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Defense Shines in Panthers Victory Over Choctaws

FIT Posts Second Shutout of Season
in 35-0 Win Against Mississippi College

CLINTON, Miss. – Florida Tech (3-1, 2-0 GSC) continued its dominance over Mississippi College (0-4, 0-2 GSC) on Saturday night, defeating the Choctaws 35-0 on the road at Robinson-Hale Stadium.

The Panthers improved to 4-0 all-time against MC with the win, while also garnering their second consecutive shutout of the Choctaws.

FIT’s defense continues to shine in the early season, picking up its second complete shut out in the first four games.

The Crimson and Gray limited the Choctaws to 173 total yards of offense on 125 yards rushing and just 48 yards passing. The Panthers held MC to 2-of-12 on third downs conversions and did not allow the Choctaws into the redzone all game.

Patrick Banks led the defensive effort with eight total tackles and one tackle for loss. Daniel Welch finished with six tackles, including one for a loss. Marquise Lewis and De’Vontae Weekley each recorded a sack in the win.

On the other side of the ball, the Panthers recorded 476 yards of total offense on 66 plays. FIT racked up 290 yards through the air and 186 yards on the ground.

A pair of FIT quarterbacks saw action against the Choctaws. Mark Cato got the start and completed 13-of-17 passes for 109 yards. Trent Chmelik entered the game in relief and finished with 181 yards and three touchdowns on 9-of-14 passing.

Antwuan Haynes notched his second 100-yard rushing game of the season Saturday, running for 139 yards on 22 carries. Haynes also caught three passes for 20 yards.

Romell Guerrier hauled in six of his seven targets for 103 yards, while Demetrius Frazier caught all four of his targets for 71 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The Panthers jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on a seven-yard touchdown run by Gary Holmeswith 10:36 left in the first quarter.

Chmelik connected with Frazier for a pair of touchdown grabs in the third quarter, a six-yarder and a 56-yarder, to increase Florida Tech’s advantage to 21-0.

The Panthers’ lead moved to 28-0 following Chmelik’s two-yard scamper into the endzone with 13 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Simon Williams capped off the scoring later in the fourth quarter with a 21-yard touchdown catch from Trent Chmelik with 7:21 left on the clock. The touchdown is the first of Williams’ career.

The Panthers return to Florida Tech Panther Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 30, to host West Florida at 7 p.m. ET in the second annual Coastal Classic Rivalry Game.

The matchup, which is also the annual White Out Game, is featured as part of the NCAA Division II Football Showcase and will be streamed live on ESPN3. Jerry Durney and Paul Van Scott will have the call on 89.5 FM WFIT and WFIT.org. Fans can access links to live coverage of the action at FloridaTechSports.com.

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