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Alabama QB McCarron wins Unitas Golden Arm Award

Posted on 09 December 2013 by WNST Staff

ALABAMA’S AJ McCARRON WINS THE 2013 JOHNNY UNITAS GOLDEN ARM AWARD

BALTIMORE, MD (12/9/13) — Alabama Quarterback AJ McCarron is the winner of the 2013 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. and Transamerica.

McCarron had an outstanding year in leading the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide to an 11-1 record, completing 67.6% of his passes for 2,676 yards and 26 touchdowns against only 5 interceptions.

A top leader known for his ability to orchestrate an offense, McCarron compiled a 34-2 record (.943) as a starter at Alabama. He holds the Alabama record for throwing 30 touchdown passes in 2012, and once went 291 pass attempts without throwing an interception (the second-longest streak in SEC history).

McCarron, who was a finalist for last year’s Golden Arm Award, was selected from an original field of 30 in the annual competition to name the top college quarterback in the nation. Other finalists for the 2013 award included Tajh Boyd (Clemson), Derek Carr (Fresno State), Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois), and Aaron Murray (Georgia).

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award is named after the man many refer to as the greatest quarterback ever to play the game of football. Johnny Unitas was an 18-year veteran of the NFL, who played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville before joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958. His career passing figures include 2,830 pass completions for 40,239 yards, 290 touchdowns, and throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.

Candidates for the Golden Arm Award – which has been presented at the end of each college football season since 1987 – must be college seniors or fourth-year juniors on schedule to graduate with their class. In addition to the accomplishments on the field, candidates are judged on their character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, and leadership qualities.

Past Golden Arm Award winners include: Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997); Carson Palmer (USC, 2002); Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003); Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007); Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009); and Andrew Luck (Stanford, 2011).

McCarron will receive the 2013 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award at a ceremony to be held this coming Friday, December 13, 6-9 p.m., at the Embassy Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor & Grand Historic Venue, 225 N. Charles Street in downtown Baltimore.

The ceremony will feature remarks by one of Johnny Unitas’ favorite targets during his years with the Baltimore Colts, NFL Hall of Famer Raymond Berry. Proceeds from the Golden Arm Award help to support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. The Foundation provides financial assistance to underprivileged and deserving young scholar-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky.

The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied football history. Inducted into Pro Football’s Hall of Fame in 1979, Johnny Unitas was named the top quarterback of all-time in commemorations of the NFL’s 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries. In turn-of-the-century listings, he was named to Sports Illustrated’s list of top 10 athletes, Time Magazine’s list of 10 most influential athletes, and ESPN’s series on the 50 greatest athletes of the century.

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Towson making field changes to Unitas Stadium

Posted on 26 May 2012 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – The next time Towson fans come to Johnny Unitas Stadium ® to cheer on the Tigers, the field will have a new look! Construction began on May 21 to install FieldTurf Revolution, the latest design in synthetic grass.

The new surface will be an upgrade in durability, hold color better and provide the opportunity to update the graphics on the field with new design from Towson design and publication.

The construction is schedule to be done in mid-June and upon completion, the surface will compare favorably to any playing surface in the country.

As of Friday, May 25, nearly three quarters of the old field turf has been stripped and the process of preparing the field for the new turf will get underway early next week.

Check back to TowsonTigers.com in the near future for updates and pictures as the new turf is being installed.

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Towson women eliminated from NCAA Tournament by Penn State

Posted on 12 May 2012 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – Penn State University (12-6) used a strong start to open the second half and pull away from the No. 8 Towson University women’s lacrosse team and post a 15-8 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

The Tigers (16-4) finished the season with a program record 16 wins. Penn State advances to the second round of the tournament to face No. 1 Florida.

“This one stinks right now,” said Towson Coach Sonia LaMonica. “We had a great season and I have a lot of pride in this team and the adversity we have overcome.”

The game featured the return of former Towson coach Missy Doherty to campus. Doherty coached Towson for seven seasons before moving to Penn State.

“It was more exciting to win with this team,” said Doherty. “I obviously like those players (Towson) a lot and I respect those players a lot. It’s not an easy team to have to come in and coach against because I recruited a lot of those players to Towson. I think there was a great pride in Penn State today and I was really proud of our girls.”

The Tigers scored the first goal of the game as sophomore attacker Andi Raymond scored her 34th goal of the year. Penn State (12-6) responded by scoring five straight goals to take a 5-1 advantage with 18:18 remaining in the half. Molly Fernandez had three goals for the Nittany Lions during that run.

