Early Blocked XP Difference as Morgan State Bests Towson at Hughes Stadium

September 26, 2009 | Glenn Clark

Taken directly from Towson’s press release….

BALTIMORE, Md – The Tigers put up impressive numbers offensively but couldn’t overcome the turnovers or Morgan State’s defense on fourth-down conversions as the Bears held on for a 12-9 victory in the 22nd meeting between the two local rivals Saturday afternoon in rain soaked Hughes Stadium.

The loss dropped the Tigers to 1-2 on the year. Morgan improved to 2-1 and snapped a four-game losing streak to the Tigers, who still lead the series 16-6.

“I give all the credit to Morgan,” said Tiger head coach Rob Ambrose. “They made less mistakes then we did. When you play a game in these weather conditions, turnovers and penalties will be the difference. That’s what happened today.”

Towson doubled up on the Bears in total offense, outgaining Morgan 344 to 161. But two interceptions, a lost fumble, eight penalties and an 0-3 mark on fourth down conversions negated the fine offensive effort.

Freshman tailback Tremayne Dameron registered his first 100-yard game, rushing for 126 yards on 28 carries. Freshman quarterback Peter Athens threw for 148 yards, going 11 of 23. He was intercepted twice but the last pick was a tipped ball.

Senior David Newsom had 151 all-purpose yards.

The Tigers jumped on top 6-0 on their second possession when Athens hooked up with Newsom on successive pass plays.

Following a poor Morgan punt the Tigers took over at their own 43. Athens hit Newsom with a 14-yard gain to the Morgan State 40. The Tigers stayed with the combination as Athens let fly with a bomb that Newsom gathered in at the five-yard line. Before he could cross the goal line he fumbled but the loose ball was recovered by Tony Zaccarelli in the end zone for the touchdown.

The Bears exacted a little revenge on the conversion when James Cole blocked Jon Boyer‘s extra point kick that was returned for two points by Darren McKhan but the lead was Towson’s, 6-2.

Morgan mounted its first sustained drive of the game early in the second quarter. Driving from its own 10-yard line, the Bears moved to Towson’s 26. On a fourth-and-one, quarterback Carlton Jackson passed to Lamont Bryant on the play action to finish the 12-play drive with Morgan’s first touchdown of the contest and a 9-6 lead with 10 minutes left in the period.

On the next series the Tigers failed to fool Morgan on a fake punt and tackled Tommy Chroninger short to turn the ball over to the Bears on Towson’s 30 yard line. Morgan couldn’t capitalize for a TD but came away with three points on Kemar Scarlett’s 41-yard field goal for a 12-6 lead with 6:02 remaining in the half.

The Tigers made an effort to get the points back with a long drive. Moving from their own 10-yard line they methodically marched to Morgan’s 22. But the drive stalled when Towson failed to convert on a fourth-and-five at the Bears’ 22.

Morgan took its 12-6 lead into the lockeroom at halftime.

The Tigers caught a break at the outset of the third quarter when Morgan punter Nicholas Adams bobbled the snap, allowing the Tigers to smother the play at the Bears’ 34. A holding penalty, however, negated an Athens’ gain to the 10 yard line. Towson’s advance ended at the 18 where the Tigers had to settle for Boyer’s first career field goal, a 35 yarder, trimming Morgan’s lead to 12-9. That would prove to be the end of the scoring.

The breaks continued to come Towson’s way. With the third period winding down, Dante Blakey recovered a muffed Morgan punt return at the Bears’ 46 but the drive stalled eight yards later.

The Tigers weren’t without their woes. A fumbled punt return was recovered back on Towson’s eight-yard line. Two plays later the Tigers fumbled the ball away to the Bears at the Tigers’ 36.

Towson then forced a punt that was downed by the Bears at the Tigers’ one-yard line, putting the visitors 99 yards away from points.

A running into the kicker penalty helped keep the drive alive when it appeared Towson might have to give up the ball at its own 32-yard line with 6:42 left to play.  But it died several plays later when McKhan intercepted Athens and returned it to the Bears’ 46 with 4:18 remaining in the contest.

The Tigers held the Bears but Towson’s biggest opponent at that point was the clock. Towson had a first down at its own 10-yard line with 1:57 left on the clock.

Morgan’s Joseph Ellis ended the Tigers’ hopes two plays later when he intercepted a tipped pass at Towson’s 29-yard line with 1:44 left.

(Towson returns home to Unitas Stadium Saturday to face New Hampshire. Coverage begins on AM1570 WNST at 2pm. Kickoff is 3:30 on the Flagship Home of Towson University Football.)