Tag Archive | "Peter Athens"

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Towson looks for first ever FCS championship Saturday in Frisco

Posted on 03 January 2014 by WNST Staff

TIGERS TO FACE No. 1 NORTH DAKOTA STATE FOR NATIONAL TITLE

Tigers Seek To End Bison’s 23-Game Winning Streak

FRISCO, Tex. – Seeking their first national championship, Coach Rob Ambrose and the No. 5 Towson University football team will try to complete their magical playoff run when the Tigers face two-time defending national champion North Dakota State in the NCAA FCS championship game at Toyota Field on Saturday, January 4 at 2:00 p.m. (EST).

The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Anish Shroff and Kelly Stouffer calling the action.

The Tigers, who are 13-2 on the season, will be trying to end the Bison’s 23-game winning streak. The Tigers, who have won 16 of their last 18 games, earned a berth in the championship game with NCAA FCS playoff wins over No. 9 Fordham, No. 2 Eastern Illinois and No. 3 Eastern Washington.

Although this is not technically a road game, the Tigers have been an outstanding road team. Towson has a 9-0 record on the road this season, the best mark in college football. Northern Illinois has the second-best record with a 7-0 road mark.

In fact, Towson has won 12 consecutive road games dating back to last season.

The Tigers’ road to the NCAA FCS championship game has included victories at Eastern Illinois and Eastern Washington, two of the top three teams in the nation. The Tigers have won their last five games in a row. Dating back to last season, the Tigers have won 16 of 18 games.

North Dakota State, now 14-0 on the year, has the top defense in FCS football and presents the toughest opponent that Towson has played since the Tigers visited Louisiana State in September, 2012.

“North Dakota State is perfect,” says Coach Ambrose. “It’s not just their record. Their program is perfect. Looking for holes on their offense or defense or special teams, they don’t have them. The 11 players they put on the field are as good, if not better at their positions, than anybody else in the country.

“There’s a reason that they’re undefeated and have not lost a game in no-one-knows-how-long. They have resources, they have a following, and they are consistent. They are the Ivan Drago of I-AA football. They are perfect.”

Ambrose’s reference to Ivan Drago refers to a boxer in the movie “Rocky IV.” Played by actor Dolph Lundgren,“Drago” was the behemoth from the Soviet Union who compiled a 100-1-0 record as an amateur, boasted a punching power that was three times as devastating as the average boxer’s, and was trained as the top physical specimen in his sport.

The Tigers are led by All-American running back Terrance West (Northeast H.S./Baltimore, Md.), who has set NCAA FCS single season records with 2,410 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns. In the Tigers’ 49-39 quarter-final win over Eastern Illinois, West scored five touchdowns and ran for an NCAA FCS playoff record with 354 rushing yards.

West runs behind an impressive offensive line that is led by senior tackle Eric Pike (DuVal H.S./Lanham, Md.). A four-year starter at left tackle, the 6-5, 298-pound Pike will be starting his 50th career game when the Tigers face North Dakota State. Senior tackle Randall Harris (DuVal H.S./Landover, Md.), senior guard Anthony Davis(Clover Hill H.S./Richmond, Va.) and senior center Doug Shaw (Loyola Blakefield H.S./Woodbine, Md.) lead a rushing offense that averages just under 250 yards per game and has scored 54 rushing touchdowns.

The Tigers’ running game will be tested by a North Dakota State defense that leads the nation by allowing only 11.6 points per game and 90.2 rushing yards per contest. The Bison are ranked second in NCAA FCS, allowing 247.5 yards of total offense per game.

Senior quarterback Peter Athens (Huntingtown H.S./Huntingtown, Md.) has played very well in the post-season. In three NCAA FCS playoff games, he has completed 29 of 37 passes for 560 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. He has an amazing passer rating of 250.11 in the post-season. Athens, who left the Eastern Washington game with an injury, has completed 228 of 353 passes for 3,198 yards and 19 touchdowns this season.

Senior linebacker Telvion Clark (Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.) leads the Tigers with 139 tackles, a mark that places him fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association. Clark has forced five fumbles and has three fumble recoveries.

During their post-season run, the Tigers have outscored their opponents by a 132-98 margin while North Dakota State has a 138-35 advantage in its three playoff games.

TIGER TALES:  This is the second time that Towson and North Dakota State have met in an NCAA post-season game … In 1983, the Tigers dropped a 24-17 decision to the Bison in the quarter-finals of the NCAA Division II playoffs … The Bison went on to win the national championship.

Towson is the sixth different CAA team to reach the NCAA FCS championship game … Delaware has reached the finals four times and has a 1-3 record … Former CAA member Massachusetts reached the championship game three times and won the 1998 title … James Madison (2004), Richmond (2008) and Villanova (2009) won the national championship in their only appearance in the finals.

Both Towson and NDSU opened their seasons with wins over NCAA FBS teams … The Tigers beat Connecticut while the Bison beat Kansas State.

