Tag Archive | "blue hens"

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Towson uses big second half comeback to top Delaware

Posted on 22 March 2014 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – Towson Lacrosse (7-2, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)) held Delaware (5-4, 0-2 CAA) scoreless for over 30 minutes en route to an 11-8 comeback win over the Hens on Saturday evening at Unitas Stadium.

After Delaware ended the first quarter with a 5-1 lead, the Hens increased their advantage to 8-4 just 1:18 before halftime on an unassisted goal from Beau Jones. But that was UD’s last tally of the evening as Towson outscored Delaware 7-0 over the final two periods.

Eight Tigers scored in the victory. Junior co-captain Greg Cuccinello, freshman Ryan Drenner and sophomore Ben McCarty each tallied two goals. Junior Justin Mabus posted a career-high five points on one goal and a career-best four assists. Steve DeLargy and Jeff Heath each had two goals for UD.

“All credit goes to Delaware; they came out firing at the start,” said Head Coach Shawn Nadelen. “We weren’t as focused as we should have been. Obviously it was a huge, huge turnaround for our guys in the second half and I couldn’t be more pleased and proud of our team.”

Towson started the game flat, while Delaware came out charging. The Hens scored the first five goals of the game before Mabus found the back of the net at 4:49 in the first quarter. He assisted senior Thomas DeNapoli’s extra-man goal at the start of the second quarter when UD was called for pushing.

Delaware stayed out in front of the Tigers, extending its lead to 7-2 on a goal from Tom Holland at 6:33 in the second frame. Drenner and Cuccinello scored back-to-back goals at 4:23 and 3:14, respectively, before Jones posted UD’s last goal of the night.

During the break Towson shook off its lethargy and stepped up its defense, limiting the Blue Hens to six total shots in the second half.

“I don’t think we shot that well,” said Cuccinello, of the first half. “What really got us going in the second half was being a man down [after a team penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct] and getting the stop. As an offense, we draw a lot of confidence from our defense. We kept getting stop after stop. We knew that if we kept shooting, they’d fall eventually.”

Freshman Joe Seider, McCarty and Cuccinello each scored in the third quarter before senior Max Siskindevened the game at 8-8 at 1:54 in the third. Siskind picked up an uncontrolled Delaware save and scored falling down from point-blank range. It was his team-leading fourth EMO goal of the season. McCarty notched the game winner at 10:25 in the fourth.

Next up, Towson travels to Hofstra on Saturday, March 29 for a 7 p.m. face-off.

NOTES: Towson is now 10-3 all time in CAA season openers … Towson and Delaware have now played six straight times in the Tigers’ CAA opener and Towson has a 5-2 overall record against the Hens in league openers … 32 games between TU and UD have been decided by three goals or less … Towson is 20-12 in those match ups.

COLLEGE MEN’S LACROSSE: Delaware 8, Towson 11
Delaware (5-4, 0-1 CAA) 5-3-0-0/8
Towson (7-2, 1-0 CAA)   1-3-4-3/11

GOALS: TOW – Cuccinello 2, Drenner 2, McCarty 2, Mabus, DeNapoli, Seider, Siskind, Grimaldi; UD – DeLargy 2, Heath 2, Kean, Kormondy, Jones, Holland. ASSISTS: TOW – Mabus 4, Cuccinello 2, Drenner; UD – DeLargy, Finigan, Keane, Kormondy, Martinelli. SAVES: TOW – T White (3, 60:00, 8 GA); UD – C Peaks (4, 60:00, 11 GA). SHOTS: TOW – 41; UD – 20. GROUND BALLS: TOW – 27; UD – 21. FACE-OFFS: TOW – 8-21; UD – 13-21. EMO: TOW – 2-4; UD – 1-3. CAUSED TURNOVERS: TOW – 5; UD – 2. ATT: 1076.

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Towson looks for sixth straight win Saturday against Delaware

Posted on 21 March 2014 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. - Towson Lacrosse (6-2) will try to protect a five-game win streak when the Tigers end a three-game homestand with Delaware (5-3, 0-1 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)) on Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m.

Road Closure
Due to a construction project, Osler Drive will be closed on Saturday evening. Fans are advised to take an alternate route. From Charles Street:  divert at Emerson and route through West Village, reconnecting at Osler and to the stadium.

Coming from York Road Bypass, fan should continue south on York Road to Cross Campus and to Osler to approach the stadium.

Opening Face-Off

Towson’s 2013 CAA title defense begins Saturday against the Blue Hens. Towson extended its win streak to five games with a 10-8 win over UMBC on March 18 at home. Three Tigers scored two goals apiece en route to the win. Delaware lost its Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opener to Hofstra, 11-9.

Updating the Tigers
The Tigers outlasted beltway rival UMBC on Tuesday, March 18 by the score of 10-8. The game was tied seven times. Seniors Max Siskind, Devin Grimaldi and Thomas DeNapoli each scored two goals. Junior Justin Mabus had two assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Tyler White made 12 saves on the day.

