Gridiron Lowdown – 9/29/16

The Florida Tech Football team is coming off a big win over Division I FCS opponent Presbyterian on Saturday, coming away with a 28-7 victory.

“Our game plan going in was to hit some big plays on them,” said head coach Steve Englehart. “We didn’t know if we could consistently drive the ball. Our first drive we got into the red zone and scored with like a nine-play drive, after that, it was all about the big plays.”

Englehart had high praise once again this week for his defense that has now allowed just 35 points this season and only seven in the last three weeks.  “They shut down the run and made them throw the ball and then got the pick-six by Jo Jackson to put the game away.”

“The defense has been really good,” he continued. “A big part of that is our defensive staff. The four of those guys work very well together and put a good game plan and work hard on, getting the right personnel out there and making the right calls to stop what the other team is trying to do.”

Over the last few weeks of practice, this team has really shown that they care about what this team is trying to accomplish and they are definitely buying into the system that has been in place now for three-plus seasons.

“Since the beginning, they bought in, but early on, maybe they didn’t know how to win,” Englehart said. “That process started in year two but didn’t know how to take care of the details. Last year we started to take care of the details and went on our six-game win streak, before the last game with Valdosta. This year we picked up where we left off and we’re obviously excited about the future, but gotta keep our foot down on the gas pedal.”

The Panthers will now turn their attention to newcomer West Florida in what’s being tabbed as the Coastal Classic. The game will be played in Pensacola, against a 2-2 Argonauts team that has shown some big time promise in the early going.

There will be pride, bragging rights and a trophy on the line in the Coastal Classic. According to the West Florida website, the trophy is 24 inches tall on a six-inch wooden base. It features a large bronze anchor and a 6-pointed ship’s wheel with nautical sailing rope as the focal point of the trophy. A small bell is attached to the anchor with a white segment of sailing rope attached to its clapper.

Jerry Durney and Paul Van Scott will have the call of the game Saturday on WFIT FM, beginning with the pregame show at 6:30, with the kickoff to follow at 7:00 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Panthers Gridiron Lowdown will run Thursday afternoon, following Florida Tech Panthers football practice. We will get the thoughts of Head Coach Steve Englehart, along with the latest news.