Football: Defending the season

Football

By: Tyler Beard, Assistant Sports Editor

Towson extended its win streak to four games after a 10-7 win over the Maine Black Bears Saturday night.

“Chemistry and leadership has pulled this team together,” Head Coach Rob Ambrose said. “Tough times can expose your personality and we had this last year with injuries and youth. This season, our leaders have done a great job. I give all the credit to the kids.”

It was another defensive battle for the Tigers (6-3, 4-2 CAA) as the team held the Black Bears (3-6, 3-3 CAA) scoreless until a touchdown pass to wide receiver Jordan Dunn cut the lead to 10-7 with ten minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Towson responded with a drive that lasted over seven minutes. Redshirt senior quarterback Connor Frazier helped lead the offense down the field with four completions for 33 yards, including a 7-yard pass to junior wide receiver Jacquille Veii.

Veii’s catch brought Towson down to Maine’s 20-yard line and was short of the first down by two yards. Head Coach Rob Ambrose chose to go for it on fourth down, but junior running back Darius Victor was tackled for no gain.

Maine had a chance to even the score with less than three minutes left in the game and quarterback Drew Belcher connected with wide receiver John Hardy for 26 yards on third down.

The play brought the Black Bears to midfield but their drive stalled after an incompletion and 4-yard rush from Belcher. The Black Bears faced fourth-and-three at the Tigers’ 48-yard line and the Tigers forced an incompletion from Belcher, which ended the drive.

Victor rushed for 30 yards on the next possession, which was enough to run out the clock for the Tigers’ win.

Victor finished the game with 101 rushing yards and one touchdown.

“It was a very pleasant surprise,” Ambrose said. “For the last month, we’ve had to prepare and plan with options A, B and C. His reemergence helped recreate our identity and allowed us to be in a better position.”

Towson’s lone touchdown was setup by its defense after senior cornerback Donnell Lewis stripped the ball from running back Nigel Beckford late in the third quarter. Junior linebacker Eric Handy scooped the ball and ran it 20 yard to Maine’s 6-yard line. It only took two plays for Victor to get into the end zone and helped jumpstart an offense that struggled in the first half.

The Tigers only gained four yards on their first two offensive possessions and failed to convert a fourth down conversion early in the second quarter at the Black Bears’ 32-yard line.

The first points of the game came off a 19-yard field goal from Sam Hurtwitz at the end of the first half, which gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead at halftime.

The win keeps the Tigers’ CAA title hopes alive but the team will need to win on the road against William & Mary (7-2, 5-1 CAA) on Saturday. Kick-off is at 1:30 p.m.

“Everyone knows their role and they’re prepared,” Ambrose said. “They’re ready for a really tough challenge against William & Mary.”

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