By: Tyler Beard, Staff Writer
Junior running back Darius Victor’s 202 rushing yards and three touchdowns helped lead Towson to a 29-26 win over Holy Cross on Saturday, Sept. 19.
“I told the kids it’s not how you start but how you finish and we certainly did that,” Head Coach Rob Ambrose said. “One hundred years from now, we could have won 1,000-to-nothing and it would still say win. For the first time in a very long time, we have more wins than losses and I’m going to enjoy that for a minute.”
Towson (2-1) struggled in the first half, as the team trailed Holy Cross (1-1) 16-7 at halftime.
Holy Cross scored nine points inside of the last four minutes of the first half, which included a touchdown from running back Diquan Walker and a safety off of a blocked punt that was kicked into the back of the end zone.
“We just started off really slow,” redshirt senior quarterback Connor Frazier said. “Everyone wasn’t doing their jobs and, like Coach Jared [Ambrose] says, when we go out there we need to relax and do our job and focus. That’s what we did in the second half. We came out more focused and we knew we were the better football team. We just needed to not shoot ourselves in the foot, whether it was drops or penalties or whatever.”
The Tigers got the ball in the second half and Victor began the drive with a 54-yard run on the first play of the series, which was the longest run of his career.
He capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run, which cut the Crusaders’ lead to 16-14.
Towson’s defense forced a three-and-out and Victor ran for a 34-yard touchdown on the next offensive possession, which put the team ahead 22-14 after a successful two-point conversion.
Victor spoke about his career-day and credited his team for helping him run for 202 yards.
“It’s my offensive linemen,” he said. “I can’t do it without them. My fullbacks, tight ends, receivers blocking downfield. I really don’t do anything but run straight, so it’s all on my teammates and that’s the difference right there.”
Victor added his third touchdown of the game in the beginning of the fourth quarter, which pushed the Tigers’ lead out to 29-19.
Holy Cross drove down the field on their next possession, but senior defensive back Nico Law intercepted quarterback Peter Pujals’ pass and returned it for 26 yards.
“Welcome to the jungle,” Law said of playing at Johnny Unitas Stadium. “That’s just what we do. Come to our house, we just play reckless.”
The Crusaders staged a comeback at the end of the game though, as a touchdown pass from Pujals brought the team within three points of the Tigers.
The Tigers’ next offensive series stalled after a dropped pass and the Crusaders had one last shot to extend the game.
Towson’s defense held strong though, as the Crusaders pushed the ball to midfield.
But a quarterback hurry from junior defensive tackle Max Tejada caused a bad throw from Pujals and the team turned the ball over on downs.
“I told our guys towards the end of the game that there are two types of defenses out there,” Ambrose said. “There’s the one with seven minutes left that kind of lay down a bit and there’s other ones that turn it up a little. I asked which one they wanted to be and I think they answered that question.
The Tigers finished the game with a season-high 276 rushing yards and had 410 yards of total offense.
On defense, Towson recorded their first two interceptions of the season and finished with two sacks in the game.
Towson’s next game is on the road against the Elon Phoenix (1-2), as the team begins conference play. Kickoff is on Saturday at 3 p.m.