With Lohr standing guard, Towson offense marches on

September 26, 1992|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

One national publication says Greg Lohr is the finest offensive lineman ever to play for Towson State, and another lists him as one of the top two guards among the independent teams in Division I-AA.

If the Tigers have done one thing consistently since 1969, it is move the football. Quarterbacks, wide receivers and the occasional David Meggett have gotten the publicity, but the coaching staff always appreciates good offensive line play, which will be an important factor in tonight's (7 o'clock) anticipated shootout with Hofstra at Minnegan Stadium.

First-year coach Gordy Combs has been with the program since 1970, and he doesn't hesitate to compare Lohr to Towson State's best blockers, a group that includes a pair of Division II first-team All-America picks, Terry Brooks in 1984 and Stan Eisenhooth in '85.

"To begin with, Greg has so much athletic ability," Combs said. "He could play any of the front seven positions on our defense, and early in his career, we weren't sure where we were going to use him. Plus, he's a real smart kid. If he's having trouble with a guy, he'll make the adjustment without a coach having to tell him what to do."

The Towson State staff wasn't sure what to do with Lohr when he came out Springfield High in southeastern Pennsylvania in 1988, because he didn't have the build of a Division I-AA line prospect.

He was honored for his play as a two-way lineman, but Lohr said his greatest success as a high school athlete came as a pitcher for the Springfield baseball team. Playing basketball as a senior, he weighed only 205 pounds, and even though he ate and lifted his way to a bigger frame at Towson State, he still weighs only 247 pounds.

"I always wanted to play tight end, but there weren't many big people in my high school, and I was kind of moved to the line," Lohr said. "I'm the smallest [offensive line] starter here. People ask me about the other team after a game, 'Are they big?' It seems they're all bigger to me."

When asked what he does best, Lohr said, "I pass block well," and the proof is in the statistics. Sophomore Dan Crowley has attempted 79 passes in two games and been sacked only three times, and Lohr said "technically, one of them shouldn't be listed as a sack."

For Lohr and the rest of the offensive line, one of the finest moments came last week, when an 11-play, 89-yard drive midway through the fourth quarter gave Towson State a 24-21 victory over Bucknell. Tony Vinson got some of his 68 yards on the drive on his own, but there were also plenty of holes to follow before he took off on his climactic 25-yard touchdown run.

"This team lacked confidence," Lohr said, "but a drive like that can go a long way."

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