Towson starts slow, ends with 27-13 loss Delaware State holds off Tigers

October 11, 1992|By Bob Clark | Bob Clark,Contributing Writer

DOVER, Del. -- Towson State was done in by a slow start again. The Tigers fell behind Delaware State by 14 points in the first half yesterday and went on to a 27-13 defeat at Alumni Stadium.

Like they did last week in a two-point loss to Liberty, the Tigers (2-3)couldn't find the end zone in the first half despite several excellent early scoring opportunities.

"We've had trouble getting things done in the first half all season," said Towson coach Gordy Combs.

Three times in the first half Towson moved the ball inside the Hornets' 15-yard line, but only managed 34- and 30-yard field goals from Buddy Dunn. "We've got to come away with something there, and not field goals all the time," said Combs.

Towson's first scoring chance came after Joe Kreisher intercepted an Erik Jones' pass during the first Delaware State possession, giving Towson the ball at the Hornets' 26.

But Dan Crowley, who was lifted briefly by Combs late in the second quarter after completing only five of his first 18 passes, was intercepted three plays later by Brian Randall.

Delaware State (4-1) then marched 77 yards in 10 plays to open the game's scoring on a 1-yard run by Dakiel Shorts.

Towson moved to the Hornets' 12 late in the second quarter and to the 14 early in the second before settling for Dunn's field goals and a 6-6 tie with a little more than 10 minutes left in the first half.

But Towson's defense, the secondary in particular, was beset by big-play problems the rest of the half, allowing the Hornets to score 14 points in 1:40. Jones set up the first touchdown with a 67-yard pass to wide-open Derrick Neal. Jones rolled right for the 4-yard touchdown to give Delaware State the lead for good with 6:36 left in the half.

After another interception by Randall on Towson's ensuing possession, the Hornets struck again. A 30-yard scoring pass from Jones to Curtis Thomas with just under five minutes left in the half opened a 20-6 lead.

Combs then lifted Crowley for the first time this season, hoping to get a lift from sophomore Matt Brimigion.

"I thought we were stalling a little on offense. We were looking for a spark before halftime," Combs said.

But Brimigion was victimized by Randall's third interception of the half and Combs went back to Crowley in the second half.

Crowley marched Towson 82 yards on its first possession of the third quarter, hitting on all four of his pass attempts. The scoring play was a 48-yard pass to Tony Vinson that cut the Hornets' lead to 20-13 just four minutes into the half.

But subsequent Towson drives stalled and Jones connected with Neal for a 56-yard scoring play early in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

"At this level you can't have those situations a lot," said Comb of the Towson mistakes. "Those are the things that make the difference between winning and losing. I'm disappointed. I'm frustrated and I know our coaches and players are too. But the thing is, the schedule only gets tougher from here."

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