Panthers Drop 55 on Shorter in Regular Season Finale Victory
ROME, Ga. – The Florida Tech football team made easy work of Shorter in its regular season finale, as the Panthers defeated the Hawks, 55-7, at Barron Stadium on Saturday.
The 55 points are the most scored by the Panthers in any game in program history. The next highest total was 54 scored against Stetson on Sept. 6, 2014.
Trent Chmelik completed 12-of-17 passes for 157 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. Two other quarterbacks saw time for the Panthers. Nick Holm went 4-of-5 for 79 yards and two touchdowns, while Austin Evarts completed one pass for eight yards and rushed seven times for 37 yards and a score.
Antwuan Haynes led the Florida Tech rushers with 101 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, an average of 8.4 yards per attempt for the senior running back. David Bryant added 25 yards on seven rushes in the game.
Romell Guerrier led the Panther receivers with five receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. Damien McGhee had four catches for 53 yards and a score. Simon Williams, Bryant and Terrance Bynum all caught a touchdown against the Hawks.
Fresh off his GSC Defensive Player of the Week award, Dezmond Morgan finished with four tackles and two tackles for loss. Adonis Davis led the Florida Tech defense with five total tackles including one tackle for loss, while Marquise Lewis notched four tackles and one tackle for loss.
The Crimson & Gray defense absolutely devastated the Shorter offense, limiting the Hawks to a Florida Tech school-record 32 yards of offense on 39 plays. The Panthers managed 470 yards of offense, including 244 passing and 226 rushing. Shorter was also held to just 0.82 yards per play and three total first downs in the contest.
The Panthers opened their scoring with a 23-yard field goal by Trey Schaneville with 7:15 left in the first quarter.
A few minutes later, Chmelik and Guerrier connected for a 23-yard touchdown to push the lead to 10-0. The touchdown grab is Guerrier’s 12th of the year which sets a new school single-season record for the senior wide-out.
Another Florida Tech school record fell early in the second quarter as Haynes ran the ball in from four yards out, increasing Tech’s advantage to 17-0. The score is Haynes’ 25th rushing touchdown of his career, which is the most all-time in program history.
Chmelik threw his second and third touchdowns of the game over a 1:05 span in the second quarter. The first was an eight-yard pass to David Bryant and the second was a 30-yard score to Williams that handed the Crimson & Gray a 31-0 edge with 6:28 to go before halftime.
With the game in hand, Chmelik was subbed out for backup quarterback Nick Holm. The sophomore came in and tossed his first career touchdown pass, a beautiful high-arching throw to Bynum in the end zone, which put the Panthers up 38-0 with nine seconds to go in the first half.
Holm continued to sling the ball around in Florida Tech’s opening drive of the second half and found McGhee for a 22-yard touchdown to put his team ahead 45-0 with 11:17 left in the third quarter.
Schaneville converted his second field goal of the day from 24 yards to increase the Panthers’ advantage to 48-0 with just over six minutes to go in the third.
Evarts got into the mix and registered the final score for the Panthers on an eight-yard quarterback run to make it 55-0.
Florida Tech came just short of earning its first shutout of the season as the Hawks would finally get on the board with 41 seconds to go, on a one-yard run by Kartez Carr.
The dominant win is a nice conclusion to an excellent regular season for the Panthers. However, the team hopes today will not be its last game of the season and that Florida Tech earns a spot in the 2018 NCAA Division II Playoffs.
The Crimson & Gray will have to wait until tomorrow’s NCAA Selection Show which will inform the Panthers of their postseason fate. The selection show is set to begin at 5 p.m. ET and will be live streamed on NCAA.com.
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