Scouting the Blue Hens
Delaware, whose win streak was the team’s longest since the 2010 season, jumped out to a 6-3 lead early in the second quarter, but the Pride scored six unanswered goals over the span of the second and third periods to take control and win their fourth straight game. A goal by Mike Malave with 9:58 left in the third quarter broke a 6-6 tie and put Hofstra up for good.

Towson-Delaware Series History
This is one of Towson’s oldest series. Starting in just the third season the Tigers had a program, the teams have met 54 times in the last 52 years. Towson has won six of the last nine meetings. Thirty-one have been decided by three goals or less; the Tigers are 19-12 in those games. Of the 31 matchups decided by three goals or fewer, 13 have been one-goal margins of defeat. Delaware holds the edge in those games, 7-6.

Last Time Out vs. Delaware: March 22, 2013 (Towson 7, Delaware 6 (ot))
Andrew Hodgson and Ben McCarty teamed up on the game-winning goal in overtime as Towson men’s lacrosse defeated Delaware, 7-6, at Delaware Stadium. For just the second time all season, Towson scored first and took a 2-1 lead into the second quarter. However Delaware scored five straight goals to take a 6-3 lead midway through the third quarter. The Tigers scored back-to-back goals in the fourth to trim the Hens’ lead to 6-5 with 8:09 remaining in the game and got last-minute heroics from Greg Cuccinello, who scored with 2.6 seconds left in regulation on a dribbler to send the game into overtime. Hodgson buried a high-low shot past the Delaware keeper from 13 yards out for the game winner with 1:45 showing on the clock in overtime.

Let’s Get It Started
The Tigers are 9-3 all-time in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) season openers. Towson joined the CAA in 2002 and celebrated with an 18-4 win over Delaware. The Tigers and the Blue Hens have met six times in Towson’s CAA openers; the Tigers are 4-2 in those games. Tonight’s contest is the fifth-straight time Towson and UD have faced off in the Tigers’ league opener.

Next Up

The Tigers play the first of back-to-back road games when they take on the Hofstra Pride on Saturday, March 29 at 7 p.m.

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Towson hosts Delaware Monday for showdown of top CAA teams

Posted on 16 February 2014 by WNST Staff

TOP TWO TEAMS IN THE CAA SQUARE OFF ON MONDAY AS TOWON HOSTS DELAWARE
Tigers looking to give Blue Hens first CAA loss when the squads meet inside SECU Arena

TOWSON, Md. - The top two teams in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) are set to meet on Monday night as Towson hosts rival Delaware inside SECU Arena at 7 p.m.

The game can be seen live nationally on the NBC Sports Network with Mike Corey and Ron Thompson on the call. Fans can also listen to the game on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti calling the action.

Delaware, which has won 13 straight games, is 19-7 overall and first-place in the CAA with a perfect 11-0 league record. Towson (17-9, 8-3 CAA) took control of second-place in the conference standings with an 85-70 win at William & Mary on Saturday.

The Blue Hens and the Tigers met earlier this season in Newark, Del. with UD pulling out an 83-76 win on its home floor.

Tiger senior Jerrelle Benimon scored 29 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the first meeting between the squads. Benimon is currently tied for first in the nation in rebounds per game (11.6) and double-doubles (17).

Benimon was aided by the stellar play of classmate Mike Burwell in Towson’s win at William & Mary on Saturday. Burwell hit five three-pointers en route to scoring a career-high 23 points. The guard has scored in double figures in four of his last six games.

Delaware’s last loss came against St. Bonaventure on December 30. The Blue Hens boast the CAA’s top scoring offense at 80.3 points per game, led by senior Devon Saddler, who averages 20.4 points per game. Classmate Davon Usher averages 19.4 points per game overall and is leading the CAA by averaging 22.6 points per game in league contests.

Monday will be the 72nd all-time meeting between Towson and Delaware. The Blue Hens will pass Loyola as the Tigers most commonly played opponent of all-time. Delaware leads the all-time series 42-29 but Towson has won two of the last three meetings.

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Towson pays visit to rival Delaware Saturday

Posted on 24 January 2014 by WNST Staff

TOWSON TRAVELS TO DELAWARE ON SATURDAY FOR MATCH-UP OF TOP TWO CAA TEAMS
Tigers looking to win fourth straight road game

NEWARK, Del. – The Towson men’s basketball team will visit first-place Delaware on Saturday in a game that can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet.

Al Koken and John Feinstein will be on the television call, with the game scheduled to tip at 12:00 p.m. inside the Bob Carpenter Center.

Towson (12-7, 3-1 CAA) will be seeking its fourth straight road win and third straight victory over Delaware.

The Tigers are coming off a 57-54 loss to Northeastern on Wednesday. The loss snapped Towson’s five-game winning streak overall and 13-game home court winning streak.

