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Tigers Clip the Blue Hens in Overtime; 34-27

Towson’s football Tigers did something this past Saturday they have not done in the last six years; they beat the University of Delaware Blue Hens.  It was also coach Rob Ambrose’s first win over Delaware.

Not only was this a historic win for the Tigers, it was a crucial one.

Towson is fighting for their postseason lives and must win out the remainder of their games to give themselves the best shot to qualify.

After pulling out a tough road victory over Villanova, the Tigers were tasked with having to defeat their rivals to the East on the road as well.

Towson rose to the occasion quickly, getting a touchdown off of a 2-yard run by Dominique Booker.

The Tigers would then go on to trade scores for the duration of the game, with either team able to pull away from the other.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Delaware was given a 24-20 lead off of a touchdown by Julian Laing.

Neither team would score again for almost the remainder of the game.

But then, with under a minute left to play, momentum would swing back and forth.

With 44 seconds left on the clock and Towson still down, Towson senior quarterback, Grant Enders, found freshman Emmanuel Holder in the end-zone for.  The score was Holder’s second T.D. of the game (and his second career touchdown) and gave Towson a 27-24 lead.

However, the Tigers could not keep the Blue Hens from knotting up the score.  Delaware drove down the field quickly and got into kicker Sean Baner’s range.  Baner drilled a 40-yard field goal to tie the game at 27 with two seconds remaining.

Going into overtime momentum was firmly on Delaware’s side, having potentially snatched the win away from Towson.

Towson’s offense took to the field first in overtime and made their move quickly.  It took the Tigers just 7 plays to get sophomore running back Terrance West into the endzone.

Having taken a touchdown lead in the overtime period, all Towson’s defense had to do now was keep Delaware from getting into the end-zone, as a field goal would do them no good.

The defense came out like a wall and gave up zero yards on first, second and third down.  With only one chance remaining for Delaware, quarterback Trent Hurley took a shot deep towards the end-zone.  However, Towson defender, Jordan Love, read it perfectly and intercepted the pass ending the game and securing the win for Towson.

Freshman Emmanuel Holder led the way for the Tigers.  His two touchdowns were enough to earn him CAA rookie of the week honors.

Terrance West became the fifth Towson player to reach 2,000 career rushing yards.  West finished the game with 119 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

The Tigers return to Johnny Unitas Stadium this week to play their home finale against Rhode Island, which is also the senior day game for several Towson leaders including Grant Enders and safety Jordan Dangerfield.

Game Highlights:

 

 

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Towson Looks to Rebound Against Villanova

After a tough outing that resulted in a loss against Old Dominion University, the Tigers hit the road to take on the Villanova University Wildcats.

Villanova sits at a 6-2 record (4-1 in CAA).  They are on a two game win streak, which was set off by a 38-14 win over Old Dominion.

Last week Villanova defeated Georgia State 49-24.  The Wildcats posted 470 total yards on offense.

Towson will have to stop Villanova’s ground attack in order to have any sort of chance at victory.

Villanova’s featured running back, Kevin Monangai rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown last week.

He is not the only player that Villanova can run the ball to.  The Wildcats have a whole stable of tremendous ball carriers they can rely on.

John Robertson (87 yards and 1 touchdown vs GSU) and Javon White (42 yards) also highlight the backfield.

Towson quarterback, Grant Enders, will once again be asked to lead in the offensive production.  Georgia State had massive success passing the ball against Villanova.  This should be music to Enders’ and coach Ambrose’s ears, since the Towson passing attack has been solid all season.

Villanova does put a tough run defense on the field.  Hopefully the return of Terrance West will help break down Villanova’s wall upfront.

It will undoubtedly take an entire team effort to defeat the Wildcats this weekend.  But unlikely victories have taken place in the past between these two schools.

Last year Villanova (who was ranked 20th in the nation) visited Towson and fell to the Tigers in a stunning upset which provoked Towson students to rush the field.

Kickoff is set for 3:30 and will be televised on Comcast Sportsnet.  A viewing party is being held in Paws for students.

GO TIGERS!

Highlights from last year’s contest:

Towson Students Take on Old Dominion’s Band

Towson’s football team fell to Old Dominion this past Saturday.  However, Towson students refused to give in to the Monarchs.

Despite being down 17 – 6 at halftime, Towson students kept their competitive fire alive thanks to Old Dominion’s marching band.

ODU’s marching band performed during the halftime show.  At the conclusion of the performance, the band turned and marched towards Towson students.  They proceeded to blast the ODU fight song at student section.

All this did was reignite the rabid student section, after ODU’s football team had silenced them in the first half.


The band now became the targets of taunts and jeers from the crowd.  When ODU’s football team returned to the field they looked surprise to be facing a loud rambunctious student section.

The crowd noise seemed to assist the Tigers on the field as they were able to finally find the end-zone in the third quarter and closed the gap on the Monarchs.

While the win did escape Towson, the pride remains intact.

The Johnny Unitas Stadium crowd remained loud throughout the game and continued to let Old Dominion’s team hear mass amounts of trash talk, both clever at times and vulgar at others.

“They pissed us off,” said Towson sophomore Ben Price.  “To come over to our seats and blast their song in our faces.  What a classless move.  We had no choice but to get louder.”

It is that kind of passion and culture that has become permanent at the “U” ever since last year, and it continues to grow.

With one home game remaining and Towson’s playoff chances in jeopardy, the student section needs to remain loud and intimidating to help the Tigers return to the postseason and finish the season out strong.

GO TIGERS!  SEE YOU AT THE “U”!

Tigers Inferior to Monarchs; Lose 31-20

The Towson Tigers had been perfect record this season playing at home, but all of that changed when the #7 Old Dominion Monarchs came to Johnny Unitas Stadium.

This game was decided pretty much from the start.

The Monarchs struck first with a 27-yard field goal on their opening possession.  On the ensuing kickoff, Derrick Joseph fumbled away his return and the Monarchs recovered with great field possession.

Old Dominion wouldn’t spoil their good fortune as Antonio Vaughn and quarterback Taylor Heinicke would connect for an 11-yard touchdown pass.

Heinicke, Old Dominion’s sophomore star quarterback, would give the Towson defense issues all night.  He finished with 264 passing yards, 75 yards on the ground, one passing touchdown, and scored two more touchdowns with his legs.

Towson’s defense did have one bright spot against the young phenom at quarterback.  Defensive back Tye Smith recorded Towson’s first interception of the season when he picked off Heinicke in the end-zone.

Other than that Old Dominion marched up and down the field with out facing much resistance.

Towson’s offense on the other hand struggled much of the game.

The Tigers did not get the ball in the end-zone until the end of the third quarter; when senior quarterback Grant Enders rolled to his left following a fake hand-off and ran untouched for a three-yard touchdown.

Enders deserves some sort of award with the year he has been putting together.  Once again, he was the only consistent producer for the Tiger offense.

Enders ran for 94 rushing yards which is more than the three other players than ran the ball for Towson combined.  He added on 290 passing yards and a touchdown pass to Cory Kirby.

Towson was without star running-back Terrance West, who sat out the game due to a death in the family.

The loss now leaves the Tigers at 3-4 (2-2 in the CAA) and drops them fron the 19th ranked team to the 25th.

The Tigers are on the road this Saturday in a must win game against Villanova at 3:30.  The game will be televised locally on Comcast Sportsnet.

GO TIGERS

Game Highlights:

Post game comments:

Terrance West and Rob Ambrose at the Center of Crazy Week Off Field

Wow, everyone just take a deep breath.  Everyone just relax.  Everything is going to be just fine.