Towson has already shattered the school record for wins in a single season … Until Towson won 13 games this year, no Towson team had ever won more than 10 games.

In his fifth season as the Tigers’ coach, Ambrose has a winning record as the Towson coach … He enters the NCAA FCS championship game with a 32-28 record as the Tigers’ coach … However, he was 3-19 after two seasons … Over the last three years, he is 29-9.

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Towson visits Eastern Illinois Friday night in FCS quarterfinal

Posted on 12 December 2013 by WNST Staff

No. 5 TIGERS VISIT No. 2 EASTERN ILLINOIS IN FCS QUARTER-FINALS

Tigers, Panthers To Vie For Spot in FCS Semi-Finals

TOWSON, Md. –  Coming off an impressive 48-28 victory over Fordham University in the second round of the NCAA FCS playoffs, Coach Rob Ambrose and the fifth-ranked Towson University football team will travel to No. 2 Eastern Illinois on Friday, Dec. 13 in one of the FCS quarter-final games. Kickoff at O’Brien Field is set for 8:00 p.m. (EST)

The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Anish Shroff and Kelly Stouffer calling the action while Brooke Weisbrod serves as the sideline reporter.

The Tigers, who are 11-2 on the season, will be seeking their 11th consecutive road victory when they visit O’Brien Field. During the 2013 season, Towson had the best road record in NCAA FCS with a 7-0 mark. No. 1 North Dakota State and Harvard were 5-0 on the road.

The NCAA FCS quarter-final game will also be a matchup of two of the three finalists for the Walter Payton Award, junior running back Terrance West (Northeast H.S./Baltimore, Md.) of Towson and senior quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois. West and Garoppolo will be in Philadelphia on Monday evening when the winner of the Walter Payton award is announced.

The Panthers run a fast-paced offense that has compiled some very impressive numbers this season. Garoppolo has thrown 51 touchdown passes and has thrown for 4,729 yards.

Eastern Illinois leads NCAA FCS in scoring, averaging 48.9 points per game. The Panthers have scored at least 34 points in every game this season. Eastern Illinois has topped the 50-point mark seven times in 13 games. Eastern Illinois also leads NCAA FCS in total offense, averaging 595.5 yards per game.

While Eastern Illinois enjoys very quick scoring drives, the Tigers have relied on a solid ground game. Towson is averaging 231.6 rushing yards per game and have scored a school record 44 rushing touchdowns.

West leads the Tiger offense, averaging an FCS-leading 149.3 rushing yards per game. He also leads all of college football with 34 total touchdowns, including 33 rushing TD’s. He is five touchdowns shy of matching the NCAA FCS record for touchdowns scored in a season. Former All-American running back Omar Cuff of Delaware scored 39 touchdowns in 2007.

Last week, freshman Darius Victor (Northwestern H.S./Hyattsville, Md.) turned in a career high performance in the Tigers’ win over Fordham. Victor ran for a career high 105 yards on 12 carries and scored a rushing touchdown. He also scored a 41-yard touchdown on a screen pass to give Towson a 21-7 first half lead.

Senior quarterback Peter Athens (Huntingtown H.S./Huntingtown, Md.) had one of the best games of his college career against Fordham. He completed 13 of 15 passes for 301 yards and a career high three touchdowns. Athens, who has completed 212 of 331 passes for 2,935 yards and 17 touchdowns, ranks third in the Colonial Athletic Association in passing efficiency.

Over the last few weeks, Athens has been working with a new group of receivers since injuries to Spencer Wilkins (Mount Hebron H.S./Ellicott City, Md.) and Leon Kinnard (Loyola Blakefield H.S./Reisterstown, Md.) ended their seasons prematurely. Freshman Andre Dessenberg (Ocean Lakes H.S./Virginia Beach, Va.) responded with a big game against Fordham. He caught three passes for 94 yards and caught a 46-yard touchdown pass on a play where the Fordham defensive back was penalized for pass interference.

In the win over Fordham, Athens completed passes to eight different receivers.

The Tiger defense is facing a tough challenge this week against Eastern Illinois. Both of the Tiger cornerbacks, senior Jordan Love (Deep Run H.S./Washington, D.C.) and junior Tye Smith (Wakefield H.S./Raleigh, N.C.) have played very well this season. Love, who has 51 tackles, has broken up nine passes and earned All-CAA first team honors. A second team All-CAA selection, Smith has made 87 tackles and has broken up 11 passes.

A first team All-CAA selection, sophomore Christian Carpenter (Aberdeen H.S./Aberdeen, Md.) has made 75 tackles in 11 games. He is second on the team with three interceptions and has recovered two fumbles. The Tigers’ other safety, sophomore Donnell Lewis (Woodside H.S./Virginia Beach, Va.), was the CAA Defensive Player of the Week twice this season. He leads the team with four interceptions and has scored two touchdowns on defense. With 75 tackles, Lewis is tied for fourth on the team.