Senior forward Marcus Damas led the Tigers with 21 points on 6-for-11 shooting, including a season-high five three-pointers. Damas has scored 20 or more points in two of his last three games.

Delaware (13-7, 5-0) is coming off an impressive 90-77 win at Drexel. The Blue Hens have won seven straight games overall and five straight at home. Senior guard Devon Saddler leads UD by averaging 21.8 points per game.

Delaware boasts the top scoring offense in the CAA as the Blue Hens average 81.1 points per game. UD also leads the league in free throw percentage (71.5) and three-point field goal percentage defense (30.7).

Saturday’s game will be the 71st all-time meeting between rivals, tying Delaware with Loyola as the Tigers most commonly played opponent all-time.

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Towson hosts Delaware in big CAA battle Saturday night

Posted on 01 November 2013 by WNST Staff

No. 7 TIGERS HOST No. 21 DELAWARE THIS WEEK

Tigers Face Blue Hens In Key CAA Contest

TOWSON, Md. –  Returning to Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium after two consecutive road games, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Towson University football team will host another Colonial Athletic Association contest between two ranked teams when the Tigers face Delaware at 7:00 p.m.

Ranked seventh in the NCAA FCS this week, the Tigers have an 8-1 overall record and a 4-1 CAA mark. The Blue Hens are 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the CAA.  Delaware moved into the Top 25 this week after its win over Rhode Island.

The game will be broadcast back to the Baltimore area on www.TowsonTigers.com with Spiro Morekas, Ron Meehan and Zack Maskavich calling the action.

The Tigers, who have won 12 of their last 13 games, will be seeking their second straight win over Delaware. Last season, Towson edged Delaware in overtime, 34-27. That ended Delaware’s five-game series winning streak. Towson and Delaware will be playing for the 15th time on Saturday night. Delaware owns a 9-5 series lead.

This week’s matchup will feature two of the top offenses in the CAA. Towson averages 41.3 points per game, eighth in the nation. The Tigers top the CAA in scoring while Delaware is third, averaging 34.2 points per contest. The Tigers also lead the CAA in total offense, averaging 489.2 yards per game.

While the Tiger offense is responsible for most of the Tigers’ 51  touchdowns, the Tigers have found other creative ways to score. Towson has scored five defensive touchdowns and two special teams touchdowns.

In the win over Richmond last week, the Tiger defense came up with two touchdowns. Sophomore safetyChristian Carpenter (Aberdeen H.S./Aberdeen, Md.) intercepted a pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown in the first half. Senior linebacker Telvion Clark (Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.) returned a fumble 32 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore safety Donnell Lewis (Woodside H.S./Virginia Beach, Va. ) is responsible for two of the defensive touchdowns. He had a 43-yard fumble return for a TD at Stony Brook and he intercepted a pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown at Albany. Senior Thomas Bradley (Montgomery H.S./Gaithersburg, Md.) has the other defensive touchdown. He intercepted a pass and went 90 yards for a TD at Holy Cross.

Junior Derrick Joseph (McDonough H.S./Waldorf, Md.) scored both of the Tigers’ special teams touchdowns. He had kickoff returns for TD’s against Delaware State and Villanova.

Of course, junior running back Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.) is responsible for most of the Tigers’ touchdowns. He leads the nation with 24 touchdowns in nine games. In fact, West has more touchdowns than five teams in the CAA and 46 teams in NCAA FCS.

A leading candidate for the Walter Payton Award, West also leads the nation in rushing with 1,402 yards in nine games. Last week, he became Towson’s career rushing leader in only his 30th college game. He now has 3,742 yards in his career and has scored a CAA record 66 rushing touchdowns. He has a total of 68 rushing touchdowns.

In the win over Richmond, West ran for a career high 272 yards on 29 carries and tied the school record by scoring five touchdowns. It was the second time this season that he scored five touchdowns in a game.

The matchup with Delaware is also a matchup of two of the best running backs in CAA history.

The Blue Hens are led by senior Andrew Pierce. The 10th-leading rusher in CAA history, Pierce has run for 4,278 yards in his career. He is sixth in the CAA in rushing yards with 641 yards on 133 carries.

Clark is having an outstanding senior season at linebacker for the Tigers. A two-time selection as the CAA Defensive Player of the Week, he ranks second in the CAA with 88 tackles in nine games. Clark is tied for the CAA lead with four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

After making a career high 16 tackles at Richmond, he was named as the FCS National Defensive Player of the Week by The Sports Network.

After hosting Delaware this week, the Tigers will have a much-needed bye next week. The season resumes on Nov. 16 at William & Mary.

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Navy faces Delaware Saturday in home opener

Posted on 13 September 2013 by WNST Staff

2013 Navy Football Game Specifics
Game 2 Navy (1-0) vs. Delaware (2-0)
Date and Kickoff Sept. 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm ET
Location Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000)
Television CBS Sports Network
TV Talent Brad Johansen (play-by-play), Randy Cross (analyst), Sheehan Stanwick-Burch (sideline)

Setting the Stage
• Navy and Delaware will meet for the 17th on the gridiron when they square off on Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000). Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm.  The presenting sponsor for Saturday’s game is BB&T.
• This will be the first meeting between the two schools since 2011 when Navy defeated the Blue Hens, 40-17.  Navy has won two straight and three of the last four contests against Delaware.
• Saturday’s game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network with Brad Johansen (play-by-play), Randy Cross (analyst) and Sheehan Stanwick-Burch (sidelines) calling the action.

Game Day Festivities
• Pregame festivities will get underway at approximately 1:00 pm with the Navy Football Team Walk.  Originating at the Blue Angel in the southwest corner of the stadium, the team will make its way down the sidewalk and through NavyFest before walking up the drive to the stadium.  Fans are encouraged to line up on both sides of the sidewalk to cheer for the team.
• The March-On of the Brigade of Midshipmen will take place at 3:10 pm.
• The Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps will perform at halftime.
• Following the game will be the playing of the Mids’ alma mater, Navy Blue & Gold.

Scouting Delaware
•    Delaware is off to a 2-0 start with victories over Jacksonville (51-35) and Delaware State (42-21).
• The Blue Hens sport a balanced offense rushing for 250.5 yards per game and throwing for 283.0 yards per game.
• The Delaware rushing attack is led by senior running back Andrew Pierce, who has rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries.  Senior running back Julian Laing has 138 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries.
•    Junior quarterback Trent Hurley, a transfer from Bowling Green, has completed 71.7 percent of his passes this season (43-60) for 566 yards with five touchdowns and one interception.  Hurley’s favorite targets are junior wide receiver Michael Johnson (11-204, 1 TD), junior tight end Nick Boyle (8-111, 2 TD) and senior wide receiver Rob Jones (8-108, 2 TD).
•    Junior linebacker Pat Callaway leads the Delaware defense with 18 tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack and an interception, while sophomore defensive back Craig Brodsky has 11 tackles and two pass breakups.
•    Delaware has 11 FBS transfers, including four from Maryland, two from Pitt, two from Rutgers and one each from Bowling Green, Connecticut and Virginia.

Navy vs. The CAA
•    Navy is 55-17-1 (.760) all-time against teams from the Colonial Athletic Association.
•    The Mids have played William & Mary the most (40 games, 33-6-1), while Delaware has handed Navy the most losses (7, 9-7).

Navy In Home Openers
• Navy is 8-3 (.727) in home openers during the “triple option era” (2002-present) and 5-0 under current head coach Ken Niumatalolo.

Navy Grinds Out 41-35 Victory Over Indiana
•    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Two nights after coach Ken Niumatalolo’s mother died in Hawaii, the Midshipmen put a heart-shaped decal on their shoulder pads and played like a wrecking crew. Keenan Reynolds rushed for 127 yards and three touchdowns, Darius Staten added another 106 yards on the ground and the Midshipmen ground out a 41-35 victory at Indiana in their season opener – their first road win over a Big Ten foe since 1979 at Illinois.
• On a night the Mids held an almost two-to-one advantage in possession time and rushed for 444 yards, they committed only five penalties, had no turnovers and wound up with only three negative rushing plays – one of those coming on a kneel-down on the game’s final play.
• Navy won for the first time in three tries in Bloomington and beat a BCS foe for the 20th time since 2003 – the most of any non-BCS school in the nation over the last decade.
• Reynolds kept the ball on Navy’s throwback triple option 32 times. Geoffrey Whiteside ran nine times for 97 yards, and DeBrandon Sanders carried five times for 68 yards. In all, the Midshipmen ran 70 times, averaging 6.3 yards per carry, and never even bobbled the ball on a pitch. Navy threw just five passes with Reynolds completing two for 71 yards.
• The Hoosiers wanted to avenge last year’s late debacle at Navy, a game in which the Midshipmen rallied for a 31-30 victory by scoring 10 points in the final 5 1/2 minutes.
• Quarterback Nate Sudfeld did what he could, going 31 of 42 with 363 yards and three TDs.
• Hoosiers fans thought their revamped defense was vastly improved after a 73-35 rout of Indiana State. Instead, they were no match against Navy, which jumped to a 17-0 lead and never gave Indiana a chance to tie the score or take the lead in a game that Navy never punted.
• The Midshipmen opened the game with 29 consecutive runs, churning out 212 yards in roughly 1 1/2 quarters and finished the first half with 255 yards rushing – just two fewer yards than it had in last year’s game against the Hoosiers.
• They finished with 18 carries of at least 10 yards, and it started quickly as Whiteside ran for 31 yards on Navy’s first offensive play and went for 18 two plays later. Eventually, Reynolds scored on at 1-yard TD run to make it 7-0.
• Then, after stopping Indiana on a fourth-down try at the Hoosiers’ 34-yard line, Chris Swain scored on a 3-yard run to make it 14-0. Navy settled for a 23-yard field goal on its next possession and, after Sudfeld threw a perfect 45-yard TD pass to Kofi Hughes, answered with another long scoring drive that Noah Copeland capped with a 3-yard TD run to make it 24-7.
• Reynolds opened the scoring with a 2-yard TD run to start the third quarter and his third scoring run of the night made it 38-21.
• Indiana could have had a chance to tie the score if it recovered a late onside kick, but the Hoosiers recovered out of bounds and Reynolds ran out the clock.