Towson University was taken for a wild ride this week, courtesy of the football team.  Forgive me my lateness but between the devastating loss to Old Dominion and all of this news breaking, my head went for a spin trying to process it all.

I will leave the game analysis for another post.  Let us focus on the crazy tabloid news that engulfed us all the past few days.

Following the loss to Old Dominion Saturday night, running back Terrance West (who was held out of the game due to a death in the family) sent out a tweet that read:

“It’s been good Towson !!!!!”

The tweet made the rumor winds begin to blow.  People were saying the star running back was packing his bags and leaving Towson for a bigger program.  Others were speculating that he was being suspended or kicked off the squad.

West appeared to be slightly disgruntled.  The Towerlight reported that towards the end of the game West removed his helmet, put on a Towson hat, and did not stand near the offensive huddles during timeouts.

He sent out another tweet following the game that expressed his feeling that he would have liked to have dedicated the game to his Grandmother who had just passed away.

I cannot begin to tell you the massive amount of texts I received from friends asking if I had heard the news or just plainly telling me about it.

But the flames have been doused by Head Coach Rob Ambrose.

Ambrose told The Towerlight that he had not heard any mention of West leaving.

The tweet has since been removed.

From one controversy to the other, Rob Ambrose was in the headlines after allegations from a former player surfaced claiming that Ambrose was offensive to players and lied to his superiors and the NCAA about the hours he made the team practice.

Trevor Walker, who was dismissed by the Tigers earlier this year, wrote a letter claiming the infractions and verbal abuse by the coach.

Athletic Director Mike Waddell said this about the allegations in an e-mail to The Baltimore Sun:

“No improprieties regarding practice times were found and no findings indicated that the physical well-being of football student-athletes was placed in jeopardy.  As a matter of departmental protocol, the language that was reportedly used between the coaches and student-athletes would not be in line with the core values of Towson University and Towson Athletics. This is being addressed with all parties involved, coaches, staff and student-athletes.” (from Baltimore Sun)

While this seems to cover Ambrose on the allegations of NCAA violations, it puts him out there for his apparent rhetoric with players.

Walker described a scene that played out prior to Towson’s homecoming game against St. Francis:

“I do not care what your religion is, I do not care if I offend anyone. But even if Jesus and his disciples come in here on Saturday, we are going to [expletive] them up and get them the [expletive] out of here.”  (taken from Baltimore Sun article)

While this is without a question a little harsh.  I personally believe coaches have every right to get “intense” when trying to pump up their players.

Do I think he may have crossed a line a little bit, sure, but if I was on a team and my coach was throwing profanities around, it wouldn’t do anything but get me more pumped up.

Being a former hockey player, I have had multiple coaches use profane language throughout games, it never bothered me, if anything it got the message across.

While a slight slap on the wrist could be coming from the administration, I do not think we have anything serious happening to our beloved ball coach.

Towson Football Provides Great Experience for Family Weekend, and a Win vs. Maine

For three times this season, Towson has defended its home turf. Johnny Unitas Stadium has been packed cheering on the Tigers to victory.

This past weekend, in their contest against Maine, the “U” was filled with students and their families.

“We love coming to football games every chance we get,” said Michael Silver of Reisterstown, Maryland. “Even though we are only thirty minutes away, it is still a great reason to come visit our daughter and support the university.”

Silver’s daughter, Jessica a senior education major, said she usually comes to games with her friends, but that it is nice to attend a game with her parents.

“Games are always a lot of fun,” said Jessica. “It is nice to be able to share the experience with my family.”

Towson rolls out the red (or gold) carpet come family weekend. The university’s multitude of organizations hold events for students and their parents starting Friday afternoon.

There are dinners, performances and other fun activities. All other events pale in comparison to the main event: football.

Walking to the stadium fans were greeted with tailgates hosted by Towson as well as different tables offering insight to student life.

The sorority ZTA was collecting donations for breast cancer awareness and passing out pink ribbons and wristbands to go along with breast cancer awareness month.

