VIDEO: Florida Tech Secures School’s First Playoff Berth, Defeats Delta State 42-16
By Florida Tech // November 12, 2016
Haynes Contributes 212 yards, 3 Touchdowns
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech Football Senior TE talks with Space Coast Daily about the program and making the playoffs.
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – After giving up a safety on a snap over the head of punter Kyle Gullikson less than two minutes in, Florida Tech never looked back Saturday afternoon, rattling off 28 points on the way to a 42-16 victory over Delta State in the regular season finale.
Antwuan Haynes lit up the Statesmen defense, racking up 212 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Mark Cato only completed five passes for 52 yards but two went for scores and the redshirt-junior also pitched in 53 yards rushing, while Trevor Sand had 48 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Chris Stapleton registered a ho-hum 12 tackles, including 1.5 for a loss. Andrew Adair added eight stops, while Jo Jackson posted six tackles in addition to his two pass breakups.
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech Football Senior linebacker Chris Stapleton is all smiles today as the #Panthers defeated Delta State and will advance to the D2 Playoffs.
Following the safety that gave DSU the early lead, Haynes put the Panthers out in front with a 13-yard touchdown dash. Trevor Sand then found pay dirt from seven yards out and Haynes again dipped and dodged his way into the end zone on a 12-yard rush.
Not letting the run game have all of the fun, Cato found a wide-open Kenny Johnston on a two-yard pitch and catch to give FIT a dominant advantage.
The Statesmen sandwiched a Tityus Mitchell five-yard touchdown pass with a LaDarion Peterson 67-yard touchdown pass from Collin Willis and a Willis seven-yard plunge into the end zone to cut the Panther lead to 35-16.
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech Football TE Kenny Johnston With his 7th TD catch makes it 28-2 over Delta State.
Haynes, though, didn’t let that momentum last, breaking through the DSU defense for a 15-yard trip to pay dirt. T.J. Rodriguez finished off his Senior Day in style, picking off Willis and allowing the Panthers to take a series of kneels to bleed out the rest of the clock.
With the win FIT all but assures itself of the program’s first-ever playoff berth. The Panthers await to find out their matchup during the NCAA Division II Selection Show, slated for Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.
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“I’m positive that we’ll be in the playoff now,” stated Englehart. “It’s just one of those things where we have to play well and if we do I think we’ll be tough team to beat.”
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech Football Antwuan Haynes scores on a direct snap. Score made it 7-2 Florida Tech.
— FloridaTechFootball (@FLTechFootball) November 12, 2016