Senior linebackers Telvion Clark (Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.) and Monte Gaddis (Cleveland Central Catholic H.S./Cleveland, Ohio) are the Tigers’ leading tacklers. Clark leads the team with 116 tackles, including 10.5 for lost yardage. A first team All-CAA selection, Clark was the CAA Defensive Player of the Week twice this season. He leads the CAA with five forced fumbles and he is tied for the CAA lead with three fumble recoveries.

Gaddis, a second team All-CAA selection, is second on the team with 96 tackles. He also has two interceptions and recovered a fumble.

Strangely enough, these two programs are complete strangers from each other. Towson has never played Eastern Illinois and the Tigers have never played any team from the Ohio Valley Conference. Likewise, Eastern Illinois has never played any teams from the Colonial Athletic Association.

The winner of the Towson-Eastern Illinois game will face the winner of the game between Eastern Washington and Jacksonville State in the semi-finals.

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Towson wraps regular season Saturday at James Madison

Posted on 22 November 2013 by WNST Staff

No. 7 TIGERS HOST JAMES MADISON IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE

Tigers To Honor 19 Seniors In Pre-Game Ceremonies

TOWSON, Md. –  Closing out the regular season against Colonial Athletic Association rival James Madison University, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Towson University football team will try to improve their resume for the NCAA FCS playoffs when they host the Dukes on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 3:30 p.m.

The Tigers, who are 9-2 overall and 5-2 in the CAA, have been ranked in the NCAA FCS for most of the season. They should be part of the playoff field but a win over James Madison could earn them a top eight seed.

The game will be televised on NBC SportsNet with Todd Harris and Anthony Herron calling the action.

“We don’t talk about the playoffs in the locker room, says Ambrose, who has guided the Tigers to their third consecutive winning season. “That’s a wasted conversation. We just focus on the next play and the next game. If we win, all of those things will take care of themselves.”

The Dukes, who have gone to the NCAA playoffs five times since 2004, bring a 6-5 overall record and a 3-4 CAA mark to Unitas Stadium for the 25th meeting between the schools.

James Madison holds an 18-5-1 series lead over Towson and has won the last eight meetings in a row. However, the last two games have been very close. In 2010, the Dukes escaped Unitas Stadium with a 17-13 victory. Last year, JMU had to come from behind to edge Towson in the final minute, 13-10.

“We see the bigger picture but we have to focus on the things that make us who we are,” adds Ambrose. “We still have a home game against a tough opponent and it is Senior Day for a group of seniors that helped lay the foundation for success long after this season and we need to celebrate them in the right way.”

The Tigers will be honoring a class that went from rags-to-riches over the last four seasons. When the seniors were freshmen in 2010, they had to endure a 1-10 season. However, they have led Towson to a 25-9 record over the last three seasons.

On Saturday, the Tigers will be honoring quarterback Peter Athens (Huntingtown H.S./Huntingtown, Md.), linebacker Telvion Clark (Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.), guard Anthony Davis (Clover Hill H.S./Midlothian, Va.), linebacker Anthony DiSanzo (Don Bosco Prep/Fair Lawn, N.J.), kicker Drew Evangelista (Cedar Grove H.S./Cedar Grove, N.J.), tight end Will Fleming (Archbishop Hoban H.S./Akron, Ohio), defensive tackle Arnold Farmer (Poly H.S./Baltimore, Md.), linebacker Monte Gaddis (Central Catholic H.S./Cleveland, Ohio),  tackleRandall Harris (DuVal H.S./Lanham, Md.), guard Charles Johnson (Poly H.S./Baltimore, Md.), wide receiverLeon Kinnard (Loyola H.S./Reisterstown, Md.), cornerback Jordan Love (Deep Run H.S./Washington, D.C.), cornerback Ryan Mays (Franklin H.S./Reisterstown, Md.), tight end James Oboh (Sherwood H.S./Olney, Md.), running back Sterlin Phifer (Landstown H.S./Virginia Beach, Va.), tackle Eric Pike (DuVal H.S./Landover, Md.), linebacker Eric Schuster (Reservoir H.S./Laurel, Md.), center Doug Shaw (Loyola H.S./Woodbine, Md.) and kicker D.J. Soven (Cypress Bay H.S./Weston, Fla.).

In that group of 19 seniors, 10 of them are Maryland natives.

In addition, the senior class includes two All-Americans (Pike and Love) and five players who have earned All-Colonial Athletic Association honors.

Saturday’s game will be an important one for Pike, the Tigers’ 6-5, 298-pound tackle. On the Tigers’ first offensive play, he will set a school record by playing in the 46th game of his college career. Not only has he played in 46 games, he has also started every one of them.

The Tigers are coming off an impressive 15-9 victory at No. 16 William & Mary last week. Despite being held to their lowest offensive totals in 18 games, the Tigers pulled out the win by shutting out the Tribe in the second half.

In Saturday’s game, junior Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.) will lead the Tiger ground game against the top run defense in the CAA. James Madison is allowing only 97.5 rushing yards per game and has given up only eight rushing touchdowns.

West leads NCAA FCS with 1,765 rushing yards on 279 carries, an average of 160.5 rushing yards per game. He also leads the nation with 28 touchdowns on the season.

Freshman Darius Victor (Northwestern H.S./Hyattsville, Md.) has also been a major part of the Tigers’ success on the ground. He has rushed for 411 yards on 64 carries with five touchdowns. He is averaging 6.4 yards per carry.

The Tigers, who top the CAA in scoring with a school record 418 points, also lead the CAA with 2,711 rushing yards and 5,237 yards of total offense. They have scored 57 touchdowns this season, matching the school record set in 2011.

Clark leads the Tiger defense with 99 tackles in 11 games. He has 4.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for lost yardage. Clark has forced four fumbles and recovered three fumbles. A two-time selection as the CAA Defensive Player of the Week, he was the National Defensive Player of the Week after the Tigers’ win at Richmond.

Gaddis is tied for second on the team with 77 tackles in 11 games. He has two interceptions and one recovered fumble.

The Tigers, who have won 13 of their last 15 games dating back to last season, will learn their NCAA FCS post-season fate on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 11:30 a.m. The team will gather at PAWS in the University Union to watch the selection show. Towson football fans are invited to join the team at PAWS.

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Towson pays visit to CAA foe William & Mary Saturday

Posted on 15 November 2013 by WNST Staff

No. 10 TIGERS VISIT NO. 16 WILLIAM & MARY THIS WEEK

Tigers Seeking To Bounce Back After Bye Week

TOWSON, Md. –  Ranked 10th in NCAA FCS this week, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Towson University football team will go back on the road to face another nationally-ranked Colonial Athletic Association opponent. The Tigers visit William & Mary, the 16th-ranked team in the nation, on Saturday, November 16 at Zable Stadium at 1:30 p.m.

The Tigers and the Tribe are two of four teams tied for second in the CAA this week. Towson (8-2, 4-2) and William & Mary (7-3, 4-2) are tied with Delaware (7-3, 4-2) and New Hampshire (5-4, 4-2) for second in the CAA. No. 6 Maine (9-1, 6-0) leads the CAA and needs one more win to clinch the CAA championship.

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 14 games, will be seeking their 10th consecutive road victory on Saturday. The Tigers, who are 6-0 on the road this season, haven’t lost a road game since a 13-10 loss at James Madison on Oct. 6, 2012.

Towson is coming off a much-needed bye week. Coach Ambrose says, “We really needed it badly. We focused on resting and getting healthy. The guys that needed to rest got their rest. We also worked with the guys who needed it. I feel we optimized our time efficiently.”

This week’s matchup will feature the top offense in the CAA against the top defense in the CAA. The Tigers average 40.3 points per game, a mark that leads the CAA and ranks 11th in NCAA FCS. The Tigers are also averaging a CAA-best 489.5 total yards per game and a CAA-leading 246.3 rushing yards per contest.

The Tribe leads NCAA FCS in scoring defense, allowing 12.2 points per game. In 10 games, the Tribe has allowed only 14 touchdowns. During its three-game winning streak, the Tribe is outscoring its opponents by a 58-17 margin.

While the Tigers have a nine-game winning streak on the road, they will be facing a William & Mary squad that has won all five home games at Zable Stadium this season.

Ambrose knows the Tigers will be facing a formidable challenge this week. He says, “The more that I watch William & Mary on film, the more impressed I am. Their defense is extremely mature, very talented and quite physical. It is one of the best defenses that I’ve seen since I came into this conference. They are incredibly multiple and they have 11 players performing as one. This will be a large challenge for us.”

A leading candidate for the Walter Payton Award as the top player in FCS football, junior running back Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.) is the NCAA FCS leader in rushing and touchdowns scored. He has run for 1,608 yards on 249 attempts, a 6.5 average. He is averaging 160.8 rushing yards per game and leads the nation with 26 touchdowns.

West has more touchdowns than three teams in the CAA and 22 teams in NCAA FCS.

When the Tigers take the field at William & Mary, West will also be approaching another milestone. After rushing for more than 200 yards in back-to-back games, West now has 3,948 yards in his career and needs only 52 yards to become the first Towson player with 4,000 rushing yards in his career.

West has already scored a CAA record 68 rushing touchdowns in his career. He has a total of 70 touchdowns in his career, 19 touchdowns shy of the NCAA FCS career record set by Brian Westbrook of Villanova.

While West leads the CAA in rushing, freshman Darius Victor (Northwestern H.S./Hyattsville, Md.) has also been impressive. Victor has rushed for 361 yards on 55 carries in eight games. He ran for a career high 78 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown against Delaware.

Senior linebacker Telvion Clark (Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.) leads the Tigers with 93 tackles, a mark that ties him for third in the CAA. Clark also has 8.5 tackles for lost yardage, including 4.5 sacks. He has forced four fumbles and has three fumble recoveries. Named as the CAA Defensive Player of the Week twice this season, he was The Sports Network’s National Defensive Player of the Week after Towson’s win at Richmond three weeks ago.

Junior cornerback Tye Smith (Wakefield H.S./Raleigh, N.C. ) is second on the team with 73 tackles. He has broken up six passes and had his first interception of the season against Delaware.

Towson and William & Mary will be meeting for the 10th time this week. The Tribe owns a 7-2 lead in the series. However, the Tigers have won the last two games. Two years ago, the Tigers handed the Tribe a 38-27 in Williamsburg. Last season, the Tigers edged William & Mary at Unitas Stadium, 20-17.

After facing William & Mary this week, the Tigers will close out the regular season next Saturday afternoon when they host James Madison University at 3:30 p.m.

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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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Towson takes tricky trip to Richmond Saturday

Posted on 25 October 2013 by WNST Staff

RICHMOND, Va. –  For the sixth time in nine games, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Towson University football team will go on the road this week when they visit Colonial Athletic Association rival Richmond on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 12 noon.

The game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet with Brent Harris and Qadry Ismail describing the action.

The Tigers, who are 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the CAA, will be facing a Richmond team that is much better than its record suggests. The Spiders have played in tough luck all season and have a 2-5 record. However, their five losses have come by a total of 20 points. Richmond has dropped three two-point decisions, losing to North Carolina State (23-21), Gardner-Webb (12-10) and Rhode Island (12-10).

“Their record means nothing to me,” says Coach Ambrose. “That is not an accurate reflection of how good they are. They have some great football players and they have some great coaches. You can throw out the records this week. This is another week in the CAA and we are going to have an extreme challenge.”

The Tigers enter the game at Richmond as one of the top teams in NCAA FCS football. Towson has been ranked in the NCAA FCS Top 10 all year long and was ranked third for three consecutive weeks. The Tigers’ 7-1 overall record is their best eight-game record as an NCAA FCS program.

The Tigers have been remarkably successful on the road. Towson has won eight consecutive road games, a streak that started on Oct. 27, 2012 with a 49-35 win at Villanova. The Tigers closed out the 2012 season with wins at Delaware and No. 7 New Hampshire to earn a share of the CAA championship with UNH, Villanova and Richmond.

Towson is 5-0 on the road this season, posting wins at Connecticut (33-18), Holy Cross (49-7), North Carolina Central (35-17), Stony Brook (35-21) and Albany (44-17).

The Tigers’ current eight-game road winning streak is the longest in program history.

“This team has a general mentality to focus and ignore the noise,” says Ambrose as he tries to explain the Tigers’ success on the road. “These guys are singularly-minded and they don’t pay attention to a lot of the other stuff that doesn’t matter. This team stays true to one another and does a good job maintaining its focus.”

Averaging 40.5 points per game, the Tigers are ranked eighth in the nation in scoring offense and they have been remarkably consistent. In their eight games, the Tigers have scored between 33 and 49 points every week.

Led by senior quarterback Peter Athens (Huntingtown H.S./Huntingtown, Md.), the Tigers are averaging 479.2 total yards per game. Athens has completed 144 of 289 passes for 1,981 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is ranked second in the CAA in passing yardage.

Junior Spencer Wilkins (Mount Hebron H.S./Ellicott City, Md.) has emerged as a dangerous wide receiver. In the last three games, he has caught 18 passes for 407 yards and three touchdowns. He has topped the 100-yard mark in three straight games, only the third Towson player to accomplish the feat. If he reaches 100 yards against the Spiders, he will be the first Tiger to reach that mark in four straight games.

Junior Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.) enters the Richmond game as the leading rusher in the CAA. He has run for 1,130 yards on 191 carries and has scored 19 touchdowns. He enters the Richmond game as the second-leading rusher in school history with 3,470 yards and needs only 132 yards to pass Jason Corle, ’00 and become Towson’s all-time leader.

One of the leading candidates for the Walter Payton Award, West has rushed for more than 100 yards in six of Towson’s eight games this season. A three-time selection as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week, he has scored at least one touchdown in all eight games. In his career, West has scored 63 touchdowns in only 29 games.

Senior linebacker Telvion Clark (Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.) leads the Tiger defense with 72 tackles in eight games. Clark ranks sixth in the CAA in tackles.

When the Tigers visit Richmond, they will be facing the Spiders for the ninth time. Richmond holds a 5-3 lead in the series and has won three of the last four contests.

The Tigers will be trying to reverse a disturbing trend when they visit Richmond. In the last four games, the Tigers have gotten off to very slow starts. In fact, the Tigers have been outscored by a 62-12 margin. Fortunately, the Tigers have bounced back to win three of those games.

