VIDEO: Florida Tech Panthers Set for Showdown with North Greenville Crusaders On the Road
By Space Coast Daily // October 14, 2017
IN THE RED ZONE WITH STEVE ENGLEHART
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: In The Red Zone with Florida Tech head football coach Steve Englehart. Hosted by Alan Z of Space Coast Daily, Coach & Alan will recap Saturday’s loss to UNA & preview this weeks contest in South Carolina against North Greenville.
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech football travels to the Palmetto State this weekend for a showdown with North Greenville on Saturday. The matchup between FIT and NGU will be a rematch of last season’s NCAA first round playoff game, which the Crusaders won 27-13 at Florida Tech Panther Stadium.
The Panthers (3-3, 2-2 GSC) will look to avenge last year’s loss and bounce back from consecutive defeats, when they kick off against the Crusaders (3-3) at noon ET at Younts Stadium in Tigerville, South Carolina.
After winning three of four to start the season, the Panthers are reeling following losses to West Florida (23-21) and North Alabama (30-7) the past two weeks. It’s the first two-game losing streak for Florida Tech since the 2015 campaign.
FIT enters Saturday with the fifth-ranked scoring offense in the Gulf South Conference (26.5) and the second best defense (16.8). The Panthers average 378.8 yards per game on 204.5 passing and 174.3 rushing.
Junior running back Antwuan Haynes leads the GSC in rushing this season with 606 yards and four touchdowns on 102 carries. Last week’s 53 yard performance against UNA snapped a streak of three straight games in which Haynes rushed for over 100 yards.
Redshirt senior Mark Cato ranks sixth in the league in passing with 701 total yards and 140.2 yards through the air per game. His 58.0 completion percentage is fifth best in the GSC this season.
Romell Guerrier has had a breakout season for FIT. The senior has 22 catches for 319 yards and two touchdowns. Guerrier’s 14.5 yards per catch is tied atop the GSC among players who have at least 20 catches this season.
Junior linebacker J.T. Hassell is Florida Tech’s top tackler with 37, including 21 solo stops and one sack. Junior Adonis Davis has been a force on the defensive line and leads the conference in both tackles for loss (12.0) and sacks (5.0). Hassell and redshirt junior Yawn Coleman are tied for third in the GSC in pass breakups, with five each.
North Greenville is in a similar boat to FIT, as the Crusaders have dropped its past two games against Kennesaw State (38-34) and Catawba (26-20) following a 3-1 start to the season.
NGU is scoring 26.7 points per game, while allowing 27.7 points to its opponents. The Crusaders average 207.3 yards through the air and 166.0 on the ground per game.
Will Hunter and Tracy Scott return for NGU this season. The duo led the Crusaders in their victory over FIT last year. Hunter passed for 247 yards and two scores, while Scott ran 19 times for 118 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
This season, Hunter has completed 53.8 percent of his passes for 1,088 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Scott has 364 yards and three touchdowns on 48 carries, while Ashton Heard paces NGU with 497 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground.
Robbie Brown is the Crusaders’ top threat on the outside with 28 catches for 404 yards and three touchdowns.
Linebacker Brandon Burger leads his team in tackles with 52, including three tackles for loss. Defensive back Travis Beatty has a team-best two interceptions and one forced fumble, while Matthew Thomas accounts for four of his team’s 12 sacks.
Saturday’s game will be the first of three GSC games for North Greenville, who will join the league next season as an affiliate member for football.
Jerry Durney and Paul Van Scott will have the call from Younts Stadium on 89.5 FM WFIT and WFIT.org. Links to live coverage for Saturday’s game can be accessed at FloridaTechSports.com
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