TU gets duked by James Madison
James Madison Head Coach Mickey Matthews earned his 100th career victory as the Dukes held on for a 13-10 win over the Towson Tigers.
With 3:16 left on the clock, James Madison quarterback Justin Thorpe took the field, down 10-6.
Towson’s defense held Thorpe in check for the majority of the game, but in the final minutes, the defense broke down and Thorpe capitalized.
“We didn’t tackle that well in the end,” Towson Head Coach Rob Ambrose said. “I honestly think that we were running out of juice. A pretty hard 14-day grind with LSU and turn around and come back to JMU.”
Thorpe completed all six of his passes to lead the Dukes (4-1, 2-0 Colonial Athletic Association) on a 79-yard game-winning drive. Thorpe capped the drive with a nine-yard scramble through Towson’s red zone defense and dive into the end zone for James Madison’s only touchdown of the game.
“I thought we put together a really good, sound game plan,” Ambrose said. “We were very disciplined defensively. We hustled, for the most part, defensively. You’d be hard pressed to see anybody contain him as long as we did, this year. It was an impressive job. It was good, just not good enough.”
Towson (2-3, 1-1 CAA) trailed 6-3 for the majority of the game, but both offenses began to click in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Tigers took over seven minutes off the clock and drove 92 yards down the field in the fourth quarter to take their first lead of the game.
Senior quarterback Grant Enders scored the Tigers’ only touchdown of the game when he ran untouched into the end zone with 3:21 remaining on the clock.
After Thorpe led James Madison down the field for a touchdown, Towson had a chance to tie or win the game with under two minutes remaining.
Ultimately, the Tigers’ drive would come to an abrupt halt.
Enders threw his second interception of the game to Dukes’ free safety Dean Marlowe with under a minute to play at James Madison’s 41-yard line to end the game.
The pass was intended for junior wide receiver Spencer Wilkins, but was overthrown.
“Mistakes happen and they kill you at critical times,” Ambrose said. “A dropped ball in the middle of the game doesn’t show up as much as it does on the last series. An interception in the second quarter doesn’t hurt nearly as much as an interception on the last drive of the game. Critical errors at critical times change outcomes of games.”
The Tigers will return home after two road losses to face the University of Maine.
“I remember a time when [playing at home] didn’t mean anything, but playing at home for our kids means everything.” Ambrose said. “I know I wouldn’t want to be an opposing team to come in here and play, especially for a hungry football team that is looking to get back on track.”