As fans settled into their seats things at the “U” seemed slightly different than before.

When the Tigers run out onto the field, they are usually accompanied by smoke, flames and fireworks. This week it seemed like the display lasted much longer than usual.

“It must be family weekend,” said sophomore, Ben Price. “That lasted a full minute longer than usual it seemed like. Leave it to Towson to really go all out to impress the parents.”

Once the smoke cleared (literally) there was a game to play.

Towson was hosting the Maine Black Bears in a key CAA game for Towson who was on a two game losing streak.

Both the Tigers and Maine looked sloppy as neither team did much to take total control of the game. No one looked more sloppy than Towson junior kicker, DJ Soven.

Soven went 1-4 in field goal attempts and had some students calling for his job.

The placekicker received support from senior quarterback, Grant Enders. Enders has been the driving force behind the offense all season, and provided another stellar performance Saturday night.

Enders passed for 260 yards and threw one touchdown. He also gained 104 rushing yards. Enders produced probably the play of the game when he ran 52 yards for a touchdown, a run that included hurdling over a Maine defender.

Running back Terrance West assisted his quarterback by rushing for 98 yards and a score.

Frank Beltre and Bryton Barr each forced fumbles. Beltre knocked the ball loose twice and Barr got it out once.

The Tigers stepped up and made key plays in key moments. Including recovering Maine’s onside kick attempt.

The Tigers held on to top the Black Bears 24-19.

Towson continues their home-stand this Saturday when they host the #7 Old Dominion Monarchs.

This game will be a blackout so come on out to the “U” in your black Tigers gear and support the team.

See you at the “U”!

Game Highlights:

Towson lets James Madison get away in Final Moments; 13-10

The #12 Towson Tigers were on the road this week, taking on the #5 James Madison University Dukes.  The game was touted as a clash of two CAA powerhouses.  The game lived up to its billing as both teams held each other to only one touchdown each and the winner being decided in the final minutes.

Towson’s defense came out strong early.  They forced James Madison to settle for two Cameron Starke field goals.

With time winding down in the first half, and the Dukes leading 6-0, Towson finally got on the board with a 40-yard field goal by DJ Soven.

Both defenses played outstandingly stopping the pair of high powered offenses in their tracks.

Towson would reach the endzone first after a 92 yard drive engineered by quarterback Grant Enders.  Enders would finish the game with 147 passing yards and 49 rushing.  Seven of his rushing yards came on a touchdown run with 3:21 left in the game.

Enders’ score put the Tigers up 10-6.

All Towson’s defense had to do now is shut down James Madison one last time.

Freshman Bryton Barr led the team in tackles with 10 on the game.  The Tiger defense had done an excellent job all day of shutting down James Madison’s multi-talented quarterback Justin Thorpe.  Towson held Thorpe to 116 passing yards and 36 yards on the ground.

However, when Towson needed to stop Thorpe the most they could not.

Thorpe came on the field and led the Dukes on a 79 yard scoring drive.  He would score the touchdown himself with a 9 yard run.

“We just ran out of juice at the end.” said Towson coach Rob Ambrose.

The Tigers now had 1:24 to either tie or win the game.

As they drove down the field, any hopes of achieving their goal was dashed when Enders threw his second interception of the game.  Towson was plagued by turnovers all game.  Their third turnover would be the dagger in their dreams of victory.

The Tigers, now 2-3 and 1-1 in the CAA, return home to Johnny Unitas Stadium on October 13, to take on the Maine University Black Bears.  The game is Towson’s family weekend game as Towson students’ families are in town for festivities.  The game is scheduled for a 7:00 kick off.

Towson will also be supporting breast cancer awareness as players will be donning pink socks, arm bands, tape and a pink strip on their helmets.  Fans are also encouraged to wear pink as well.

See you at the U!

GO TIGERS!

Towson vs James Madison highlights:

Post game comments: