TOWSON, Md. – Sophomore running back Terrance West ran for three scores to set a new Towson touchdown rushing record as the 13th-ranked Tigers handled St. Francis, 46-17, Saturday night in front of a homecoming crowd of 9,828 fans at Johnny Unitas® Stadium.
West, who rushed for 62 yards on just eight carries, now owns the school touchdown rushing record with 34 scores in just 14 career games.
West wasn’t the only star of the game though as senior quarterback Grant Enders completed 14-of-18 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Derrick Joseph piled up 148 yards on a pair of kickoff returns, including a 99-yard touchdown return in the first quarter. It marked the second longest kickoff return in Towson history, just one yard behind David Meggett’s 100-yard touchdown return in 1988.
Towson (2-1) fell behind early as St. Francis (2-2) took advantage of an Enders interception which gave the Red Flash the ball in Tiger territory. Senior running back Keion Wade capped off the short St. Francis drive with a two-yard touchdown scamper to give the Red Flash a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
The Tigers would respond though with 29 consecutive points, sparked by the Joseph return that tied the game. West scored his first touchdown of the game on a two-yard run at the 8:11 mark of the first quarter and he then broke free on a 25-yard scoring run to put the Tigers up 21-7 with 2:15 remaining in the opening period.
The first West score was set up by a St. Francis fumble which was caused by junior Arnold Farmer and recovered by sophomore Tye Smith. The fumble recovery was the first turnover forced by the Towson defense this season.
Towson capped off its impressive scoring run on a Tom Ryan eight-yard touchdown reception from Enders. The Tigers pulled off a trick play after the Ryan score as junior kicker D.J. Soven took the direct snap on the point-after try and ran it in for a two-point conversion that put the home team up 29-7 at the 8:12 mark of the second quarter.
St. Francis’ Dan Conley scored on a six-yard touchdown run to halt the Towson scoring spurt on the ensuing drive for the Red Flash. However, a 49-yard kickoff return from Joseph set up the record-setting touchdown from West. The sophomore scored his fifth touchdown of the season and 34th of his career on a three-yard dash with 5:47 remaining in the opening half to put the Tigers ahead 36-14.
Towson scored the final touchdown of the half, and game, with just 23 second remaining in the second quarter as Enders found senior wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard for a 23-yard strike to send the Tigers into the intermission with a 43-14 lead.
In a low-scoring second half, each team connected on a field goal. The Tigers attempted just two passing plays in the second half.
Towson outgained St. Francis 441-233 in total yards and scored all four times it reached the red zone.
Senior Jordan Dangerfield and freshman Bryton Barr led the Tigers with eight tackles each, while senior Romale Tucker paced the defense with a pair of sack.
The Tigers will travel to Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) foe Louisiana State on Saturday, Sept. 29. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPNU.