Towson flashes past St. Francis
For the second year in a row, Towson (2-1, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) walked off Minnegan Field with a win for its homecoming game.
The Tigers posted 441 yards of offense and 168 kickoff return yards to defeat the Saint Francis Red Flash 46-17.
“While I am pleased with a victory, I’m sure there are things that I’ll see on film that I’m not pleased with,” Head Coach Rob Ambrose said. “The thing I want to comment first upon, withgreat pride, is our students. I stood on that sideline today remembering a time when the sun was shining and we couldn’t get that many students to attend. To be in pre-game and see a couple thousand kids over there in the pouring down rain not giving a darn about the weather, I’m very, very proud.”
Saint Francis’ defense made the first big play of the game when freshman safety Ter’Shaudney Phillips intercepted senior quarterback Grant Enders on Towson’s opening offensive drive.
Enders completed 14 of 18 pass attempts for 179 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against the Flash.
“I felt we could battle early, I thought that our guys were really in the game,” Saint Francis Head Coach Chris Villarrial said. “But when you have a team as young as we are, the costly mistakes that we made are annoying. It’s hard to bounce back against a team like this.”
Following Enders’ interception, the Red Flash (2-2, 1-0 Northeast Conference) did not hesitate to score.
Saint Francis earned its first and only lead of the game when Keion Wade broke through Towson’s defensive line and capped off the Red Flash’s 42-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.
The Tigers did not wait long to respond.
Sophomore wide receiver Derrick Joseph returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. Joseph’s kickoff return was the second of his career and the second longest return in school history.
“I needed to make a big play,” Joseph said. “I [have] to give props to my kickoff return team; they definitely held me down holding their blocks. I told them before the kickoff return if everyone does their job, then I’ll take it to the house for them. And we got it done.”
On the following Saint Francis drive, the Tigers’ defense kept the momentum going and forced their first turnover of the season. Red Flash tight end Kevin Parker attempted to hurdle defensive end
Ben Chroniger but was instantly met in the air by sophomore cornerback Tye Smith.
Smith forced and recovered Parker’s fumble, putting Towson’s offense back on the field. The Tigers kept the ball on the ground and sophomore running back Terrance West carried the ball into the end zone to give the Tigers an early lead.
West only carried for 62 yards, but managed to score three touchdowns.
When West dove into the end zone for his 34th career touchdown at the end of the second quarter, he broke Towson’s career rushing touchdown record that was previously held by Jason Corle.
“There is no doubt about it, he is a legit Division I-A back,” Villarrial said. “The kid is unbelievable. I wish I had him, there is no doubt about it, but the kid in my eyes and in the CAA is probably the best running back in Division I-AA. He is built like an NFL back and he’s got a great future if he stays healthy.”
The Tigers extended their lead to 29 points before Ambarose felt comfortable enough to take some starters out and get a few younger players game experience.
Towson will next travel to Baton Rouge, La. to battle one of the top teams in the country, Louisiana State University.