Towson battles St. Francis in Homecoming showdown Saturday night

September 21, 2012 | WNST Staff

Tigers Seek Second Consecutive Victory in Non-Conference Battle

TOWSON, Md. – 
Coming off a 20-17 win over William & Mary in their Colonial Athletic Association opener last week, the No. 13 Towson University football team returns to Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium to celebrate Homecoming on Saturday, September 22 by hosting St. Francis (Pa.) University at 7 p.m.

The game will also be aired on the Tigers’ web site, with Spiro Morekas and Ron Meehan calling the action. The Tigers’ internet broadcast also features a one-hour pre-game show.

The Tigers, who have a 29-14 record in Homecoming Games, will be hosting St. Francis for Homecoming for the second time. In 1996, Towson celebrated Homecoming with a 54-14 win over the Red Flash.

A member of the Northeast Conference, St. Francis is off to its best start since 2004. After opening the season with a loss at James Madison, St. Francis bounced back with a 39-28 win over Bryant and a 57-23 victory at Morehead State. The Red Flash has already matched last season’s victory total.

Averaging 302 rushing yards per game, St. Francis is sixth in NCAA FCS. Senior Keion Wade leads the St. Francis offense, averaging 104.3 yards per contest. He ran for 243 yards on 27 carries and scored three touchdowns in the win at Morehead State last week.
“St. Francis is a very good football team,” says Towson Coach Rob Ambrose. “They have a big, strong running attack and their team speed is great. On defense, they run a multitude of fronts. We are going to have our hands full on Saturday night.”

The Tigers bounced back from a season-opening loss at Kent State by opening their Colonial Athletic Association title defense with a 20-17 victory over William & Mary. In the win over the Tribe, Towson dominated the time of possession and piled up 422 yards of total offense. Sophomore running back Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.), a pre-season All-American, ran for a season high 153 yards on 27 carries. However, for the first time in 10 games, West did not score a touchdown. In fact, he had scored at least two touchdowns in nine consecutive games, dating back to the Tigers’ 28-3 loss at Maryland on Oct. 1, 2011.

Averaging 92.0 yards per game, West is the second-leading rusher in the CAA. In 13 career games, West has rushed for 1,483 yards and he has scored 31 rushing touchdowns. He is only two rushing TD’s shy of tying the Towson career record of 31 rushing touchdowns, a mark set by Jason Corle, ’00.

Senior quarterback Grant Enders (Old Mill H.S./Millersville, Md.) has thrown for 421 yards and rushed for 86 yards in the Tigers’ first two games of the season. He has completed 42 of 57 passes and ranks second in the CAA with 507 yards of total offense.
The Tigers, who won the 2011 CAA championship and earned a berth in the NCAA FCS playoffs, will be facing St. Francis for the third time. Towson owns a 2-0 series lead.

Seniors Frank Beltre (Randolph H.S./Randolph, N.J.) and Jordan Dangerfield (Royal Palm Beach H.S./Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), the Tigers’ two All-American defensive players, both reached the 200-tackle level in the Tigers’ win over William & Mary.
A third-year starter at defensive end, Beltre enters this week’s game with 201 career tackles. He has made 201 tackles in 36 games. He has eight sacks in his career as well as 32.5 tackles for lost yardage.

A two-year captain, Dangerfield is a third-year starter at free safety. In 23 career games for Towson, he has also made 201 tackles.
After turning the ball over six times in a season-opening loss at Kent State, Towson did a much better job securing the football in its win over William & Mary. The Tigers had no turnovers against the Tribe although they did fumble twice. But, the Tigers recovered both fumbles.

Although the Tigers beat William & Mary by only three points, they dominated the game statistically. Towson had the ball for 35:52
while the Tigers had 422 total yards and allowed only 258 yards.

In their first two games, Towson has outgained its opponents, 753 yards to 525 yards.
TIGER TALES:  Saturday’s game is the second of three non-conference games on the Tigers’ schedule … Towson plays its final non-conference game of the season at Louisiana State next week.

When Towson rushed for 247 yards against William & Mary, it marked the 10th time in the last 13 games that the Tigers had more than 200 rushing yards in a game … In 2011, the Tigers ran for more than 200 yards in nine games … They averaged 229.0 rushing yards per game, a mark that led the CAA.

The Tigers’ win over William & Mary was their eighth victory in their last nine CAA games.

After Saturday’s game against St. Francis, the Tigers will play their next two games on the road … On Saturday, Sept. 29, Towson visits Louisiana State in a game that will be televised on ESPNU … On Saturday, Oct. 6, the Tigers face James Madison University on the road, a game that will be aired on the NBCSportsNetwork.