WATCH: Florida Tech Panthers Hold Fall Camp Scrimmage Monday Night at Panther Stadium
By Space Coast Daily // August 14, 2017
STRONG PERFORMANCE BY DEFENSE
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Space Coast Daily was live at Florida Tech Panthers Stadium as Alan Zlotorzynski recaps the Panthers first live scrimmage of fall camp.
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – FloridaTech football fans got their first look at their 2017 team Monday night as the Panthers held their first fall camp scrimmage of the practice season.
Late last week, College Football America released its 2017 Yearbook Division II Preseason Top 30 rankings and the Florida Tech Football team was ranked No.24 to start the season.
The Panthers finished the 2016 season with an 8-3 record, including a 5-2 mark in the Gulf South Conference, and clinched the program’s inaugural berth into the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs as the No. 3 seed in Super Region 2.
There are several key returning players for fifth year head coach and now Space Coast Sports Hall of Famer, Steve Englehart. The Panthers return senior quarterback Mark Cato, who led the GSC in passing efficiency in 2016 (152.2), while racking up 2,263 passing yards, 455 rushing yards and 28 total touchdowns.
Joining Cato in the backfield will be running back Antwaun Haynes, who was named to the All-GSC First Team in 2016 after leading the league in rushing yards (1,076) and all-purpose yards (1,783) to go along with 12 total touchdowns.
Defensive lineman Adonis Davis and defensive back Jo Jackson return to help anchor a unit that finished as the third best unit in the GSC last season.
Davis was a First Team All-GSC selection in 2016, following a season in which he notched 35 total tackles and ranked in the Top-5 in the conference in forced fumbles (3), sacks (6.5) and tackles for loss (15.0). Jackson was a formidable force in the Panthers’ defensive backfield last year, recording 35 tackles, three interceptions, 16 passes defended and 13 pass breakups.
All four players, Cato, Haynes, Davis and Jackson were selected to the 2017 pre-season All Gulf South Conference team.
A newcomer to keep your eye on that won’t be on the field is new defensive coordinator Rick Minter.
Minter’s resume is an impressive one as he spent time in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles coaching the linebackers and was head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats from 1994 to 2003. He also worked under the legendary Lou Holtz at Notre Dame and the University of South Carolina.
The Gulf South coaches picked the Panthers to finish fourth in the conference this season.
Florida Tech will open the 2017 season at Panthers Stadium on Saturday night September 2 hosting Virginia University of Lynchburg at 7:00 p.m. Florida Tech hits the road in week 2 as they travel to Lake Charles, Louisiana to play Division I FCS foe McNeese State.
The Panthers are 3-1 in home openers under Steve Englehart.
Space Coast Daily will have complete coverage of tonight’s scrimmage including highlights and player and coach’s interviews.
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