Corle's TD pass is difference for Tigers

Running back's throw to record-setter White defeats Dayton, 30-27

November 07, 1999|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

During his career at Towson, running back Jason Corle has had two goals: to throw a forward pass and to play in the postseason.

"I've waited my whole career for the chance [at a title]," he said.

Yesterday at Minnegan Stadium, the school's all-time leading rusher achieved one goal, and improved his chances to attain the other during the Tigers' 30-27 non-conference win over Dayton in front of 3,083.

Corle, playing in his final home game, made his first throw count, taking a pitch from quarterback Joe Lee, rolling right and hitting sophomore Jamal White on an 11-yard, game-winning touchdown pass with 10: 54 left in the fourth quarter.

"I had to let my little boy get a catch," Corle said of White, who tied a school record with 13 catches, and also had 172 yards and three touchdowns. "I just didn't want it to get batted down. Just put it up there, and he'll get it for you."

White's big day left him as Towson's single-season record-holder for receptions (75) and receiving yards (1,237).

Despite White's heroics, Dayton (6-4) was driving downfield with a chance to win or tie the game, when the Minnegan Stadium public address announcer read the news of Lehigh's 28-24 loss to Colgate.

With Towson (7-3 overall, 4-1 Patriot League) now leading the conference by one-half game, it can make the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs with a win next week over Colgate (3-1 league), plus a Lehigh (3-1 league) loss to Bucknell or Lafayette in the next two weeks.

"It sounds so funny to be saying that," Towson coach Gordy Combs said. "It's nice to go into the 11th week and still be playing for the conference championship."

After the announcement of Lehigh's loss, Dayton kicker Mike Pulsfort missed a 29-yard field goal that would have tied the score with 50 seconds remaining.

Towson's players appear to have been rewarded for the hard work they put in over the summer, when most of the key players stayed in the Baltimore area instead of returning to their hometowns.

"I know you guys have been hearing this all year, but all it's been is a bunch of guys dedicating themselves to win a title," said Corle, who had eight catches for 129 yards and needs just two catches to break Mark Orlando's school record for career receptions (178). "I'm just glad that all the younger guys rallied around us to help us win."

"It's what we've worked for," said Lee, who followed last week's 567-yard passing day by throwing for 463 yards yesterday. "To have the opportunity to go to Colgate with the season on the line, it shows that all the hard work has paid off."

Still, Combs pointed out that his team has had trouble keeping its concentration in nonconference games, noting losses to Columbia and Morgan State, as well as yesterday's narrow win over the Flyers.

"We'd play hard for two plays, then we'd give up the big play. We lacked a lot of concentration," Combs said. "The bottom line is that we did what we had to do to win."

Though the Tigers couldn't muster any more than an Ed Kulic 31-yard field goal in the first quarter, they worked their way into Dayton territory on each of their first six drives, scoring their first touchdown on a 18-yard pass from Lee to White with 10: 26 left in the second quarter.

Lee finished with his sixth 400-yard passing day of the season, completing 37 of 70 throws.

Down 9-0 and still without a first down, Dayton got back into the game when Marty McNamara intercepted a Lee pass -- deflected by Corle -- and ran 59 yards for a score, making it 9-7 with 7: 11 left in the second quarter. Two minutes later, Dayton's offense woke up, and Steve Mulqueen's 3-yard touchdown run capped a 77-yard drive that put the Flyers ahead 13-7 with 4: 32 remaining in the half.

A combination of conservative play by Dayton and the Tigers' use of their timeouts forced the Flyers to punt. However, it was blocked by Sean Hendricks and recovered by Madieu Williams in the end zone, putting Towson ahead 16-13 with 12 seconds left before halftime.

Lee hit White on a 9-yard scoring play to extend Towson's lead to 23-13. Then, a pair of touchdown runs by Tony Hurps gave Dayton a 27-23 lead heading into the final quarter before the winning catch by White.

Next for Towson

Opponent: Colgate

Site: Andy Kerr Stadium, Hamilton, N.Y.

When: Saturday, 12: 30 p.m.

Record: 8-1

Yesterday: Beat Lehigh, 28-24.

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