A goal from sophomore midfielder Kelly Murkey at 17:30 put a halt to the Penn State flurry. Murkey’s goal was followed by scores from junior midfielders Ashley Waldron and Kelly Custer to make it a 5-4 game with 7:35 to play in the half. Mackenzie Cyr pushed the Nittany Lions’ lead back to two goals, 6-4 with 3:26 to go until the break.

Raymond scored with 10 seconds remaining, sending the home team into the break trailing 6-5.

Penn State outshot the Tigers 16-8 in the first half while controlling eight of the 12 draw controls.

The Nittany Lions opened the second half on a 5-0 run to take control of the game, building an 11-5 lead with 21:09 to play. Haley Ford had three of the five goals Penn State scored during that run.

Towson disrupted the Nittany Lions’ run with back-to-back goals from Waldron and sophomore attacker Ashleigh Rohrback. Rohrback’s goal at 17:25 made it an 11-7 game. Penn State scored four of the last five goals in the game to make it a 15-8 final.

Goalkeeper Dana Cahill made six saves in the win for Penn State. Senior goalkeeper Mary Teeters made seven saves in her final collegiate action for the Tigers. Freshman Kelsea Donnelly made one save in 11:28 of work.

The Nittany Lions finished the game with a 28-17 advantage in shots while controlling 14 of the 25 draw controls in the game.

Fernandez and Ford led Penn State with three goals each while Maggie McCormick had a goal and three assists.

Raymond, Waldron and Custer each scored two goals in the game for the Tigers while Murkey had a goal and an assist.

Towson loses Teeters and seniors Sarah Appelt and Shannon Kennedy to graduation but returns four of the top five scorers next season.

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Towson, Loyola, Maryland women all seeded in NCAA Tournament

Posted on 06 May 2012 by WNST Staff

TIGERS TO HOST PENN STATE IN NCAA TOURNAMENT

Towson to Host NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history 

TOWSON, Md. – The Colonial Athletic Association Champion Towson University women’s lacrosse team will host Penn State University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The game will be played on Saturday, May 12 at 3 p.m. in Johnny Unitas Stadium.

The Tigers (16-3), who will be playing in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time since 2005, will be hosting an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in program history.

“Obviously this is super exciting for us and the program,” said Towson coach Sonia LaMonica. “To have a chance to play at home where we have had success this season is great for the team.”

Towson will face a familiar opponent in the first round as the Nittany Lions (11-6) are coached by Missy Doherty. Doherty coached the Tigers for seven seasons before heading to Penn State prior to the start of the 2011 season. She had a 79-46 record in Towson and won three CAA Championships and made four NCAA Tournament appearances with the Tigers.

The Tigers, who earned the eighth seed for the Tournament, won their program record 10th straight game on Saturday night with a 15-5 victory over Monmouth in the NCAA Play-In game.  Sophomore attacker Andi Raymond is one of seven Tigers to have scored at least 15 goals this season. Raymond has 66 points this season on 33 goals and 33 assists. Fellow sophomore attacker Ashleigh Rohrback has contributed 26 goals and 22 assists. Senior goalkeeper Mary Teeters leads the team with an 8.13 goals against average and a .513 save percentage.

 “Penn State is a good team that had some quality wins this season,” said Coach LaMonica. “The chance to get to face Missy (Doherty) will add a special aspect to this game for us.”

Penn State earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after falling to Johns Hopkins, 13-12 in the first round of the American Lacrosse Conference Tournament. Mackenzie Cyr and Maggie McCormick lead the Nittany Lions with 55 points each this season. Cyr has 33 goals and 22 assists while McCormick has contributed 28 goals and 27 assists. Dana Cahill had a 9.93 goals against average and a .491 save percentage.

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Towson women crush Monmouth to clinch NCAA Tournament berth

Posted on 06 May 2012 by WNST Staff

TIGERS OVERWHELM MONMOUTH IN 15-5 WIN

Tigers to Watch NCAA Selection Show for Next Opponent

TOWSON, Md. – A dominating first-half led the No. 20 Towson University women’s lacrosse team to a 15-5 win over Monmouth University (9-11) in Saturday night’s NCAA Play-In game at Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The Tigers (16-3) advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time since 2005 with the victory.

