Corle runs Towson to OT victory His 239 yards foil Fordham, give Tigers first Patriot win

September 27, 1998|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The heat sidelined Towson running back Jason Corle for a few series. An Achilles' tendon injury slowed him a bit, too.

But guess who took on the weight of the game and towed the Tigers to their first Patriot League victory?

Despite physical ailments, Corle rushed for a career-best 239 yards, accounting for all of Towson's offense in overtime as well as scoring the game-winning touchdown to propel the Tigers to a 35-34 victory over Fordham before 2,274 at Minnegan Stadium yesterday. Corle's 1-yard touchdown run in overtime -- his third of the game -- finished off the seventh-highest rushing game in school history.

Towson (3-1, 1-1), which is in its second year as a member of the Patriot League, had lost all seven of its previous league games by an average of 16 points and was predicted by every major publication to finish last in the conference.

"It's the worst I've felt physically in a game, but that's the best game I've ever played," said Corle, a 5-foot-11, 198-pound sophomore. He carried the ball 34 times and nearly doubled his total yardage for the season with yesterday's effort.

"I hope [the Patriot League] still doesn't respect us," Corle said. "They've been talking a lot, calling us chumps. But we're ready to play this year."

Corle had only returned to practice on Thursday after sustaining an Achilles' tendon injury last week.

Then, after a 71-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, he immediately became sick to his stomach as a result of the 90-degree heat. Still, Corle refused to miss consecutive possessions.

And when Fordham came back from a 28-14 deficit to take a

34-28 lead in overtime, Towson didn't panic -- it turned to Corle.

Running the ball on eight of Towson's nine plays in overtime, Corle amassed Towson's final 25 yards of total offense, including a goal-line dive that tied the game at 34. Because the Rams' extra-point attempt in overtime sailed wide left, Towson's successful point-after by Ed Franco won the game.

"You know he wants the football in that situation," Towson coach Gordy Combs said. "And I'm going to give it to him."

"I think he's one of the best running backs in the conference -- maybe the best," Fordham coach Ken O'Keefe said.

Towson relied on big plays yesterday, scoring on a 71-yard run by Corle, Rusty McKinney's fumble recovery in the end zone and Dennis Cliggett's 71-yard punt return. Cliggett's touchdown put the Tigers ahead 28-14 with 11: 44 left.

But the Rams (1-2, 1-2) scored on three of their final four possessions, tying the game on a 1-yard run by Lance Shaw with 2: 42 left in regulation and going ahead on Jon Carroll's 3-yard run in overtime.

Next for Towson

Opponent: Holy Cross

Site: Fitton Field, Worcester, Mass.

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Record: 1-2

Yesterday: Lost to Cornell, 17-9.

Pub Date: 9/27/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.