By: Karuga Koinange, Sports Editor
File photo by Joe Noyes/ The Towerlight
Towson pulled off a 26-14 comeback win against Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) foe William & Mary Saturday afternoon at Zable Stadium in Williamsburg, Virginia.
The Tigers (4-6, 2-5 CAA) had an up-and-down game, but got on track in the second half to take down the Tribe (2-8, 0-7 CAA).
“I think that there were moments today that we played aggressive, hard, fast, with an attitude in all three phases of the game,” Head Coach Rob Ambrose said. “There were times when we were professional at shooting ourselves in the foot.”
The visitors started the game strong as redshirt senior defensive lineman Kanyia Anderson recorded a sack and forced fumble on just the fifth play from scrimmage. Fellow redshirt senior defensive lineman Clifton Jones recovered the ball to put his team near the red zone. The two Virginia natives impressed in the return to their home state.
“I knew we were going to get everything they had,” Ambrose said. “This was going to be their best effort and those guys played like animals. I wouldn’t want to block them.”
On the ensuing drive, redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Stover connected with redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jabari Greenwood for a 15-yard completion to put the Tigers at the goal line. Redshirt junior tight end Ellis Knudson battered his way into the end zone to cap off the drive.
Towson forced a three-and-out on its next defensive possession and got a boost from its special teams on the ensuing punt. Freshman defensive back Coby Tippett returned the ball 62 yards for a touchdown to give his team a 12-0 lead.
The Tribe started to wake up after that play, as both sides of the ball began making big plays.
Junior quarterback Tommy McKee marched the home team downfield and tossed a five-yard touchdown strike to narrow the deficit.
The defense got in on the action too, as senior cornerback Aaron Swinton intercepted a pass from Stover to halt a scoring effort towards the end of the first quarter. McKee struck again in the second quarter with a three-yard touchdown run, and the Tribe took a 14-12 lead going into halftime.
“There were times when we could have let the moment beat us, and we didn’t,” Ambrose said.
Neither team got anything going until the fourth quarter when freshman running back Kobe Young pounded in a four-yard touchdown run to give Towson a 19-14 lead.
McKee was intercepted by redshirt freshman defensive back Jamal Watson on the Tribe’s next drive, giving the Tigers good field position and momentum. Stover powered into the end zone on a two-yard quarterback sneak just one play later, and the Tigers held on for the victory.
Towson rounds out its 2017 season with a matchup against Rhode Island Saturday, Nov. 18, at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The home team will honor its seniors before the game. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
“It’s the CAA, so it really doesn’t matter who we’re playing,” Ambrose said. “You’re going to get their best effort. They got great players. They got great coaches. The records go out the door. But, it’s senior day and we need to send these guys out the right way, with class, with effort and with a win.”