TOWSON, Md. - In a wild Colonial Athletic Association game between two nationally-ranked teams, the outcome was not determined until the final play as No. 25 Towson University edged No. 14 University of Richmond. Sophomore D.J. Soven kicked a game-winning 27-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Tigers (4-1, 2-0) to a 31-28 CAA victory over the Spiders (3-3, 0-3).
Soven's game-winning field goal enabled the Tigers to extend their home winning streak to four in a row.
The Tigers are now 2-0 in the CAA for the first time ever and are tied for first place with New Hampshire (4-1, 2-0) and Maine (4-1, 2-0).
"I am extremely proud of our team," said Towson Coach Rob Ambrose. "We faced a heck of a challenge in Richmond. A win in this conference against a nationally-ranked team is a good day for Towson."
The Spiders, who trailed for most of the game, rode the accurate passing of senior quarterback Aaron Corp to tie the game twice in the fourth quarter. Corp, who completed 31 of 34 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns, threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Ben Edwards with 12:37 left in the game to pull the Spiders to within 21-19. That touchdown pass capped off a 90-play, eight-play drive. Richmond tied the score at 21-21 when Corp completed a two-point conversion pass to Stephen Barnette.
With the score tied at 21-21, the Tigers staged a 65-yard, four-play drive to take a 28-21 lead when freshman Terrance West broke loose for a 25-yard touchdown run. His fourth touchdown of the game put the Tigers ahead with 6:15 remaining in the game.
However, Corp came right back and led the Spiders on a 70-yard, eight-play drive to tie the score at 28-28. His 28-yard pass completion to senior Tre Gray gave Richmond a first down at the Tigers' ten-yard line. Three plays later, Corp connected with Barnette on an eight-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 28-28.
Led by West, who ran for a career high 128 yards, the Tigers reached their own 49-yard line on their last drive. On third down-and-12, sophomore quarterback Grant Enders rolled to his right and completed a 21-yard pass to sophomore Leon Kinnard, giving the Tigers a first down at the Spiders' 30-yard line. After three more running plays by West, the Tigers were at the Richmond ten-yard line with four seconds left.
Soven, who had made two of three field goal attempts this season, came on to try the field goal but he had to endure a pair of time outs by the Spiders. Finally, he booted the ball through the uprights to give the Tigers the win.
The victory marked the Tigers' second win in a row over a nationally-ranked team.
Led by Corp, the Spiders moved the ball very efficiently on their opening drive of the game. He completed all five passes, including a completion to Gray at the Towson 30-yard line. However, Gray fumbled when he was tackled by senior safety Nick Oates and junior linebacker Danzel White recovered at the Tigers' 28-yard line.
On the Tigers' first two offensive plays, junior tailback Dominique Booker broke off an 18-yard run and a 12-yard run to get them moving. A 14-yard pass from Enders to James Oboh enabled the Tigers to reach the Richmond three-yard line. On the next play, West scored on a three-yard run and the Tigers took a 7-0 lead.
The Spiders came right back and drove to the Tigers' 19-yard line where a delay-of-game penalty forced them to settle for a field goal. Junior place kicker Will Kamin's 36-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in the first quarter cut the Spiders' deficit to 7-3.
Early in the second quarter, Richmond marched to the Tigers' nine-yard line where their drive stalled. Kamin came in to try a 26-yard field goal but he missed and the Tigers maintained their 7-3 advantage.
The Tigers responded with their second touchdown drive of the game. Midway through the second quarter, they marched 80 yards on 13 plays. West scored his second touchdown on a four-yard run to give Towson a 14-3 lead.
Late in the first half, the Spiders drove 60 yards in seven plays to pull within 14-10. Junior fullback Kendall Gaskins scored on a six-yard touchdown run to cap off the drive as the Spiders became the first team to score against the Tigers in the second quarter this season.
In the third quarter, the Spiders narrowed their deficit to 14-13 when Kamin capped off a 70-yard, 16-play drive by kicking a 23-yard field goal.
The Tigers answered with a 67-yard, nine-play drive that gave them a 21-13 lead when West scored on a three-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
"All I did was finish off plays," said West. "All of the credit goes to the offensive linemen and the receivers. They gave me some great blocks. The holes were there. We play together as a team and we win that way. Every game is a big game when you keep winning."
Led by West, the Tigers rushed for 239 yards on 40 attempts. While West ran for 128 yards on 21 carries, Booker picked up 70 yards on 12 carries. Enders, who completed 15 of 19 passes for 185 yards, also ran for 41 yards on seven attempts.
Kinnard was the Tigers' top receiver with six catches for 77 yards.
After playing four of their first five games at home, the Tigers will travel to No. 21 Old Dominion University next Saturday afternoon.