Freshman Corle helps carry Towson rushing game Once expected to redshirt, RB's 557 yards lead Tigers

On Colleges

November 02, 1996|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

The master plan at Towson State was for running back Jason Corle, a true freshman, to be redshirted this season.

Why waste a year of Corle's eligibility? Because, without Corle, this might have been a wasted season for the Tigers.

A native of Barnegat, N.J., Corle has emerged as Towson's leading rusher with 557 yards, second to Brian Kirchoff (611 in 1981) on the school's all-time freshman single-season list. Twice, he has set the school record for single-game yardage by a rookie, most recently on Oct. 19, when he shredded Monmouth's defense for 192 yards in the pouring rain.

In last weekend's 54-14 homecoming romp over St. Francis (Pa.), which enabled the Tigers to reach the .500 mark, Corle ran for 63 yards on his first carry, starting down the left sideline, then cutting across the middle and dodging a host of would-be tacklers. He finished with 150 yards on only 11 attempts.

"We wanted to keep him out all year, but he did tremendous in the preseason," said coach Gordy Combs. "We made the decision during the Bucknell game (a 44-7 loss Sept. 14), when we couldn't run the football."

He's been a major component of the offense since then, though senior tailback Maurice Sydnor and sophomore fullback Kevyn Dodson (Arundel) continue to log a lot of playing time.

Corle, 6 feet 1, 200 pounds, is the all-time leading rusher at Southern Regional High (N.J.) with 1,859 yards.

Tigers inspire themselves

St. Louis Rams punter Sean Landeta had his Towson State number retired at halftime of Saturday's homecoming game at Minnegan Stadium, but that was the extent of his involvement in the proceedings. The Tigers looked inspired during their 54-14 rout of St. Francis (Pa.), but it wasn't because of any fiery pre-game speech by Landeta, a graduate of Loch Raven High.

"He did that three years ago for us against Hofstra and we lost," said Combs, smiling. "We were playing Hofstra up there and he (( was still with the Giants. He came over and talked to the team before the game. I said, 'I'm not doing that again.' "

Included in Saturday's win was a goal-line interception by senior cornerback Brad Friedman, who raced 41 yards down the sideline before tripping.

"Sniper got me," he said, laughing. "I'd like to have that one back."

He later returned a punt a school-record 94 yards for a touchdown.

The game also included a curious moment with 1: 30 remaining and Towson in punt formation on its 47-yard line. Freshman Joe Spera snapped the ball to Bill Hughes, rather than punter Ben Gossard, and the junior fullback completed a 10-yard pass to freshman Greg Crawford for a first down.

Combs was angry and apologized to St. Francis coach Pete Mayock, but both men understood why it happened.

"We have a check with our center," Combs said. "When they do not cover a guy, we run the fake punt, and they did not cover our guy. It's an automatic. As a player, you're just reacting to the situation. He [Mayock] said it was his players' fault for not covering the guy."

Sweet victory

Bowie State's football team was an hour late getting home from Fayetteville, N.C., after last weekend's game, but a flat tire wasn't much of an inconvenience. It gave the Bulldogs more time to savor their 13-12 come-from-behind win over Fayetteville State.

Quarterback Delmar Glanton scored on a 1-yard sneak with 2: 46 left, and Victor Impallaria (North County) made the conversion kick to complete a 12-play drive and allow Bowie to stop a two-game skid.

An interception by junior safety Ray Cannon in the final minute sealed the win. Cannon has six interceptions this year, and has picked off a pass in the last five games.

Another highlight for Bowie was a 49-yard fumble return for a first-quarter touchdown by 270-pound freshman Mike Cox, who dived into the end zone. "Right after the run, I was dead," Cox said. "I never thought I would ever have to run that far in a game."

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