Close Calls
• Navy has won six-consecutive games decided by eight points or less dating back to the 2011 Army-Navy game.  The Mids are 1-0 this season after beating Indiana in last week’s opener, 41-35.
• The Mids are 19-13 (.594) under head coach Ken Niumatalolo in games decided by eight points or less.  One of those 13 includes Navy’s 35-32 loss to Utah in the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl in which Niumatalolo served as head coach.

Continuity Is The Key To Success
•    Navy is one of 18 schools to have its entire coaching staff back from the previous season.  The other schools are Akron, Baylor, Boise State, Buffalo, Louisville, Maryland, Memphis, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Rice, Toledo, Tulane, Tulsa and Vanderbilt.
•    In fact, Navy has lost just two coaches in the five years that Ken Niumatalolo has been the head coach and eight of Navy’s coaches have been in Annapolis for at least 10 years.
• Defensive line coach Dale Pehrson is in his 18th year at Navy, Niumatalolo is in his 16th year, offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper is in his 14th year, defensive coordinator Buddy Green, secondary coach Keith Jones and slot backs coach Danny O’Rourke are all entering their 12th year at Navy, offensive line coach Chris Culton is in his 11th year and outside linebackers coach Tony Grantham is entering his 10th year in Annapolis.
•    Jasper is entering his sixth year as the offensive coordinator and he teams with Green, who is entering his 12th year as the defensive coordinator, to make Navy one of just five schools in the country to have the same offensive and defensive coordinators for at least six years. The other teams on that list are Oregon State (OC in 9th, DC in 11th), Wake Forest (OC in 11th, DC in 6th), Northwestern (OC and DC both in 6th) and SMU (OC and DC both in 6th).

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Purple Reign 2 excerpt here: How to find a franchise quarterback

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Purple Reign 2 excerpt here: How to find a franchise quarterback

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

Ever wonder why the Baltimore Ravens fell in love with Joe Flacco in the first place? Here are all of the answers!

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 6 of the definitive book on the Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII victory in New Orleans, Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story.

If you enjoy it, please consider buying the books for the holidays as gifts for anyone who loves the Baltimore Ravens.

You can purchase both Purple Reign books by clicking here:

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 9 here where Joe Flacco and Steve Bisciotti talk about the risk of $100 million:

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 15 on the firing of Cam Cameron and its impact on Joe Flacco:

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6: HOW TO FIND A FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK

 

 

“You can always look at how the guys play. You just look at the tape. But at the combine you find out what kind of people they are. What’s important to them? How important is football to them? How important is their family to them? If we get those two things right, we’ll be right most of the time.”
-- John Harbaugh (March 2008)

 

 

AN NFL SCOUT’S LIFE EXISTS with perpetual hope. Every time he shows up on a campus to watch a kid run, or gets on a plane to fly to a college town to see a game in the fall, or fires up his iPad to watch film, he wants to believe he’s about to find the next player who will help his team win the Super Bowl.

It’s the eternal quest for any NFL scout – find the next Pro Bowl player who can become a Hall of Famer. Or, at the very least, find a player who can help you win every year for the next decade.

By the time Baltimore Ravens area scouts Andy Weidl and Joe Douglas got in their cars and made the one hour drive north up Interstate 95 from Owings Mills to Newark, Delaware on November 10, 2007, Joe Flacco wasn’t a secret to the college scouting world. And he certainly was no stranger to Douglas, who joined the team in 2000 and is known to all in the Ravens organization as “Big Joe D,” whose job it was to scout the Northeast for the team from 2003 through 2008. Douglas was made famous during the Ravens’ summer of 2001 filming of “Hard Knocks” on HBO as “The Turk,” the lowly scout who has the duty of summoning players from the locker room to the office of the head coach where “Coach wants to see you, bring your playbook” means you’ll be leaving the campus and chasing your NFL dream elsewhere.

Incidentally, UrbanDictionary.com defines “turk” as “someone who is extremely brave.” Joe Douglas spent six months talking Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and Joe Hortiz into drafting a Division 1-AA quarterback from Delaware in the first round of the NFL draft.

Douglas, by any measurement, is as brave as Joe Flacco is fearless.

