Towson dealt 51-10 pasting by Bucknell

Combs: Loss of starters on defense finally costs

College Football

October 07, 2001|By Adam S. Reisinger | Adam S. Reisinger,SUN STAFF

LEWISBURG, Pa. - In each of the previous two seasons, Towson beat Bucknell with a score in the final 20 seconds.

Yesterday, the Bison never gave the Tigers that chance, scoring on their first four possessions en route to a 51-10 victory in front of 2,897 at Christy Mathewson Memorial Stadium.

It was the Tigers' worst loss since a 55-7 drubbing to Lehigh in 1998.

Bucknell quarterback Todd Wenrich was 7-for-7 on his team's opening two drives, opening up a 14-0 lead. The Bison tacked on a 26-yard field goal with less than two minutes left in the quarter, equaling the most points the Towson defense had given up in an entire game all year.

"I think it caught up to us, our losing nine [of last year's starters] on defense," Towson coach Gordy Combs said.

"It was the first time they'd really been exposed, in our fifth game, in terms of some of our weaknesses from a defensive perspective."

The onslaught didn't stop with the end of the first quarter. The Bison's star tailback, Jabu Powell, was the center of a balanced attack, rushing for 114 yards and catching four passes for 48 yards to go along with his two rushing scores.

"We were on our heels," Combs said. "That's a tribute to them, because they were mixing the run and the pass extremely well."

Meanwhile, Towson's Noah Read managed only 24 yards rushing, after averaging a league-high 125.5 coming into the game.

Quarterback Val Troiani fared a little better, going 17-for-37 for 194 yards. However, he threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown, which extended Bucknell's lead to 30 points. He also had a fumble, as did Read, both of which set up Bucknell scoring drives.

"It seemed like we were in a hole all day, trying to get out," linebacker Sean Hendricks said. "Everything that could possibly go wrong for us did."

Ed Kulic finally got Towson on the board with a 26-yard field goal with four minutes left in the third quarter, his eighth three-pointer of the season.

Jay Amer, who relieved Troiani and played the entire fourth quarter, got Towson in the end zone for the first time, throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jon Grubb.

The Tigers, who were outgained on offense by more than 200 yards, still haven't been shut out since a 38-0 loss to Lafayette in 1997.

Towson 0 0 3 7 - 10

Bucknell 17 13 7 14 - 51

Next for Towson

Opponent: Lehigh

Site: Goodman Stadium, Bethlehem, Pa.

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Record: 4-0

Yesterday: Beat Cornell, 38-35

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