Towson wins ‘Battle for Greater Baltimore’ with 10-0 victory

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By: Karuga Koinange, Sports Editor
Towson opened its 2017 campaign with a 10-0 victory against cross-town rival Morgan State in the Battle for Greater Baltimore Saturday at Johnny Unitas Stadium.  

The game was the first time that both teams had met since the 2011 season.

The Tigers (1-0, 0-0 CAA) put on an impressive showcase defensively, shutting out the Bears (0-1, 0-0 MEAC) and forcing four turnovers.

“We put pressure on the quarterback tonight like we haven’t done in years,” Head Coach Rob Ambrose said. “We had multiple guys to the ball like we haven’t done in years.”

Towson’s first forced turnover came on an interception by redshirt junior defensive back Monty Fenner midway through the second quarter. Fenner returned the ball to the Morgan State goal line.

The Tigers offense capitalized on the great field position as redshirt sophomore running back Shane Simpson coasted into the endzone on a toss play. Simpson’s rush was the only touchdown scored by either side the entire night.  

Towson got into field goal range before the end of the first half thanks to a six-play 31-yard drive, and sophomore kicker Aidan O’Neill converted on a 42-yard attempt to give the team a 10-0 advantage going into the intermission.

The Tigers didn’t score for the rest of the game, but the defense played well enough to maintain the lead. They applied pressure on Morgan State quarterback Elijah Staley throughout the entire game and registered three sacks on the night.

Despite Towson’s strong defensive performance, the team struggled offensively. The unit produced only 102 yards of total offense and struggled to move the ball the entire game. Redshirt junior quarterback Morgan Mahalak finished the game with three interceptions.

“We were bad [offensively],” Ambrose said. “We didn’t adjust well at all so we’ve got a lot of work to do on offense.”

Saturday’s game against Morgan was sponsored by the Black Student Union (BSU) and provided a good turnout despite the rainy weather. Joshua White, president of the BSU, plans for more partnerships with athletic programs on campus in the future.

“This partnership arose because of us trying to bridge the gap and create bridges among the community,” White said. “This year we would like to continue into basketball season, but also support track and swimming and other sports.”

University President Kim Schatzel attended the game and was pleased to see fans of both teams in the crowd.

“We talked to a lot of the folks that are here today that went to school at Towson and Morgan back in the 80s and 90s and even 2000s,” Schatzel said. “Last time we played was 2011, and we’re just really excited to start this series up again, and it’s just a great atmosphere to be able to have.”

Towson will start a three-game road stretch by visiting University of Maryland, College Park, Saturday. Sept. 9. Kickoff from Capital One Field is slated for noon.

Featured image by Joe Noyes/ The Towerlight.
Slideshow gallery by Joe Noyes and Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight.

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