With the win, the defending CAA champions avenged back-to-back losses to
En route to the win,
“Anyone who watched this game knows the final score was not indicative of the game,” said Towson Coach Gordy Combs. “It all came down to turnovers. We kept turning the ball over on their side of the field. And every time we turned it over, they capitalized on it.”
Combs felt that the biggest play of the game came early in the fourth quarter with the Tigers trailing by 31-14 and moving the ball. On second down at the Richmond 36-yard line, sophomore cornerback Justin Rogers intercepted a Sean Schaefer pass and returned it 68 yards for a touchdown to give Richmond a 38-14 lead.
“That play was a turning point in the game,” added Combs. “We were moving the ball and there was plenty of time remaining. But, when he (Rogers) picked off that pass and brought it all the way back, the momentum changed completely.”
Moments later, junior cornerback Derek Hatcher settled the issue when he intercepted a pass by backup quarterback Blair Peterson and returned it 25 yards for a TD to give Richmond an insurmountable 45-14 lead with 8:42 left in the game.
Schaefer, the Tigers’ record-setting quarterback, endured one of the most frustrating games of his career against the Spiders. Although he completed 21 of 32 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns, he was intercepted four times, matching his career high. Although he wasn’t sacked, he was forced to scramble many times and picked up 33 rushing yards on six carries.
“Sean had a rough game,” admitted Combs. “
In the opening minutes of the game, Hatcher gave the Spiders the first break of the game when he intercepted a deflected Schaefer pass at the Spider 32-yard line and returned it 20 yards to the
Then, the Spiders took advantage of their great field position and drove 48 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Junior Josh Vaughan set up the touchdown when he bulled ahead for a first down at the
On their second possession, the Tigers were forced to punt and junior Nicholas Battle broke through to block a Bill Shears punt, giving the Spiders a first down at the
The Tigers were never able to catch up.
Sophomore defensive tackle Yaky Ibia gave the Tigers a spark when he blocked a 42-yard field goal attempt by Howard early in the second quarter. The Tigers responded by marching 74 yards on 14 plays for their first touchdown of the game. On the drive, they converted four third down opportunities.
The Tigers got on the scoreboard when Schaefer fired a 10-yard TD pass to senior Marcus Lee, Lee’s third touchdown reception of the season. Lee has now caught a pass in 36 consecutive games.
Trailing by 14-7, the Tigers received a golden opportunity to tie the game when senior Scott Bullock recovered a fumble at the Spiders’ 27-yard line. However, the Tigers gave the ball right back to the Spiders when Schaefer overthrew junior David Newsom in the end zone and junior cornerback David Horton intercepted.
The Spiders proceeded to drive 80 yards on eight plays as they extended their lead to 21-7 when Ward threw a one-yard TD pass to Crone with 3:40 left in the first half.
In the second half, the Tigers made a strong bid to cut into their deficit when they marched to the
With the help of a 60-yard pass play from Schaefer to Newsom, the Tigers came right back to score on their next possession. The 60-yard pass play set up Schaefer’s second TD pass of the game, a 10-yard toss to sophomore Hakeem Moore, the first TD of his career. When senior Mark Bencivengo converted, the Tigers trailed by 24-14 with 3:15 left in the third quarter.
But, a 44-yard kickoff return by
On the ensuing drive,
“Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers,” complained Coach Combs. “It’s impossible to beat a quality team like
By throwing for 214 yards, Schaefer became the sixth player in CAA history to reach the 9,000-yard mark in career passing yards. In his career, he has now completed 809 of 1,268 passes (.638) for a school record 9,145 yards and 58 touchdowns.
Schaefer was also the Tigers’ leading rusher with 33 yards on six carries.
Newsom led the Tiger receiving corps with a career high ten receptions for 106 yards. Sophomore Steve Holmes had four catches for 49 yards while junior Tomba Tongu caught three passes for 33 yards. Lee had three receptions for 25 yards.
The Tigers will try to even their record at 2-2 when they travel to