“I’m proud of the effort the girls gave tonight,” said Towson coach Sonia LaMonica. “They were patient on offense and it helped us find the openings we needed. We are very excited to be going to the “The Dance”.”

The Tigers opened the game on a 5-0 run as junior attacker Olivia Turner scored a pair of goals, the second coming at 20:41. A pair of goals from the Hawks briefly halted the Tiger attack and made it a 5-2 game with 18:20 to go in the first half. Towson scored seven of the final eight goals in the half including six straight goals from 15:45 to 2:30. Sophomore attacker Andi Raymond had a pair of goals and an assist for the Tigers during that six-goal stretch.

The Tigers’ 12-3 halftime lead was their largest of the year. Towson, which scored on 12 of 19 shots, outshot Monmouth 19-9 in the first 30 minutes and controlled 11 of the 16 first half draws.

Monmouth, which won the Northeast Conference title, scored the first goal of the second half to make it a 12-4 game with 24:07 to play. The Tigers got a pair of goals from Turner and sophomore midfielder Kelly Murkey to make it a 14-4 game with 17:17 to play. The Hawks got a goal from Sam Lillo to make it a 14-5 game with 12:50 to go. Redshirt sophomore attacker Ashleigh Rohrback scored the game’s final goal with an unassisted tally at 9:47.

The Tigers finished the game with a 32-27 advantage in shots and controlled 14 of the game’s 22 draw controls.

Senior goalkeeper Mary Teeters made five saves in the first half of action for the Tigers and recorded the win in goal. Freshman Kelsea Donnelly came in to the game in the second half and made eight saves, including several on point blank shots to preserve the lead. Katie Donohoe made 11 saves in the loss for Monmouth.

“Towson has so many tools and they have great stick work,” said Monmouth coach Denise Wescott. “I’m not sure if we ever played a team as fast as Towson and it was hard for us to adjust.”

The Tigers featured a balanced attack in the game as six Tigers scored at least two goals in the game. Raymond had a two  goals with four assists while Rohrback finished with three goals and two assists.

Kaleigh Gibbons led Monmouth with two goals and one assist.

The Tigers will find out their NCAA Tournament fate when the NCAA Selection Show airs at 9 p.m. on Sunday night.

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Towson Women Claim CAA Lacrosse Title

Posted on 29 April 2012 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – A late second half run secured the an 8-7 win and the Colonial Athletic Association Women’s Lacrosse Championship for the Tiger women’s lacrosse team over James Madison on Sunday afternoon.

It was the Tigers’ fourth CAA title since 2005.

“I’m extremely proud of our team today,” said Towson Coach Sonia LaMonica. “We did a nice job in the final couple of minutes when we were a man down, of playing tough defense.”

Senior goalkeeper Mary Teeters was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. She was joined on the all-tournament team by junior midfielder Kelly Custer, sophomore attacker Andi Raymond and freshman defender Michelle Dufault.

The first half was closely contested between the two teams. The Tigers (15-3) held a 2-1 lead following a goal from Custer at 18:13. The Dukes (11-7) responded with a pair of goals as Amy Roguski gave the visitors a 3-2 lead with 10:12 remaining in the half. Sophomore attacker Rhiannon Coogle tied the game at 3-3 with 2:18 remaining in the half. That would be the last goal of the half.

Towson outshot James Madison 8-6 in the first half while controlling six of the seven draw controls.

Custer completed her “hat trick” with a goal at 29:15 to start the second half. James Madison scored three of the next four goals to take a 6-5 lead with 14:25 to go in the game. Monica Zabel scored a pair of goals during that run while Caitlin McHugh scored the goal to put the Dukes on top.

Following McHugh’s goal, LaMonica called timeout to talk to the Tigers.

“I told them during that timeout that we needed to get better on our slide defense and play together,” said LaMonica.

The Tigers’ offense responded following the timeout. Redshirt sophomore attacker Ashleigh Rohrback tied the game at 6-6 off a pass from Raymond. Junior attacker Olivia Turner gave the Tigers a 7-6 lead off a pass from Rohrback. Raymond gave the Tigers an 8-6 lead with 7:09 to play with a beautiful goal as she broke free of the defender behind the net and came around to score.

Roguski scored at 5:14 to pull the Dukes to within one at 8-7.

Both teams were battling and the Tigers received a yellow card with 1:45 remaining. The Tiger defense turned in an excellent performance during that final 1:45, including a big save from Teeters in the final 30 seconds to secure the victory.