By 2007, Douglas had moved up the ranks of the scouting system and was making that fateful Saturday a “quarterback doubleheader” – a rare chance to see two teams in one day, both with targets who could be the next quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens. The afternoon game in Newark featured the Delaware Blue Hens hosting the Richmond Spiders in a Division I-AA matchup. The nightcap on the docket was Boston College visiting the Maryland Terps in College Park and Douglas would be joined by longtime Ravens scouts Eric DeCosta and Joe Hortiz, whom he’d meet at the I-95 Park and Ride near Catonsville so they could travel together to Byrd Stadium. Their target that evening was visiting Eagles quarterback Matt Ryan, who many thought would be the first quarterback – if not the first player – taken in the April 2008 draft.

Incidentally, Douglas was rooting hard for Richmond that afternoon and not out of disdain for Flacco or Delaware. Douglas was the starting left tackle for the Spiders from 1995-1998 and had been through many battles with the Blue Hens on the field. He was also quite familiar with many of the coaches and players in this contest. Even when he didn’t attend Richmond games – and it was rare to see his alma mater in person because NFL scouts don’t scout a lot of I-AA football games unless there’s a specific prospect they want to evaluate – his father would give him weekly Spiders reports from stands.

It was Douglas’ dad, Joel Douglas, who first told Big Joe D about Joe Flacco a year earlier after seeing the 2006 matchup in Richmond.

“He went to the game with my uncle and he called me up and said, ‘I don’t know who that Delaware quarterback was, but Richmond couldn’t stop him,’” Douglas said of a day when Flacco, then a junior who was making his seventh start for the Blue Hens, went 31-of-45 for 305 yards and a pair of TD passes in a come-from-behind 28-24 win over the Spiders. “Honestly, I was more mad that Richmond blew the lead than I was concerned about who Delaware’s junior quarterback was that day.”

The NFL scouting calendar begins in May after the draft. DeCosta and Hortiz enlist the entire organization to target potential candidates to scout for the following year. By August, the scouts plan their entire schedule for the fall, trying to chunk as many practices, games, campus visits and interviews as possible into the schedule while also trying to see the Ravens play some games at home and away. As an NFL scout, this is the most important time of the year because it’s a grueling workload, traveling as much as six days per week in search of a handful of picks you’ll make next April. Choosing a wise schedule lends itself to more rest and better scouting when you’re not driving six hours every day between visits. The schedule has to flow and be manageable so every possible combination is considered around games, campuses, distance, dates and, most importantly, legitimate prospects.

In the summer of 2007, Ravens scout Mark Azevedo, who was assigned Delaware during spring ball, recommended that Douglas see a tall, lanky kid who played quarterback at Delaware.

“Mark said, ‘Delaware has a kid with an arm. Put them on your schedule,’” Douglas said. “I had to look up his name because it rang a bell from the previous year when Delaware beat my Spiders.”

Even with McNair coming off a big 2006 season, anyone with football intelligence knew that the Ravens would probably be in the market for a quarterback in 2008 just based on his age and the fact that no one on Newsome’s staff – or Billick’s coaches for that matter – believed that incumbents Kyle Boller or Troy Smith were the answer. So, Douglas believed that seeing quarterbacks was a major priority that summer and fall in the hopes of finding the right player the following spring.

It was a full time job, this searching-for-a-Super Bowl-MVP-quarterback work.

IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING, YOU CAN BUY Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story HERE:

Continue to the next page to keep reading excerpt from Chapter 6…

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Towson rallies to top Delaware in CAA opener

Posted on 22 March 2013 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, Md. - Junior Andrew Hodgson and sophomore Ben McCarty teamed up on the game-winning goal in overtime as Towson men’s lacrosse (5-5, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)) defeated Delaware (2-7, 0-2 CAA), 7-6, Friday evening at Delaware Stadium.

For just the second time all season, Towson scored first and took a 2-1 lead into the second quarter. However Delaware scored five straight goals to take a 6-3 lead midway through the third quarter. The Tigers scored back-to-back goals in the fourth to trim the Hens’ lead to 6-5 with 8:09 remaining in the game and got last-minute heroics from sophomore Greg Cuccinello, who scored with 2.6 seconds left in regulation on a dribbler to send the game into overtime. Hodgson buried a high-low shot past the Delaware keeper from 13 yards out for the game winner with 1:45 showing on the clock in overtime.

Towson is now 4-2 in CAA season openers against the Blue Hens.

“Our team played tough all night but missed some good opportunities in the first half,” said head coach Shawn Nadelen. “I was proud of the way we dug in during the fourth quarter and overtime to earn the win against a strong Delaware team.”

