Tigers roar past Wildcats in final game
Towson (6-4, 5-2 CAA) defeated New Hampshire (8-3, 6-2 CAA) on Saturday 64-35, co-claiming the Colonial Athletic Association title, making the team champions for the second year in a row.
The Tigers must share the title with Richmond, New Hampshire and Villanova, who all finished with a 6-2 CAA record. Old Dominion, who also finished with seven wins, was ineligible to win the title as it is moving to ConferenceUSA next year.
Despite missing senior safety Jordan Dangerfield due to a suspension by the CAA, Towson held the No. 17 Wildcats to 35 points, handing them their third loss of the year.
“It was going to be a battle of the defenses to see who could stop the other team first, and it was our defense that showed up,” Head Coach Rob Ambrose said.
New Hampshire started the scoring off early, as quarterback Andy Vailas broke off a 77-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game.
Towson responded scoring two touchdowns to take a 14-6 lead on a four-yard touchdown by sophomore running back Terrance West and a one-yard touchdown by senior running back Dominique Booker.
New Hampshire tied the game right before the end of the first quarter as Vailas capped off a 68-yard drive with his second touchdown of the game.
The Tigers pulled away in the second quarter, scoring 17 points in seven minutes, including a touchdown pass by senior quarterback Grant Enders to senior wide receiver Erron Banks.
Ambrose said that no matter how much the team was up by, it didn’t want to let up.
“We wanted to find a way to score 100 points, because [New Hampshire’s] offense is awesome,” he said. “When they have the ability to score on the first play of the game, you can’t let off. You don’t ever want to run the score up on anybody, that’s a classless thing to do, but when they can score on one play you just can’t let up.”
The Tigers eventually broke the game open at the end of the third quarter, taking a 43-28 lead on an eight-yard touchdown run by Enders, capping a 77-yard drive.
Enders was one of three Towson players with three rushing touchdowns, along with West and Booker, who also rushed for 236 yards and 89 yards, respectively.
Enders provided the majority of the Tigers’ offense in his final game with Towson, completing 20 of 28 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns.
Towson’s defense held New Hampshire’s quarterback Sean Goldrich to 108 yards and a touchdown. Goldrich had previously averaged 136 yards per game, completing 59.6 percent of his passes.
Senior wide receiver Tom Ryan had a solid showing in his final game for the Tigers, catching five passes for 60 yards. Ryan finished the year as the Tigers’ leading receiver, catching a total of 44 passes for 533 yards and three touchdowns.
Towson kept going late into the game, scoring its final touchdown with 2:54 to go in the fourth quarter on an Enders run.
“We were way more hungry than they were,” Ambrose said. “I don’t know how you score 64 points against the 17th-ranked team in the country and call it a fluke.”
– Alena Schwarz contributed to this article