TOWSON, Md. –
The No. 25 Towson University football team (3-1) celebrated its 50th
year of football in style with a dominant offensive showing, defeating The Citadel (1-3) 44-27 in front of 7,323 at Johnny Unitas® Stadium.
Key Game Stats:
- As a team, Towson earned 608 yards of total offense, including 334 on rushing and 274 in the air. The Tigers had over 200 more yards on offense than The Citadel.
- The Tigers outscored the Bulldogs in each of the first third quarters, including 17-7 in the second quarter for a 14-point halftime lead.
- Tom Flacco earned 438 total yards of offense as Towson's quarterback off 253 passing yards and 185 on the ground. He earned four touchdowns, two on passing and two on rushing.
- Kobe Young and Shane Simpson each had 64 yards rushing, with the latter adding a touchdown.
- Four Tigers had multiple receptions, led by Shane Leatherbury with five catches for 77 yards. Kabari Allen had three receptions, totaling 71 yards.
- On the defensive side, Monty Fenner tallied eight tackles, an interception, a tackle for loss to end a drive and two broken up passes. Diondre Wallace, wearing special shoes in honor of Wardell Turner, had a team-best 12 tackles.
- The game's attendance was 7,323, the highest-attended Towson contest since Sept. 10, 2016 vs. Saint Francis.
- For The Citadel, Lorenzo Ward had 180 yards of rushing with a touchdown. Jordan Black finished with 47 rushing yards, 63 passing yards, two rushing touchdowns and an interception.
Towson head coach Rob Ambrose
"After last night and seeing these guys from all these decades, having more alumni in the stands since I've been back, this one is for them. For the guys in the 70s, for the Division II years, for the guys that played through the thin years and held this program up and made sure this program did not fall down so we could play here today. This game is for you."
"I'm proud of our guys, this is an extremely difficult team to play schematically and physically. They are very talented, their scheme is awesome, and we came away with a win."
How it Happened:
Inside the Numbers:
- Towson started strongly as Tom Flacco drove down the field in six plays, with Flacco passing or running every down. A 29-yard completion over the middle over the middle to Sam Gallahan turned into touchdown on the opening drive to make it 7-0 Towson in the opening 2:05.
- Towson held on defense on the next drive, forcing a punt around midfield. The Tigers broke out of inside its own five with a couple of Flacco rushes, but got stalled around going 28 yards, punting back to The Citadel.
- Using the triple option offense, the Bulldogs run every play to get inside the Towson red zone, where the Tigers held on a run up the middle on 3rd and seven on a tackle by Grant Udinski for a gain of one. Jacob Godek converted a 30-yard field goal to make it 7-3 Towson, the eventual halftime score.
- Towson got just outside the Citadel red zone and looked for a pass into the end zone, but was intercepted. The Citadel grinded into the clock with a 17-play drive with all rushes, getting back midway through Towson territory. On a 4th and two, Monty Fenner stopped Ron Johnson deep in the backfield to end the Bulldog drive.
- Next play, Flacco burst into the open field all the way to the Citadel 8 for a gain of 57 on the ground. Three more rushes and Towson was back in the end zone with Flacco again for the touchdown, making it 14-3 Tigers with 6:40 left to play in the half.
- Holding on two rushes for 3rd and long, Jordan Black passed across the middle, where he was intercepted by Fenner. Inside Citadel territory, Shane Simpson earned 21-yard catch to put Towson inside the 10. On 3rd and goal, Flacco ran up the middle and leaped into the end zone for the touchdown. Towson led 21-3.
- In the next two minutes, Citadel added a pair of completions to its running game, scoring its first touchdown as Black went up the gut from the 1-yard line to score. Towson led 21-10 with just over a minute left.
- Final drive, Towson pushed into the red zone, but ran out of manageable time and went to kick. Aidan O'Neill knocked in the 40-yard field goal to give Towson a 24-10 lead at halftime.
- Into the second half, the Towson defense stuffed the Bulldogs on a 3-and-out, taking over after a punt to its own 30. Simpson led the way with four rushes, plus an 18-yard reception by Jabari Allen, completing with a 34-yard rush to the end zone to score a touchdown and make it 31-10 Towson with 11:04 to go in the 3rd.
- Lorenzo Ward led the next drive for the Bulldogs, pushing into Towson territory. Keon Paye had a big tackle in the backfield, eventually leading to 3rd and 10, but Ward broke through the middle and scored a 38-yard touchdown. Score was 31-17 Towson.
- Towson countered right back in just over a minute with big play after big play, including a 17-yard reception by Shane Leatherbury, a 34-yard rush by Kobe Young and a drive-completing 24-yard catch by Brent Richardson. Towson led 38-17 with 7:40 remaining in the 3rd.
- The fast-paced third quarter continued as The Citadel continued to grind on the ground. Black broke away from quarterback for 42 yards to score: 38-24 Towson.
- Flacco fleet footedness continued to prove successful as the redshirt junior broke down the sideline for 78 yards, being tackled at the Citadel 2. Towson was held to a field goal to go up 41-24, the eventual end of 3rd quarter score.
- The Citadel had another long drive of runs into the fourth quarter when on 3rd and 9 just outside the Towson red zone, Terrill Gillette sniffed out the pitch and brought down Raleigh Webb in the backfield. Jacob Godek converted the field goal to make it 41-27 Towson with 11:28 left to play.
- Towson added the field goal back next drive off a 27-yard kick from O'Neill, then forcing a turnover on downs for the Bulldogs just inside Towson territory. The score stood the rest of the way, with Jaelen Thompson earning a couple of late rushes to finish out the game. Towson earned the 44-27 victory.
- Tom Flacco set a new Towson record for rushing yards by a quarterback. The previous record was 132 yards by Connor Frazier at Elon in 2015.
- It is the first season since 2013 that Towson has had at least two games with 40+ points.
- Towson has earned its best start at 3-1 since 2013, when the Tigers won their first six games.
- 44 points is the most in a Towson home opener since 2013, when the Tigers put 49 points on Delaware State.
- Towson is going through its 50th year of football. Earlier today, "The First 50," a chronicle of Towson football, was publicly released.
- The Tigers wrap up non-conference play with two victories in three games. It is the second straight year, and fourth season in the last five, where Towson has earned at least two non-conference victories.
Towson continues the homestand next week, hosting Stony Brook on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. at Johnny Unitas® Stadium. It is the first of seven consecutive Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) games for Towson.
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