Teeters made seven saves for her 15th win of the season. Schylar Healy made four saves in the loss for James Madison.

James Madison finished the game, outshooting the Tigers 18-17. Towson controlled 12 of the 17 draw controls in the game.

The Towson offense was led by Custer who had three goals while Turner scored a pair. Raymond had a goal and three assists in the game as well.

Zabel led James Madison with two goals and two assists.

The Tigers will return to action on Saturday, May 5 when they host Monmouth in a play-in game for the NCAA Tournament. First draw in that game will be at 7 p.m. in Unitas Stadium.

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Booker, West Lead Way in Towson Football Tiger Bowl

Posted on 22 April 2012 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – In front of 1,564 sun-drenched fans at Johnny Unitas® Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the Tiger football team held its annual Tiger Bowl II game on Saturday.

The Black team defeated the White team, 21-7.

“Our transfer students and our young players got a lot of kids experience in game situations,” Towson Coach Rob Ambrose commented. “It got the transfer students acclimated to what it means to be Tigers and what it’s like to be play in Unitas Stadium.”

Senior running back Dominique Booker scored two touchdowns as a member of the Black team and impressed Ambrose, who coached the “Turnaround Tigers” to an amazing 9-3 record last season after winning a combined three games over the previous two seasons.

“Dominique is one of the first players in a long time who has the aspect of player-coach,” Ambrose said. “He knows the offense so well his teammates his teammates that he is able to bring a level of confidence to the other members of the team.”

Sophomore running back Terrance West added a seven-yard touchdown run for the Black team. West, who ran for 1,294 yards and scored an FCS-leading 29 touchdowns as a freshman, opened Saturday’s scoring with his burst of power with 1:33 remaining in the first quarter. West had nine carries for 28 yards in the game, while Booker ran seven times for 45 yards.

The White team scored a touchdown with 13:48 remaining in the third quarter when  red shirt freshman quarterback Price Litton connected with tight end Daniel Vaughan for a two-yard touchdown pass, bringing the White team to within 14-7. It was one of four passes Litton completed in the game.

Two other red shirt freshmen had solid games for the Tigers. Quarterback Connor Frazier, a product of Damascus High School, completed 14-of-25 passes for 167 yards for the Black team and wide receiver Navassa Brown had a game-high 141 yards rushing for the White team. Brown scored on an electrifying 67-yard run down the right sideline to open the third quarter before getting tackled out of bounds by junior cornerback Corey Ford.

“Navassa earned his stripes today,” Ambrose said. “He’s got the respect of his team. He did a great job, even though he played out of position a little.”

Senior wide receiver Tom Ryan added five catches for 67 yards, while sophomore wide receiver Derrick Joseph and tight end James Oboh each had three receptions for the Black team.

Defensively, a number of new additions made significant impacts. Sophomore defensive back Jordan Love posted a game-high six tackles for the White team and fellow transfer Brendan Gannon, a defensive tackle, added three tackles.

“Red-shirt” defensive end Stefan Janik had four tackles, including two tackles for loss, and a sack in the Black team victory.

“It was great to watch our young quarterbacks develop during the Spring,” said Ambrose. “They made a lot of progress. They still have a long way to go but they are getting better.

“We could have had a better Spring and our players know that,” Ambrose added. “But, we didn’t have to have this team ready to play now. We have to be ready to play in the Fall and we will be.”

The defending CAA champions open their 2012 season at Kent State on Aug. 30.

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Towson Drops Senior Night Showdown With Drexel

Posted on 22 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Tigers Fall To Drexel in Home Finale
Andrew Wascavage Makes Career-High 21 Saves

TOWSON, Md. – Towson junior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage made a career-high 21 saves, but Drexel scored the final six goals of the game to upended the Tigers, 13-5, Saturday night at Johnny Unitas® Stadium.

The loss ties Towson (7-6, 2-3 CAA) with Hofstra for the fourth and final CAA Tournament playoff spot with just one game remaining. The Tigers hold the tiebreaker over the Pride due to their 10-9 double overtime win on March 31. A Towson win at Saint Joseph’s next Saturday would lock up a playoff bid for the Tigers.

Drexel (6-7, 4-2 CAA) outshot Towson 49-16 and outscored the Tigers 7-1 in the second half. The Dragons are now locked into the third-seed for the CAA Tournament and they will travel to second-seeded Penn State for the semifinal round.

