West Alabama Edges Florida Tech 13-10 With Field Goal as Time Expires at Panther Stadium
By Daniel Supraner, Florida Tech Sports // November 2, 2019
Florida Tech's skid extends to five games
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech was dealt with another disappointing loss in its Gulf South Conference matchup with West Alabama on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers raced out to a quick two-score lead but was shut down the rest of the game allowing the Tigers to come back and win, 13-10, on a game-winning field goal as time expired.
The loss extends the Crimson & Gray’s winless streak to five games, tying the longest drought in program history set during the Panthers’ inaugural season in 2013.
A good defensive game by the Panthers began with an interception on the second offensive play of the game for UWA. Cornelius Doe ran a better route than his receiver and picked off the pass from Jacob Murphree, setting Tech up with its first possession on its own 18-yard line.
It was Doe’s second interception of the year.
The Panthers made the most of the opportunity as they drove 82 yards in nine plays and scored on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Mike Diliello to Damien McGhee with 9:50 left in the first quarter.
Florida Tech picked off Murphree again on the Tigers’ next drive as Tyrone Cromwell jumped the route to earn his third interception of the season, giving the Panthers’ the ball on the UWA-36.
Tech, again, took advantage of the opportunity turning it into a 48-yard field goal by Trey Schaneville with 4:32 left in the first.
The make by the sophomore is the second-longest field goal in program history behind Brion Ashley’s 49-yard conversion in Florida Tech’s first-ever game during the inaugural season.
With the Panthers leading 10-0, the UWA defense picked up its pressure forcing the Tech offense to become stagnant for much of the remainder of the game.
A 33-yard field goal by UWA’s Tre Jackson cut the deficit to 10-3 with 3:37 to go in the first half.
Florida Tech had a chance at increasing the lead with 13 seconds remaining before halftime but Schaneville pushed his 32-yard attempt wide right, and the Panthers took a seven-point advantage into the break.
Schaneville missed again on Tech’s first possession of the second half, this time pushing a 37-yarder wide right at the 12:12 mark of the third quarter.
The Tigers were looking like they would tie it up late in the third quarter as they earned a 1st and 10 on the Panthers’ 12-yard line.
However, another big interception by Doe, his third of the season, in the endzone stopped UWA’s opportunity and kept Tech’s lead at seven.
UWA eventually did tie the game with 1:20 to go in the fourth quarter as Qua Boyd caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jack McDaniels to make the score 10-10.
The Panthers still had a chance to end the game victorious with a game-winning drive. However, six plays later Diliello was sacked and then fumbled the ball in Florida Tech’s end.
The Tigers were able to jump on it at the 20-yard line with 16 seconds to go.
From there, UWA ran out the time and positioned the ball in the middle of the field to set up for a game-winning 33-yard field goal attempt.
Jackson was able to convert the kick as time expired and the Tigers escaped with the 13-10 road win.
Florida Tech outgained UWA, 364-342, including 213-193 through the air and 198-175 on the ground. Major penalties ruined several of the Panthers’ drives and they finished with 111 total penalty yards in the game. Tech ended with more time of possession at 33:09 for the day.
Diliello completed 20-of-33 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown while being sacked four times. He also had 72 yards rushing in the game. Drezyn Parson picked up 30 yards on the ground on eight carries while Daniel Richardson had 26 yards on nine touches.
Robert Foy led the team in receiving with a game-high six catches for 73 yards. Miles Kelly had 51 yards on five receptions and Buck Watkins picked up 12 yards on three catches. McGhee hauled in two receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown.
GSC-leading tackler Evan Thompson led all players with 11 tackles, including eight solo stops, two tackles for loss and a sack. TJ Harrell had seven tackles and a sack.
Thierry Lafortune had seven tackles as well with 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Doe had a tackle and a pass breakup to go along with his career-high two interceptions.
Overall, the Panther defense had 4.0 sacks, 6.0 tackles for loss, three interceptions and seven pass breakups against the Tigers.
Florida Tech will try to end its current skid next Saturday, Nov. 9, when the Panthers travel to Tigerville, South Carolina for a showdown with GSC foe North Greenville.
Kickoff between Tech and NGU is set for 1:30 p.m. at Younts Stadium.