional venue is something that these guys will remember for a long time, but they’ll have better memories of it if we win the game. We’ve prepared this week really well after two practices. Offensively I think we had the best practice that we’ve had all year on Wednesday. They’ll be prepared and excited to play and it will just come down to execution. Tarleton State is a great, physical team that is very well coached; we’ll certainly have our hands full. It will be a great win if we can knock them off.”
Florida Tech will experience that magnificence on Saturday as the Panthers invade “Jerry World” to take on the Texans of Tarleton State at 5 p.m. CDT/6 p.m. EDT as part of the four-game slate of the Lone Star Football Festival.
Florida Tech is off to the best start in the program’s two-year history as the Panthers enter this “Tussle in Texas” with a 2-0 record. Following a 54-12 landslide at Stetson in the season opener, Florida Tech returned home for the first time this season by overpowering Ave Maria, 42-6.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Mark Cato put up 179 yards and three touchdowns through the air on his way to his second-consecutive Gulf South Conference Freshman of the Week Award. Two of those three touchdown throws went to Aaron George, who tallied three receptions for 108 yards.
Safety Trai Cadore left his mark on the defensive side of the ball, garnering a game-high seven tackles, intercepting a pass in the end zone and returning a Gyrene fumble 34 yards to record Florida Tech’s first and only non-offensive touchdown of the season. In total, the Florida Tech defense held Ave Maria to just 266 yards of total offense and forced seven Gyrene turnovers.
The Texans opened their season last Saturday with a 31-27 road victory over in-state rival West Texas A&M, which entered the game ranked 22nd in the country.
It was the first time Tarleton State went into Canyon, Texas and knocked off the Buffaloes since 2004. The Texans received a stellar performance from junior quarterback Collin Strahan. In his first career start, the Mesquite, Texas signal caller recorded 123 yards through the air but Strahan did the majority of his work on the ground, as the junior rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.
Junior tailback Zach Henshaw was TSU’s other main rushing threat in the game, tallying 18 carries for 107 yards. Senior linebacker Marc Martinez was a force for the Texan defense, garnering 14 tackles to tie for the team lead and also recording an interception.
Saturday will mark the first meeting between the two sides and the first time FIT will face a team from Texas. The Panthers couldn’t pick a better venue for their first trip to the Lone Star State. With a seating capacity of 80,000 and the fourth largest HD video board in the country, few if any football stadiums match up with AT&T Stadium.
Opened in 2009, the $1.3 billion facility has been host of an NBA All-Star Game, a Super Bowl, two Big 12 Championship Games, an NCAA Men’s Final Four, various soccer matches including one of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s games, various concerts and many others, in addition to all home games of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
With the exception of the Bethune-Cookman contest on Sept. 27, all FIT football games can be heard on the Panthers’ new Official Radio Partner WFIT 89.5 FM. Jerry Durney and Paul Van Scott will start Saturday’s broadcast with a pregame show at 5:30 p.m. EST. All remaining nine Panther games can also be heard at WFIT.org and the free TuneIn Radio app.
BELOW VIDEO: Florida Tech head coach Steve Englehart talks about his team’s decisive win over Ave Maria in the Panther’s 2014 home opener at Pirate Stadium.