For the second straight game senior Matt Lamon and Wascavage shined for the Tigers. Lamon scored a pair of goals for the second consecutive game and Wascavage made 15 or more saves for the fourth straight game. In his last four outings, Wascavage has a total of 70 saves.

Drexel grabbed control of the game early, scoring five of the first six goals. Lamon had the Tigers’ only score in the first quarter as he tied the game at one midway through the period. Drexel’s Ben McIntosh capped the Dragon run with a goal at the 8:50 mark of the second quarter that increased the lead to 5-1.

Towson battled back and scored three of the next four goals to go into halftime down just 6-4 despite being outshot 28-8 in the opening half. Senior Sean Maguire scored his team-leading 19th goal of the season to start the Tiger run and he was followed by goals from senior Carl Iacona and Lamon.

Drexel’s Brendan Glynn, who recorded a hat trick for the Dragons, scored less than three minutes into the third quarter, but Towson’s Andrew Hodgson countered for the Tigers with his 11th goal of the season midway through the period to cut the Drexel lead to 7-5. It was all Dragons the rest of the way though as they scored late in the third quarter and then netted three goals in the first 2:46 of the fourth quarter to all but seal the win.

“Not to take anything away from Drexel, but it makes it very frustrating when you beat yourselves,” said Tiger head coach Shawn Nadelen. “We had so many mental mistakes, poor decisions and poor execution of plays. Drexel is a good defensive team and they were able to expose some weaknesses tonight.”

The Tigers were held to just one second half goal after scoring no goals in the second half against Penn State.

Towson was hurt all night by turnovers, committing 20 in the game. It was the second most turnovers of the season only trailing the 21 committed at Johns Hopkins on February 17.

The Tigers close out their regular season on Saturday, April 28 at Saint Joseph’s. Opening face-off is set for 12:30 p.m.

Tonight’s game was delayed for an hour and a half because of lightning in the area. Towson also recognized its 14 seniors, who were playing in their final home game, during a pregame ceremony.

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Towson Hosts Drexel Saturday on WNST In Crucial Battle For CAA Tourney Spot

Posted on 20 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Opening Face-Off
Towson will host Drexel in a crucial CAA clash Saturday night at Johnny Unitas® Stadium. Both squads are fighting for playoff positioning with the CAA Tournament less than two weeks away. Saturday will also be the final home game for 14 Tigers. The group will be honored during a ceremony prior to the start of the game. Saturday’s game sponsor is Union Memorial Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Opening face-off is set for 7:30 p.m. and fans can listen to the game live on WNST-AM 1570 with Spiro Morekas and Hunter Lochte on the call.

Updating the Tigers
After winning five straight games, Towson has now dropped back-to-back contests to fall to 7-5 overall and 2-2 in CAA play. The Tigers are currently tied with Hofstra for the fourth and final spot in the CAA playoffs. The Tigers own the tiebreaker over the Pride due to their 10-9 come-from-behind victory in Hempstead on March 31. During Towson’s five-game winning streak, the Tigers averaged 12.4 goals per game. During its two recent losses, Towson only managed to score six total goals. Senior Matt Lamon proved to be the lone bright spot on the Tiger offense against Penn State last Saturday, netting two goals. Lamon is tied for third on the squad with 14 goals this season. Junior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage was also solid in the cage for TU last week, tying his career-high with 17 saves against the Nittany Lions.

Scouting the Dragons
The Dragons come into tonight’s game with a 5-7 overall record and a 3-2 mark in CAA play. All seven of Drexel’s losses have come to teams currently ranked in the Top 20 nationally. In six of those seven losses, the game has been decided by two goals or less. The Dragons are coming off back-to-back narrow defeats, a 10-9 loss against No. 16 Penn State on April 7 and an 8-6 loss verse No. 1/2 UMass on April 14. Robert Church leads the Dragons with 32 points on 19 goals and 13 assists. Kyle Bergman has scored 12 goals, dished out 11 assists and scooped 26 groundballs. In the cage for the Dragons is Mark Manos. The senior boasts a 8.09 goals-against-average and has made 106 saves in 12 games.

Towson-Drexel Series History
The Tigers and Dragons will be meeting for the 42nd time tonight with Towson owning a 37-5 all-time record against Drexel. The Tigers have won three of the last four meetings, but fell 13-9 in Philadelphia last year. Towson is 16-1 all-time in home games against the Dragons.

