RICHMOND, Va. - Quarterback Peter Athens of Towson University has been named as the co-winner of the Colonial Athletic Association "Rookie of the Week" award, it has been announced by CAA officials. He is the first Tiger football player to be honored as a CAA "Rookie of the Week" award winner.
Athens shared the award with quarterback Justin Thorpe of James Madison University.
Playing in his first game at Johnny Unitas® Stadium on Saturday evening, Athens led the Tigers to a 21-17 victory over Coastal Carolina University, providing Coach Rob Ambrose with his first victory as the Tigers' head coach.
Making his second consecutive start, Athens completed 13 of 18 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked once and threw one interception.
While sharing time at quarterback with classmate Tommy Chroniger, the two quarterbacks combined to complete 17 of 25 passes for 177 yards and three touchdowns.
After the Tigers took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Athens directed an 83-yard, 12-play drive in the second quarter. His four-yard touchdown pass to senior Dave Newsom gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead with 11:02 remaining in the first half.
When Coastal Carolina cut its deficit to 14-10 in the third quarter, Athens led the Tigers on another scoring drive. He capped off a 47-yard, six-play drive by throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Newsom, giving Towson a 21-10 advantage with 11:49 left in the game. On the touchdown pass, he used a pump fake to freeze the Coastal Carolina defensive back and then lofted the pass to Newsom, who was wide-open in the end zone.
A product of Huntingtown High School in Southern Maryland, Athens has completed 28 of 43 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns in two games. All three of his touchdown passes have been thrown to Newsom.
With 11 receptions for 122 yards and three touchdowns in two games, Newsom is the leading pass receiver in the CAA.
A first-year freshman, Athens is one of several freshmen who have done well in their first two college football games. Tailback Tremayne Dameron, a "red shirt" freshman, has rushed for 117 yards in two games and had a career high 84 yards against Coastal Carolina. Linebacker Danzel White, another "red shirt" freshman, ranks second on the team with 15 tackles. Defensive tackle Matt Morgan, a "red shirt" freshman who started the first two games, has made seven tackles in two games, including one sack.
Athens and Chroniger are two of seven first-year freshmen who have seen action in the first two games of the season.
The Tigers, now 1-1 on the season, will seek their second consecutive victory when they travel to Hughes Stadium to face Morgan State University on Saturday, September 26 at 4:00 p.m. It will be the 22nd meeting between the schools. Towson leads the all-time series by a 16-5 margin.