At Stony Brook, the Tigers trailed by 14-0 before rallying for a 35-21 victory. In a 44-28 victory over New Hampshire, the Tigers had to overcome a 20-3 deficit. However, Villanova grabbed a 21-6 first quarter lead before holding on for a 45-35 win. Last week, the Tigers rallied from a 7-3 first quarter deficit and beat Albany, 44-17.

The Tigers have been a second half team all season. In the second half of games, the Tigers have outscored their opponents by a 159-49 margin. In the third quarter, Towson owns a 94-14 advantage.

After their trip to Richmond, the Tigers return to Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 2when they host Delaware at 7:00 p.m.

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Towson tries to bounce back with visit to Albany Saturday

Posted on 18 October 2013 by WNST Staff

No. 7 TIGERS VISIT ALBANY IN CAA CONTEST

Tigers Seeking To Bounce Back From First Loss Of Season

TOWSON, Md. –  Coming off their first loss of the season, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Towson University football team will be trying to pull out a victory when the seventh-ranked Tigers (6-1, 2-1) travel to Albany (1-6, 0-3) to face the Great Danes in a Colonial Athletic Association contest on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 3:30 p.m.

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 had their 10-game winning streak snapped by Villanova last week, will be trying to avoid the slow starts that have plagued them in their last three games. Last week, the Tigers spotted Villanova a 21-0 lead before falling, 45-35. Two weeks ago, New Hampshire grabbed a 20-3 lead in the first quarter before the Tigers rallied for a 44-38 win. In late September, the Tigers had to rally from a 14-0 first quarter deficit to beat Stony Brook, 35-21.

“Everything is a learning experience and I think we learned a lot from the loss to Villanova,” says Coach Ambrose. “I have never seen a first half like the one we played against Villanova. We ran only 11 plays and trailed by 38-14 at halftime. I give our players a lot of credit for the way they battled back to make a game out of it.”

Although the Tigers saw their 10-game winning streak ended by Villanova, they have won seven consecutive road games. In fact, Towson has won eight of its last nine CAA road games dating back to the 2011 season.

Towson started its school-record road winning streak on Oct. 27, 2012 with a 49-35 win at Villanova. Since then, the Tigers have picked up wins at Delaware, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Holy Cross, North Carolina Central and Stony Brook.

The Tiger offense, which is ranked 10th in NCAA FCS, enters the Albany game averaging 40.8 points per game. The Tigers are also second in the CAA in total offense, averaging 465.9 yards per game. The Tiger offensive line has done a terrific job protecting senior quarterback Peter Athens (Huntingtown H.S./Huntingtown, Md.). Athens has only been sacked three times in seven games.

Athens, who ranks fifth in the CAA in passing efficiency, has completed 122 of 195 passes for 1,687 yards and 10 touchdowns. Junior Spencer Wilkins (Mount Hebron H.S./Ellicott City, Md.) and senior Leon Kinnard (Loyola H.S./Reisterstown, Md.) are tied for the team receiving lead. Wilkins has caught 31 passes for 533 yards and three touchdowns while Kinnard has 31 receptions for 442 yards and one touchdown.

The Tiger offense is led by junior Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.). The leading rusher in the CAA, West has rushed for 947 yards in seven games, a 135.3 average. He has topped the 100-yard rushing mark in five games and has been named as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week three times.

With 17 touchdowns in seven games, he leads NCAA FCS.

West is the second-leading rusher in Towson history. In 28 games, he has rushed for 3,287 yards on 558 carries. In his career, he has scored 60 rushing touchdowns and has a total of 61 touchdowns.

The winner of the Jerry Rice Award as a freshman, he is one of the leading candidates for the Walter PaytonAward.

Senior linebacker Telvion Clark (Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.) leads the Tigers with 64 tackles. He ranks fifth in the CAA.

Towson will be facing Albany for the fifth time ever. However, this is the first time that the teams have met as conference rivals. The Great Danes are first-year members of the CAA.

Towson and Albany have split their four-game series. The home team has won each game. The Tigers won the most recent meeting, a 35-16 victory in 2004.

After playing at Albany this week, the Tigers return to action on Saturday, Oct. 26 when they visit Richmond for a 12 noon game.

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Towson aims to stay perfect Saturday against Villanova

Posted on 11 October 2013 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – Seeking their 11th consecutive victory, Coach Rob Ambrose and the undefeated Towson University football team (6-0, 2-0) will face one of its toughest challenges of the season when the Tigers host No. 15 Villanova University (3-2, 2-0) in an important Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) game at Johnny Unitas® Stadium on Saturday, October 12 at 7:00 p.m.

Ranked third in NCAA FCS this week, the Tigers will be celebrating Homecoming when they host the Wildcats.

The pre-season favorite to win the CAA championship, Villanova brings a three-game winning streak into Saturday’s night game. Last season, Towson and Villanova shared the CAA championship with New Hampshire and Richmond.

Saturday night’s game will be nationally-televised on the NBC Sports Network with Mike Corey and Anthony Herron calling the action.

