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Towson ‘won’t look past’ St. Francis

19 September 2012 By Alex Glaze, Staff Writer No Comments

Head Coach Rob Ambrose is the last person that will say the 13th- ranked Tigers’ homecoming game against the Saint Francis Red Flash will be an easy one.

“There is no such thing as an easy game,” he said. “If you don’t bring your A-game, you’re going to get stomped. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing.”

The Red Flash (1-2, 1-0 Northeast Conference) have racked up 796 rushing yards in their past two games, so Towson’s defense knows what to expect. Of the 200 offensive plays Saint Francis has executed this year, 77 percent of the plays have been runs. The Red Flash are a run-heavy offense and they haven’t veered away from their bread and butter yet.

The Red Flash will be without senior running back Kyle Harbridge, who tore his medial collateral ligament during the offseason. Harbridge set Saint Francis’ single-season rushing, all-purpose yards and rushing touchdown records in 2011, but will miss the 2012 season.

Towson (1-1, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) will have to deal with plenty of other offensive weapons Saturday.

Keion Wade, Khairi Dickson and quarterback John Kelly carry the majority of the offensive load for the Red Flash. Towson defensive end Romale Tucker says he is up for the challenge of shutting-down Saint Francis’ rushing attack.

“It starts up front,” Tucker said. “We’ve got to get penetration, get in that backfield, get those offensive lineman in the backfield, get them hesitating and bring that play down. I believe in my guys, I believe in our team and I believe we’re prepping well and we’re going to be ready for them.”

In addition to the challenge of slowing the Red Flash rushing attack, Towson will also have to deal with Saint Francis’ 400-pound right guard Lloyd Hill.

“He looks like two people and he can move a little bit,” Ambrose said. “You’re going to have to run around him because I don’t think we’re going to be able to fit him up and run through him. We’ve got our hands full, they present a challenge … There is no preparing for that. You’re going to have to deal with it when you see it. I can’t tape two people together and make them run. “

Quarterback Grant Enders also faces a challenge in facing the Saint Francis defense.

The Red Flash have recorded seven interceptions, seven tackles for loss and a safety thus far this season.

However, Enders isn’t fazed.

“They got some good players, they’re pretty athletic,” Enders said. “They’re a little bit undisciplined and I think that will be to our advantage. What we do should work well against them. I think they’re out of position at times and I think we can capitalize on that.”

While he doesn’t think it’ll be an easy win, Ambrose does have a plan in case the Tigers begin to pull away.

With the Tigers game against Louisiana State approaching, Ambrose wants to give his starters some rest.

“What I would like to do is play as many people as possible,” Ambrose said. “I would like to be able to play more people this weekend … I’d like to get the starters some rest and get some guys some experience.”

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