WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. -- With 31 players from New Jersey on the Towson University roster, it's no wonder the Tigers like the idea of coming north to the Garden State.
And no one likes this "homecoming" trip better than Towson tailback sensation Jason Corle, the preseason All-Patriot League selection who is a graduate of Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin, N.J.
Monmouth, which had once recruited Corle, was again victimized by Corle and Towson yesterday, this time a 42-20 pounding before 2,786 at Monmouth's Kessler Field.
All Corle -- already third on Towson's all-time rushing list -- did was carry 29 times for 148 yards and three touchdowns, the third score on a 54-yard burst six minutes into the fourth quarter that ended Monmouth's final hope of a comeback victory.
Towson (2-0) has won all four games in the Monmouth series, but there was no scare in this one, as there was in '97. A year ago, the Hawks built a 21-0 lead before the Tigers rallied to win, 22-21, on a field goal.
This time, it was Towson that had the 21-0 lead, after Corle's second TD run early in the second quarter. And Monmouth (0-2) never got closer than two touchdowns after that.
Tigers senior quarterback Kevin Smith completed 12 of 17 passes for 158 yards, two of them touchdown tosses to Adam Overbey. The first went for 89 yards -- the second-longest pass play in Towson history -- at 1: 46 of the second period. The second, a 13-yarder, built Towson's lead to 28-7 at 6: 39 of the third quarter.
Monmouth junior quarterback John DiPasquale threw for the first two touchdowns of his career, and senior wide receiver Anthony Galella had 12 receptions for a Hawks single-game record, but it was all too little and too late after Towson built its 21-0 lead in the first 18 minutes.
For a third straight year, Corle damaged Monmouth's upset dreams.
"He bedevils more than Monmouth," Hawks coach Kevin Callahan said. "I'd be shocked if he didn't gain over 1,000 yards again this season. He's a great back, a very physical runner. He's got deceptive speed, he's strong and he breaks a lot of tackles."
"I love coming back [to New Jersey]," Corle said. "I know so
many guys on the [Monmouth] team. Just to come back and play in front of my friends and family, that's great. [Monmouth linebacker] Mike Normand is my best friend. There's a lot of talk in the off-season."
"[Corle is] the guy that we want to have the ball in his hands," Towson coach Gordy Combs said. "Whether we're handing it off to him or throwing it to him on screens, out of the backfield, down the field, in the flats, what have you.
"There's no doubt, when he and Kevin [Smith] are in sync, it's a pretty thing."
Corle, then a freshman, wrecked Monmouth's 1996 Homecoming Day with a 40-carry, two-touchdown, 156-yard performance in a celebrated, 15-6 "mud bowl" win through an all-day rain.
Corle wasn't at his best against Monmouth last year, fighting off leg cramps, but still ran the ball 18 times for 102 yards in the come-from-behind victory at Towson.
Yesterday, Towson went up 7-0 at 7: 28 on Corle's 4-yard slant through left guard. Three plays after DiPasquale bobbled the ball away to nose guard Danny Ross in the second quarter, Corle danced 12 yards around Monmouth's left side for a 21-0 lead.
L The final, 22-point margin was the widest in series history.
Now, Towson plunges into its Patriot League schedule, hosting Colgate on Saturday.
Next for Towson
Site: Minnegan Stadium
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Pub Date: 9/13/98