The Towson-Villanova game will also feature the only two players ever to win the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in NCAA FCS football, junior Terrance West of Towson and sophomore quarterback John Robertson of Villanova. West was the inaugural Jerry Rice Award winner in 2011 while Robertson earned the award last season.

The Tigers come into Saturday night’s game with one of the top offensive teams and one of the top defensive squads in NCAA FCS. Averaging 40.8 points per game, the Tigers are ranked eighth in NCAA FCS. At the same time, Towson is allowing 16.8 points per contest, sixth in the nation.

Coach Ambrose knows that the Tigers will have their will be facing a serious challenge on Saturday night.

He says, “Villanova is an incredibly talented team and is extremely well-coached. Villanova isn’t just a great team. Villanova is a great program. Their quarterback is one of the best players in the league if not the country. Villanova has the ability to withstand injuries without missing a beat because they have such tremendous depth.”

The Tiger offense is coming off a school-record performance against New Hampshire. In the win over UNH, Towson set a school record with 731 yards of total offense.

Senior quarterback Peter Athens enjoyed the best game of his career in the win over UNH. He completed 22 of 33 passes for 343 yards and two touchdowns. In six games this season, Athens has completed 98 of 154 passes for 1,332 yards and eight touchdowns. He has only thrown four interceptions and he has only been sacked three times.

The second-leading rusher in Towson history, West is enjoying the best season of his career. In six games, he has rushed for 886 yards on 154 carries, an average of 5.8 yards per attempt. He ranks fourth in NCAA FCS in rushing yards and leads the nation with 15 touchdowns. The leading-rusher in the CAA, he has run for more than 100 yards in five of six games and he has been honored as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week three times.

Named as the FCS National Co-Player of the Week by The Sports Network after his 238-yard game against New Hampshire, West is a leading candidate for the Walter Payton Award. He has been earned 10 weekly awards from the CAA in his career, a league record.

The Tiger defense, which is ranked 12th in the nation while allowing 301.8 total yards per game, has been led by senior linebacker Telvion Clark. Named as the CAA Defensive Player of the Week after the win over New Hampshire, Clark leads the Tigers with 55 tackles. He also ranks sixth in the CAA in tackles.

When the Tigers host Villanova, they will be trying to avoid the slow starts that have hurt them in the last two games. In their 35-21 win over Stony Brook, the Tigers rallied from a 14-0 first quarter deficit. They also trailed by 21-10 at the half. In their 44-28 win over New Hampshire, the Tigers spotted UNH a 20-3 first quarter lead before scoring 41 consecutive points.

Not surprisingly, the Tigers have been a second-half team all season. Towson has outscored its opponents by a 118-30 margin in the second half. In the third quarter, the Tigers own a 72-7 advantage. The only third-quarter touchdown that the Tigers have allowed came against Delaware State when Towson already had a 49-0 lead.

If the Tigers beat Villanova, they will tie the school record for consecutive wins, a mark set by the 1974 and 1975 Tigers.

After hosting Villanova on Saturday night, the Tigers will be back on the road next week when they travel to Albany.

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Towson visits Stony Brook Saturday for CAA opener

Posted on 27 September 2013 by WNST Staff

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Seeking their ninth consecutive victory, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Tiger football team will open its Colonial Athletic Association schedule on Saturday night at Stony Brook at 6:00 p.m.

Stony Brook is a first-year member of CAA football. Last season, the Seawolves posted a 10-3 record and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA FCS playoffs. Stony Brook, which was a Top 25 team until losing at Villanova last week, has a 1-2 record this season, including a 1-1 CAA mark.

The Towson-Stony Brook game will be broadcast back to the Baltimore area on www.TowsonTigers.com. Spiro Morekas, Ron Meehan, Zach Maskavich and Damon Lewis will call the action.

With a 4-0 record, the Tigers have the second-longest winning streak in FCS football. They are playing their fourth road game this season. Towson has played only one home game.

The Tigers’ current eight-game winning streak is remarkable because six of those victories came on the road. Towson ended the 2012 season with road victories at No. 22 Villanova, No. 23 Delaware and No. 7 New Hampshire. To date, the Tigers have posted victories at Connecticut, Holy Cross and North Carolina Central.

The Tigers come into the Stony Brook game with one of the top defenses in FCS football. The Tigers are ranked fourth in the nation, allowing only 12.3 points per game. The Tigers have been very tough against the run, allowing only 53.0 yards per game. That mark places the Tigers third in the nation. Towson has not allowed a rushing touchdown this season.

With 17 sacks in four games, Towson is fourth nationally. Junior Ryan Delaire leads the Tigers with 3.5 sacks while freshman Max Tejada has two sacks.

Coach Ambrose says, “The sacks are a total team effort. Sometimes they are caused by pass coverage. Our defensive line has played extremely well and those guys keep shuttling in and out. We don’t have a superstar which is good. If you are counting on one guy to get all of your sacks, he will get double-teamed.”