Sophomore Cory Dobyns and Hodgson led the Tigers with two goals. Sophomores Justin Mabus and Cuccinello and junior Thomas DeNapoli each scored a goal for Towson. Redshirt sophomore Rob Zoppo, Hodgson, DeNapoli and McCarty each added an assist. Senior Andrew Wascavage made 13 saves in net for TU. Ian Robertson and Nick Diachenko each posted two goals for Delaware. Connor Peaks made 11 saves for UD.

Towson and Delaware split the face-offs eight apiece, and the Tigers outshot the Blue Hens 42-27 and picked up 29 ground balls to UD’s 27.

Dobyns scored his 16th of the year just outside the crease off a feed from Zoppo at 8:40 in the first. Mabus notched his second goal in two games when he scored unassisted just over two minutes later. Diachenko followed with the Blue Hens’ first of the game at 4:14. DeNapoli extended his points streak to 11 games when he notched the Tigers’ third goal of the half at 12:31 in the second for a 3-1 Towson lead.

But Delaware scored the next three straight goals to lead at the break. The Hens continued to generate offense at the start of the third. Robertson scored his second of the game after a failed Towson clear to give UD a 5-3 lead at 10:38 then assisted on Beau M. Jones’ goal at 6:05.

The Blue Hens extended their lead to three goals when Jones and Robertson teamed up to beat Wascavage high left. Dobyns ended a 29:54 scoring drought for the Tigers with an EMO tally at 12:37 in the fourth. Hodgson’s unassisted goal with 8:09 to go in the game inched Towson within one, 6-5.

Cuccinello’s ninth goal of the year forced overtime, and the Tigers won the opening face-off in the extra period. McCarty rifled a pass to Hodgson who was waiting 13 yards out and ripped his shot past Peaks for the winner.

Towson returns home to Johnny Unitas® Stadium to host CAA foe No. 10 Hofstra on Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.

NOTESTowson and Delaware met in the Tigers’ CAA opener for the sixth time and fourth straight … Towson is 4-2 in those games … Thomas DeNapoli extended his points streak to 11 games with his goal in the first quarter … After not scoring in the first eight games, Justin Mabus has now posted a goal in back-to-back games … Towson scored first for just the second time in 2013 … The Tigers suffered through a 29:54 scoring drought in the middle of the game … Cory Dobyns scored his team-leading seventh EMO goal … He came into the week ranked tied for second in the nation in EMO goals … This was the third time this season Towson required overtime … The Tigers are now 2-1 in overtime this season.

College Men’s Lacrosse: Towson 7, Delaware 6

Towson (5-5, 1-0)     2-1-0-3-1/7

Delaware (2-7, 0-2)       1-3-2-0-0/6

GOALS: TOW – Dobyns 2, Hodgson 2, DeNapoli, Mabus, Cuccinello; UD – Diachenko 2, Robertson 2, Fitzgerald, Jones. ASSISTS: TOW – Zoppo, DeNapoli, Hodgson, McCarty; UD – Jones, Robertson. SAVES: TOW – Wascavage (13, 62:15, 6 goals allowed); UD – Peaks (11, 62:15, 7 goals allowed). SHOTS: TOW – 42; UD – 27.GROUND BALLS: TOW – 29; UD – 27. FACE-OFFS: TOW – 8-16; UD – 8-16. CLEARS: TOW – 13-16; UD – 12-15.EMO: TOW – 1-4; UD – 0-4. ATT: 325

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Towson opens CAA play Friday at Delaware

Posted on 21 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Opening Face-Off
The Tigers are trying to win back-to-back games for the second time this season after a 12-9 win over UMBC powered by Thomas DeNapoli’s seven goals and 10 points. Delaware comes into Friday night’s game off a 10-5 CAA loss to No. 10 Hofstra this past Saturday. Friday night’
s game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and can be heard live on the Towson Sports Network on www.towsontigers.com with Spiro Morekas and former Tiger midfielder Hunter Lochte calling the action.

Updating the Tigers
Junior Thomas DeNapoli scored a career-best seven goals and 10 points to lead Towson past UMBC this past Tuesday. The Tigers struggled defensively in the first half before locking down on “D” in the second. Senior goalie Andrew Wascavage made a season-high-tying 15 saves in the win. Sophomore Cory Dobynsadded two goals.

Scouting the Blue Hens
Delaware has had a rough year so far, going 2-5 in the non-conference slate and opening CAA play with a 10-5 loss to Hofstra. The Hens are 0-4 at home and are being outscored by an average of 1.5 goals per game (85-73). Eric Smith leads UD with 20 points on the year, while Nick Diachenko is the Blue Hens’ leading goal-scorer with 16. Tyler Barbarich is finding success at the face-off X, winning 96-of-168 attempts (.571).Chris Herbert minds the net for Delaware and has a 10.49 goals-against-average and a save percentage of .541.