Kenyon Moving Up The Tiger Record Books
Tiger senior John Kenyon caused a career-high four turnovers last week against No. 16 Penn State and the defenseman now sits in sixth all-time at Towson with 36 career caused turnovers. Kenyon trails Matthew Mehrer (‘07) by just eight caused turnovers for fifth all-time in Tiger history. The senior, getting set to play his final game in Unitas Stadium tonight, leads this years squad with 14 caused turnovers. He caused 12 as a junior, two as a sophomore and eight as a freshman.

One Point Streak Ends, Another Grows Longer
Senior attackman Sean Maguire saw his impressive point streak of 14 games snapped Saturday against Penn State. However, junior Matt Hughes now has a point in every game this season and his streak is at 13 games dating back to last year. Hughes tallied an assist against Penn State Saturday to extend his streak.

Wascavage Playing His Best

Junior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage has been stellar in the cage lately. In his last three games, Wascavage has totaled 49 saves, including a career-high tying 17 saves twice.

Senior Night
Prior to tonight’s game, 14 Tigers will be honored as they are playing their last home game. The ceremony honoring – Matt HanzscheMichael BrashearsIan MillsSean MaguireTravis LoveMatt LamonDan KramerCarl IaconaShane CaseyDoug KohlensteinMatt ThomasAlec JernstedtJohn Kenyon and Sean Sheehe – will get underway at 7:09 p.m.

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Towson Football Tiger Bowl II Set For Saturday Afternoon

Posted on 20 April 2012 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – Tiger Bowl II, which features an intrasquad football game among members of the Towson University team, will be held on Saturday, April 21 as a highlight of a full day of activities for Tiger fans.

The Tiger Bowl, which attracted more than 1,000 fans last season, will be played at 1 p.m. in Johnny Unitas® Stadium. Admission to the Tiger Bowl is free and open to the public.

Tiger Bowl Saturday starts at 9 a.m. with a Youth Football Clinic that will be held at the Towson University Soccer Complex. The clinic is open to all eighth graders or younger and it will be conducted by the Tiger coaching staff.

At 11:30 a.m., the Tiger Football Alumni Game will be played in Unitas Stadium. Former football players will return to the gridiron in a game of flag football on Minnegan Field.

The inaugural Tiger Bowl will conclude the Tiger football team’s Spring season. Coach Rob Ambrose and his staff have 42 letter winners and a very talented group of newcomers who will be hoping to impress the coaching staff during the Tiger Bowl. The Tigers return nine starters on offense and nine starters on defense from last year’s team.

The 2011 Tigers were known as the “Turnaround Tigers” as they were the most improved team in NCAA FCS. One year after posting a 1-10 record, the 2011 Tigers went 9-3 and won their first Colonial Athletic Association championship. The Tigers, who were ranked ninth at the end of the season, reached the second round of the NCAA FCS playoffs.

Junior tackle Eric Pike is one of the top returnees for an offense that rushed for 229.9 yards per game and ranked among the national leaders with a 34.8 scoring average. A third-year starter at tackle, Pike was named third team All-CAA. Junior quarterback Grant Enders, a two-time selection as CAA Offensive Player of the Week, returns to direct the Tiger offense. Last season, he led the CAA in passing efficiency while throwing for 2,081 yards and 16 touchdowns. Sophomore Terrance West is back to lead the Tigers’ rushing attack. The winner of the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in FCS football, West ran for 1,294 yards last season and scored an NCAA FCS-leading 29 touchdowns.

A pair of All-America selections, senior safety Jordan Dangerfield and senior defensive end Frank Beltre, return to lead the Tigers’ defense. A first team All-America selection by The College Sports Journal, Dangerfield led the Tigers with 93 tackles despite missing two games with an injury. He was a virtual turnover machine as he intercepted two passes, forced two fumbles and recovered a pair of fumbles. An honorable mention All-American, Beltre was tied for fourth on the team with 68 tackles. He also led the Tigers with 12 tackles for lost yardage.

While Tiger Bowl II is being played in Unitas Stadium, the Tiger baseball team will host Georgia State in the second game of their three-game weekend series at John B. Schuerholz Park at 2 p.m.

After Tiger Bowl II is played, the Tiger men’s lacrosse team will honor their seniors when the Tigers host Drexel University in a vital CAA matchup in Unitas Stadium at 7:30 p.m.


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