Florida Tech and UWF set to kickoff fourth edition of Coastal Classic on Saturday at 1:04 p.m. at Panther Stadium
MELBOURNE, Fla. – In addition to welcoming back Florida Tech alumni, family and friends back to Melbourne for 2019 Homecoming, it is also rivalry week for Panther Football as they are set to battle Gulf South Conference foe West Florida for the Coastal Classic Trophy.
This year’s game is the fourth edition of the Classic and Tech is looking to hold on to the trophy for another year after defeating the Argos for the first time last season. Saturday’s Homecoming Game kickoffs at 1:04 p.m. from Florida Tech Panther Stadium.
THE GAME AT A GLANCE
After opening the season 3-1, Florida Tech has dropped three contests in a row including last week’s matchup with No. 1 Valdosta State, 55-28, on the road. West Florida, on the other hand, is currently on a five-game win streak and will be one of the best defensive teams the Panthers will face all season.
UWF ranks second in the GSC in scoring offense (38.2) and total offense (408.2) while the Argos defense is the best in the league allowing just 10.0 points and 242.3 yards per game to their opponents. .
Florida Tech is fourth in the conference in both scoring (28.0) and total offense (403.7). However, the Panthers have struggled defensively in recent weeks and ranks eighth in the GSC in both scoring (30.3) and overall defense (409.3).
INSIDE THE RIVALRY
Being that Florida Tech and West Florida are the only two Division II football schools in the football-rich state of Florida, it only makes sense that a rivalry formed.
Over the first three years, the Coastal Classic has shown to be one of the more exciting matchups in all of DII football. It is also the most competitive rivalries as the average margin of victory over the first three games is just seven combined points.
Florida Tech is 1-2 against its rival from the North. The Crimson & Gray dropped their only home matchup in the series after West Florida made a 44-yard game-winning field goal as time expired to beat the Panthers, 23-21, in 2017.
That win put UWF up 2-0 in the rivalry, and it looked like it was going to be 3-0 last year until the Panthers mounted the largest comeback in program history to win their first Coastal Classic.
Trailing 21-3 in the second quarter, Florida Tech scored 27 straight points and clawed its way back from an 18-point deficit to defeat West Florida, 30-28, at Blue Wahoo Stadium.
MORE ABOUT THE CLASSIC
The teams will play for the Coastal Classic Trophy, which stands 24 inches tall on a six-inch wooden base. It features a large bronze anchor and 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 its clapper.
The rivalry name comes from the fact that Florida Tech is located on Florida’s Space Coast and West Florida is on the Emerald Coast of the state.
The game is one of 32 trophy games in Division II and the youngest, having started in 2016. The oldest is the Old Hickory Stick game between Northwest Missouri State and Truman State which began in 1931.
For fans interested in purchasing individual tickets for Saturday’s Coastal Classic can do that online at FloridaTechSports.comtickets.
Reserved seating individual game tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for senior citizens and children, and general admission individual game tickets are $10 for adults and $5 senior citizens and children.
Tickets will be on sale at the ticket booths located on the east side of Florida Tech Panther Stadium beginning an hour and a half on game night and remain open until the end of the third quarter. To avoid lines at the ticket booths, we recommend purchasing tickets online in advance.
Parking Passes are included in the purchase of season tickets.
Parking at Palm Bay Magnet High School lots is $5 (cash only) per vehicle and parking areas are open an hour and a half prior to kickoff. There is no tailgating permitted in any of the PBMHS parking areas, however handicap parking is available.
Parking is also located on the Florida Tech campus at no charge.
Tailgating is only permitted on Florida Tech’s campus in designated areas and begins at 9 a.m. every home game day. There is no charge for tailgating.
Alcohol and grilling are only permitted in the designated areas on Florida Tech’s campus. Open fire grilling is not permitted in the parking garage.
The Panther Prowl, the name of the team’s pregame walk from the Denius Student Center to the Varsity Training Center, will begin at about 4:30 p.m.
Food and beverage will be available for sale at the concession stand at Florida Tech Panther Stadium. Outside food and beverage is not allowed inside the stadium.
Tailgating is permitted in designated areas at Florida Tech beginning three hours prior to kickoff. Complimentary shuttle service is provided from the Florida Tech campus to the stadium and back. Shuttles run continuously beginning an hour and a half prior to the game until one hour after the conclusion of the game.
Fans who are unable to attend can watch the live broadcast of the game on ESPN+. Jerry Durney and Alan Zlotorynski will have the call from Panther Stadium on WFIT and WFIT.org. Links to live coverage for Saturday’s game can also be accessed at FloridaTechSports.com.
For the latest news, updates and information on the Florida Tech football team, visit FloridaTechSports.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Panthers news by following Florida Tech Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.