Senior linebacker Telvion Clark leads the Tigers with 30 tackles in four games. Monte Gaddis is second on the team with 19 tackles.

Senior quarterback Peter Athens continues to lead the Tiger offense. He has completed 66 of 100 passes in four games. He has thrown for 885 yards and five touchdowns with only two interceptions. He is rated 20th in the nation in pass efficiency.

The Tigers, who have won or shared the last two CAA championships, will also be counting on junior Terrance West. West is averaging 124.5 yards per game and leads NCAA FCS with 11 touchdowns. He has scored 55 touchdowns in 25 career games.

For the fifth year in a row, Coach Ambrose and his coaching staff will join their coaching colleagues across the nation by participating in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) “Coach to Cure MD” event when Towson plays at Stony Brook.

As part of the program, Tiger coaches wear shoulder patches on the sidelines to help raise awareness for the “Coach to Cure MD.”

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood and primarily affects boys across all races and cultures. Boys and young men with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy develop progressive muscle weakness that eventually causes loss of mobility, wheelchair dependency and a decline in respiratory and cardiac function. Currently, there is no cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and limited therapeutic options exist.

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Towson looks for 4-0 start Saturday at NC Central

Posted on 20 September 2013 by WNST Staff

DURHAM, N.C. – After posting a 49-7 victory over Delaware State University in their home opener on Saturday evening, Coach Rob Ambrose and the fourth-ranked Towson University football team will try to keep their perfect record intact when the Tigers face North Carolina Central in Durham, N.C. on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 2 p.m.

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

Ranked fourth in the nation for the second week in a row, the undefeated Tigers bring a 3-0 record to North Carolina Central. After opening the season with a 33-18 victory over Connecticut, Towson posted back-to-back victories by the identical 49-7 margin. After beating Holy Cross by 49-7 on Sept. 7, the Tigers handed Delaware State a 49-7 loss last Saturday night.

The Tigers, who have won seven games in a row, have the second-longest winning streak in NCAA FCS football, a mark that is topped by defending national champion North Dakota State. The Bison own an 11-game winning streak.

For the third time in four games, the Tigers will be on the road again this week. Ironically, five of the Tigers’ seven consecutive victories have come on the road. Last year, Towson posted wins at No. 22 Villanova, No. 23 Delaware and No. 7 New Hampshire to close out the season.

Thanks to a very impressive defense, the Tigers have been dominant the last two weeks, outscoring their opponents by a 98-14 margin.

The Tigers, who have allowed only four touchdowns in their first three games, are ranked third in NCAA FCS in scoring defense, allowing 10.7 points per game. Towson also leads NCAA FCS in Red Zone defense with a .333 mark. The Tigers have been very stingy against the run, allowing 71.0 rushing yards per game, a mark that ranks fifth in the nation. Towson has yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season.

Towson is also sixth in total defense, allowing 267.3 yards per game. With 11 sacks in three games, the Tigers are tied for eighth in the nation. Towson is also ranked among the national leaders in turnover margin with a plus-six ratio. The Tigers have forced eight turnovers while only turning the ball over twice.

Coach Ambrose has been very pleased with the way the Tigers are playing defense. He says, “The defensive staff has done a great job putting together schemes. We have the talent to make those schemes work and it’s not just 11 guys. We have a lot of guys who also contribute and they’ve been pretty darn good.”

Senior linebackers Telvion Clark and Monte Gaddis have been the Tigers’ top defensive performers this season. Clark leads the Tigers with 25 tackles while Gaddis has made 13 tackles. Led by Gaddis, the Tigers have intercepted five passes this season. Gaddis has two of them.

Senior quarterback Peter Athens has done an outstanding job running the Tiger offense. The Tigers are averaging 43.7 points per game this season while Athens has completed 46 of 67 passes for 633 yards and four touchdowns. He has only thrown one interception and has not been sacked.

The Tigers have also been led by junior running back Terrance West. The third-leading rusher in the Colonial Athletic Association, West has rushed for 359 yards on 69 carries, an average of 119.7 yards per game. After tying the school record with five rushing touchdowns in the win over Delaware State, West has nine touchdowns in three games this season. He is tied for the national lead.

West has scored 53 touchdowns in his career, a school record.

Towson will be playing North Carolina Central for the first time. The Eagles are members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and are off to a 2-1 start.

After their trip to North Carolina Central, the Tigers will open CAA action next weekend when they visit Stony Brook on Sept. 28 for a 6:00 p.m. contest.

TIGER TALES: West was named as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season after scoring five touchdowns against Delaware State … It was the fifth time in his career that he earned the honor … West has now received nine CAA weekly awards during his career, tying the record he shares with Andrew Pierce of Delaware.

Towson’s seven-game winning streak is the Tigers’ longest winning streak since 1984 when they opened the season with seven consecutive victories … The Tigers are 8-for-10 on fourth down this season and they have scored touchdowns on five of their fourth down plays.

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