By: Karuga Koinange, Sports Editor
File photo by Joe Noyes/ The Towerlight
Towson fell 23-3 in a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) matchup against Richmond Saturday afternoon at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The Tigers (2-4, 0-3 CAA) had an up-and-down game. The offense moved the ball well on their side of the field, but struggled to produce once they got past midfield. The defense made some big plays early, but could not stop the Spiders (4-2, 2-1 CAA) from moving the ball downfield.
“Blame me for all of it,” Head Coach Rob Ambrose said. “I don’t coach them well enough to overcome the moment. Those kids played their hearts out.”
On the first play from scrimmage, Towson junior defensive back Mitch Boals forced a fumble following a 46-yard Richmond completion. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Keon Paye recovered the ball, but the offense could not capitalize on the early turnover.
Richmond struck first midway through the opening quarter when redshirt junior running back Gordon Collins gashed Towson’s defense with a 31-yard touchdown run to give the Spiders a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers offense struggled early as redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Stover threw an interception on the ensuing drive. He also fumbled on the first play of the next offensive possession, putting the Spiders in scoring position.
“When you’re playing a lot of young guys, the offense has to put the ball in the box itself,” Ambrose said. “It’s not just one guy.”
Despite being on the field early and often, the defense responded with a big play to halt Richmond from converting on the turnover.
Paye intercepted a pass to put Towson’s offense back on the field. However, the team failed to take advantage as Stover threw his second interception of the day on the next play, giving him three turnovers in the first quarter.
The Tigers had a chance to get on the scoreboard early in the second quarter, but a missed field goal by sophomore kicker Aidan O’Neill kept the team off the board. The Spiders scored on their next drive as Lauletta threw a 15-yard touchdown strike to junior wide receiver Tyler Wilkins, putting the visitors up 14-0.
Towson moved the ball into Richmond territory on its next drive, but Stover threw a third interception on a hurried throw near the sideline. Following that play, redshirt freshman quarterback Triston Harris took control under center for the rest of the game.
Harris struggled to get comfortable in his first few series as the Spiders defensive front applied pressure. He threw an interception in the second half, but showed good mobility.
“I think that [Harris] prepared like a starter and it gave him a chance to have a little bit of success,” Ambrose said.
The Tigers put up points early in the fourth on a 21-yard field goal from O’Neill. The Towson field goal put the team down by two scores with time running out.
The Spiders sealed the win when Lauletta capped off a long drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to Wilkins.
Towson looks to rebound Saturday, Oct. 21, when the team hits the road to face New Hampshire. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
“Our kids aren’t going to quit,” Ambrose said. “They’re going to keep fighting and fighting in order to get back.”