Towson State stood up last night at Minnegan Stadium and made the best possible proclamation for keeping its football program.
The Tigers ended their losing ways, bolting to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and hanging on for a 17-7 victory over Howard University.
The triumph ended an eight-game losing streak that dated bac to the final game of last season.
Howard has lost three straight games after starting the season with five straight victories. Ten of senior quarterback Donald Carr's passes have been intercepted in the three losses.
Towson State made five interceptions -- equaling a school record -- three in the last seven minutes, two in the last three minutes.
Tackle Joe Kreisher, a converted tight end, got one at the Towson 11; Mike Locksley got one near midfield, but fumbled and Howard's Gary Harrell took it back to the Towson 9; then, with 2 minutes, 54 seconds left, Gary Worthington got his second of the night, picking off a first-down pass and effectively ending the Bison's last scoring threat.
Towson State won the game by doing two things it had not been done all season. Previously, the Tigers had totaled just 14 points in the first quarter. Howard had gone unscored upon in the same segment.
Robbie Jackson, a 5-foot-8 junior tailback, got the Tigers started with a 71-yard touchdown run on the game's first possession. Jackson, whose longest previous run from scrimmage had been 38 yards, went up the middle on a draw play, got a Poly-vs.-City block from Mike Gunthrop on linebacker Kenny Newsome and outran defender Keith Hancock.
Towson State padded its margin on its next possession, Glen Mattfeld kicking a career-best, 41-yard field goal. The redshirt freshman had been 1-for-5 before that, the one success from 26 yards away.
Late in the quarter, Hatcher intercepted a pass from Carr to set up Towson State at the Howard 42. This time, quarterback Chris Goetz directed an eight-play drive, Jarrett Grier bulling over right guard for the last 2 yards.
The key play was a Howard offside on a fourth-and-one thaproduced a first down at the 18. On the next play, Goetz found Dewey Barnes at the 5. Another Bison penalty put the ball on the 2.
Howard crossed midfield twice in six possessions in the first half, penetrating as far as the Towson State 25, where a drive stalled on a fourth-down incomplete pass.
Carr misfired on his first nine passes before going 2-for-2 on the last two plays of the half.
Howard produced the only points of the third quarter, going 5yards in 13 plays, converting on three third-down plays in the process. The last of these was a 15-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open George Humes in the left corner of the end zone.