Panthers Score Game-Winning TD With 2 Seconds Left

By  //  October 12, 2014

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Mark Cato throws game winner to Gabe Hughes in the back of the end zone with two seconds left to win the first Gulf State Conference road victory over West Alabama, 33-32.

The Florida Tech Panthers earn their first GSC road victory with two seconds left on the clock against Western Alabama. (Florida Tech image)

Florida Tech Claws Back, Tops Tigers Late

LIVINGSTON, ALABAMA – With just two seconds remaining in the game, Mark Cato found tight end Gabe Hughes in the back of the end zone to give Florida Tech a 33-32 come-from-behind victory over West Alabama Saturday night at Tiger Stadium.

Steve Englehart
Steve Englehart

“I’m really proud of this gutsy performance,” said head coach Steve Englehart.

“I don’t know that we played our best football. That two minute drill at the end, Mark Cato was making plays, he was just making plays with his feet. I told him the playmakers have got to step up and make plays and we did that on both sides of the ball.”

The victory gives the Panthers their first Gulf South Conference road win in team-history and improves the team’s conference record to 1-1. Florida Tech moves to 4-2 overall on the season.

Xavier Milton had six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown as Florida Tech defeated West Alabama 33-32 at Tiger Stadium in Livingston, Alabama. (Florida Tech image)
Xavier Milton had six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown as Florida Tech defeated West Alabama 33-32 at Tiger Stadium in Livingston, Alabama. (Florida Tech image)

With the Panthers trailing 23-13 midway through the third quarter, Trevor Sand broke through from five yards out for his second rushing touchdown of the game, cutting the deficit to three.

After UWA’s Mark Grant knocked through his fourth field goal, Gary Holmes did his best Sand impersonation, breaking numerous Tiger tackle attempts on the way to a 35-yard scoring romp that gave Florida Tech its first lead of the game at 27-26.

Kyle Caldwell
Kyle Caldwell

Kyle Caldwell answered right back for the Tigers, hitting Daryl Collins for a 17-yard scoring strike. UWA was unable to convert on the two-point conversion, giving the Panthers 1:41 to drive 77 yards.

That’s exactly what the Panthers did as Cato kept the drive alive with a few scrambles before connecting with Hughes for the game-winning reception.

In total, Cato tallied 239 yards and two touchdowns, as well as three interceptions, on 20-43 passing.

Mark Cato
Mark Cato

Xavier Milton led the Panthers in receiving with 84 yards and a touchdown on six receptions. The Panthers registered 239 rushing yards in the game, led by Sand with 17 carries for 110 yards and two scores.

Jake Holsinger led the Panthers with nine total tackles. Holsinger also forced a fumble, recovered by Manny Abad. Abad forced a fumble of his own, which was recovered by Keith Lovett II. Leo Alba II garnered Florida Tech’s lone interception.

Caldwell was 7 of 29 in the contest for 248 yards and three touchdowns, along with the one interception. Chad Toocheck was Caldwell’s favorite target, tallying 111 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. Quinton Harton was the leading tackler for the Tigers with 10.

Florida Tech returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 18 versus North Alabama at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium in Melbourne. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET. It will mark the Panthers’ Breast Cancer Awareness Game.

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