By: Jake Shindel, Karl Lindsey and Doug Ditto
Over 4,400 fans filed into Johnny Unitas Stadium on Saturday for the team’s homecoming game as Towson Football took on The College of William & Mary. The Tribe defeated the Tigers 44-24 in a game where Towson struggled offensively in the first half.
The Tigers fell to 2-5 on the season after Saturday’s loss.
“We need to play better in the first half,” Head Coach Rob Ambrose said.
Ambrose said he considered making a change at quarterback in the game, but ultimately stuck with quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome, saying it gave the team the best chance to win. The second half showed Ambrose that he made the right decision in keeping Pigrome in the game.
The Tribe started with possession, and the drive ended with a one-yard rushing touchdown by running back Donavyn Lester. The team took the ball 78 yards on 10 plays, with running back Malachi Imoh racking up 37 rushing yards on the first drive as William & Mary took a 7-0 lead.
Towson responded with a field goal on their first drive of the game. Pigrome had 12 yards through the air and 18 yards on the ground to set up a 40-yard field goal by Keegan Vaughn.
The Tribe took a 14-3 lead on their next possession after a 12-yard touchdown reception by Caylin Newton. The drive went 50 yards over four plays, and ended with just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter.
William & Mary rode their 14-3 lead through the end of the first quarter, led by the rushing attack, who put up 123 first quarter yards. The Tigers defense appeared to make a big redzone stop in the 2nd quarter, but the Tribe faked the field goal as the holder flipped it to the kicker for a 17-yard touchdown. The team botched the extra point attempt, and took a 20-3 lead.
Another Towson punt gave way to the Tribe’s fourth touchdown of the day on as many drives, capping the drive off with a rushing touchdown by Lester, his second of the afternoon. William & Mary took a 27-3 lead.
Pigrome threw an interception on the Tigers next possession on what was their second-longest drive of the game. The Tribe took the ball down the field on the following possession, and kicked a 42-yard field goal to take a 30-3 lead into the break.
In the first half, William & Mary dominated Towson on the ground amassing 226 rushing yards.The Tigers offense picked up just 7 first downs as opposed to 17 by the Tribe in the first half.
After a Towson punt to start the second half, William & Mary scored on their first play with a 83-yard passing touchdown to Lachlan Pitts to extend their lead to 37-3 early in the second half.
On the ensuing possession, the Tigers marched down the field on a drive capped by a 6-yard touchdown run by Pigrome to cut the deficit to 37-10.
Towson’s defense forced a three-and-out for the first time of the game. William & Mary recovered a fumble in the endzone after a 28-yard catch by Da’Kendall James that ended a promising drive for the Towson offense. Throughout the game, Towson fumbled the ball five times, but managed to recover it four times.
“It wasn’t good enough,” Ambrose said of the team’s ball security issues. “And it’s not like we didn’t work on it for the last two weeks.
Pigrome found James in the endzone with a 9-yard pass which capped off an 11 play, 63-yard drive to cut into William & Mary’s lead 37-17.
William & Mary responded with a 2-yard rushing touchdown by Martin Lucas. The Tribe capitalized on a short field set up by a failed onside kick and two costly penalties by the Tiger to extend their lead 44-17 midway through the fourth quarter.
The Tigers were able to put together a 12 play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard pass from Pigrome to a wide open Darian Street for the Tigers’ third touchdown of the day.
The Tigers outscored William & Mary by a touchdown in the second half but they were unable to catch up, losing 44-24 and dropped their fifth game in a row.
William & Mary rushed for 300 yards in the game, while quarterback Darius Wilson went 8/15 for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Towson ran for 218 yards, with 112 coming from Pigrome.
Towson travels to Monmouth University on Saturday, Oct. 29, to take on the Hawks at 1 p.m.