Towson-Delaware Series History
This is one of Towson’s oldest series. Starting in just the third season the Tigers had a program, the teams have met 53 times in the last 51 years. Towson has won five of the last eight meetings. Thirty have been decided by three goals or less; the Tigers are 18-12 in those games. Of the 30 matchups decided by three goals or fewer, 12 have been one-goal margins of defeat. Delaware holds the edge in those games, 7-5.

Towson-Delaware By the Numbers

All-Time Series Record Towson leads, 36-17
at Towson Towson leads, 17-5
at Delaware Towson leads, 12-7
at Neutral Sites N/A
at Unknown Sites Towson leads, 7-5
First Meeting 1961 – Towson 3, Delaware 6
Last Meeting 2012 – Towson 13, Delaware 8
Streak Towson +1

 

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Layne’s late winner lifts Loyola past Delaware

Posted on 16 February 2013 by WNST Staff

Layne’s Game-Winner Lifts No. 1 Men’s Lacrosse Over Delaware

 

NEWARK, Del. - Chris Layne took the ball after a Loyola University Maryland timeout, went to midfield and dodged down the middle of the field, beating his defender. He sent a high-to-low shot into the right side of the goal with 4.4 seconds left to provide the game-winner for the top-ranked Greyhounds in a 9-8 victory over host University of Delaware.

 

Delaware (1-2 overall) rallied from a 7-4 deficit at the end of the third quarter to tied the score at 7-7 with three goals in the first five minutes of the final stanza on a snowy Saturday afternoon.

Eric Smith scored on an extra-man possession with 10:28 remaining to knot the score at 7-7.

 

The Greyhounds (1-0) took an 8-7 advantage with 8:20 on the clock as Mike Sawyer dodged to the and was doubled. He flipped a behind-the-head pass to Sean O’Sullivan on the left side, and O’Sullivan ripped a six-yard shot to put Loyola up one.

 

Loyola’s advantage nearly held as the Greyhounds fended off several Blue Hens challenges through the final eight minutes.

 

Delaware, however, took possession after a Loyola turnover with just over a minute to play, and the Blue Hens drew a flag on Loyola to go man-up.

 

Smith was again involved for Delaware, feeding a pass form goal-line extended on the left side to Dan Keane on the doorstep of the crease. Keane one-timed a shot, redirecting Smith’s pass from right to left and inside the far post with 26.0 seconds left.

 

Delaware won the ensuing faceoff, but Brendan Donovan caused a turnover, and the Greyhounds picked up possession. Sawyer stepped into the box, and Head Coach Charley Toomey called timeout with 15.4 seconds left to set up Layne’s winner.

 

The Blue Hens opened up a 2-1 lead with a pair of goals around Layne’s first of the day, but Justin Ward scored the first of his three to tie the game at 2-2. Davis Butts picked up the ground ball on the faceoff, ran to the crease and dumped a pass to Ward on the right side.

 

The pair connected again a few minutes later to give the Greyhounds their first lead of the game. This time it was Butts picking up a ground ball off a failed Blue Hens clear, and he sent it to Ward who ran it down the right side of the box. Ward fed it back to Butts who scored from five yards out to make it 3-2 Greyhounds.

 

Ward scored his third point in as may Loyola goals with 2:38 left in the first quarter, rolling from X around the right side of the crease. He felt his defender on his back, spun free toward the goal and beat Delaware goalkeeper Chris Herbert high-to-high.

 

Loyola carried that lead into the second quarter, but Delaware cut it to a goal when Alex Diachenko slipped a shot inside the far post from the right side with 8:13 remaining before the half, and the teams went to the locker room with the Greyhounds holding a 4-3 advantage.

 

The Greyhounds withstood a flurry of Delaware shots to open the second half, and off a clear, Layne fed Scott Ratliff who was crashing to the crease. Ratliff dumped a shot over Herbert’s shoulder.

 

Less than a minute later, Loyola had possession when a flag went down against Delaware. Before the penalty could be whistled, Nikko Pontrello dodged free and got the ball to Ward who went around the crease to score his game-high third.

 

Delaware got one back to make the Loyola lead 6-4 on a Diachenko shot from the hip with 6:13 on the clock.

 

The Greyhounds pushed their lead back to three, however, with 1:18 remaining in the quarter when Phil Dobson picked up a ground ball and caused an unsettled situation behind the cage. He worked the ball to Ward on goal-line extended left, and Ward sent a pass to Sawyer on the high left side. Sawyer buried the shot from eight yards out to make it 7-4.

 

Delaware, however, scored three in a row to start the fourth quarter, sending the game into a final frenzy.

 

Ward finished as the game’s high scorer with three goals and two assists, while Layne had a three-point day (two goals and an assist). Sawyer and Butts each had a goal and an assist.
Reid Acton a game-high five caused turnovers, while Ratliff led the Greyhounds with six ground balls. Acton had five off the ground.

 

Jack Runkel made 11 saves in goal for the Greyhounds.

 

Loyola takes a brief rest before it next game, traveling up York Road to face Towson University at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20.

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