Romeo, Telp boost Towson to 27-6 win

Running back's 185 yards, defender's interceptions for TDs sink Georgetown

College Football

November 09, 2003|By Matt Papuchis | Matt Papuchis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WASHINGTON - It was Towson coach Gordy Combs' plan to run the ball as much as possible yesterday to take some pressure off quarterback Anthony Melzi.

It worked.

Powered by Matt Romeo's 185-yard, one-touchdown performance, the Tigers rolled to a 27-6 Patriot League win over Georgetown before 996 at Harbin Field for their first road win of the season.

"Last year, we came up short, so it was revenge this year," Romeo said, referring to Georgetown's 24-16 upset victory in last season's finale, a game in which Romeo had 147 rushing yards.

Combs added: "Anytime we want to run the ball at somebody, we feel that Matt has that ability. He's always had that ability since he took over two years ago."

Despite Towson's dominance of Georgetown throughout, it was still either team's game late in the fourth quarter, at which point defensive back Davon Telp busted it wide open.

After the Hoyas, down 14-6, stopped the Tigers (5-5, 3-3) on fourth-and-four, Georgetown (3-7, 1-5) took over at its 40-yard line, hoping to capitalize on good field position.

But the hope quickly evaporated. After Georgetown quarterback Drew Crawford threw an incomplete pass to start the drive, Telp picked off a pass at the Hoyas' 49 and took it all the way in for the score with 2:10 remaining.

Two minutes later, he did it again, this time intercepting the ball at the Tigers' 5-yard line and going 95 yards for a touchdown - tying a school record he set two years ago against Monmouth.

"I credit the defensive line for putting pressure on the quarterback," Telp said. "We all gave a great effort."

Towson's defense made big plays all game, particularly Steve Hessler (two fumble recoveries) and Neal Regan (nine tackles).

At the end of the first half, the unit had its biggest moment of the game.

Trailing 7-6, Georgetown had first-and-goal at the Towson 1-yard line - thanks to a 34-yard pass from Crawford to Luke McArdle with 25 seconds remaining - threatening to score and take the lead heading into halftime.

But Towson's defense refused to buckle, stopping the Hoyas on two plays and then blocking Michael Gillman's 18-yard field-goal attempt.

"It gave us great momentum," Combs said. "They made a great throw and a great catch, but we were able to get our goal-line defense in. Our defense has played well all year. I have faith that our defense can play that well every week."

Towson also dipped into its bag for a little trickery. Knowing the Hoyas were anticipating run all afternoon, the Tigers ran a flea flicker and Melzi hit Jason Galloway in stride for a 71-yard touchdown pass with 8:47 left in the game.

"We wanted to run the football, no doubt. But what that does is set up the play-action [pass] and we saw that in the flea flicker," Combs said.

Georgetown scored first midway through the first quarter after a pass by Melzi was intercepted by Matt Fronczke and returned 52 yards for a touchdown, but a blocked extra-point kick shifted the momentum and the Hoyas were kept off the scoreboard the rest of the way.

Towson 0 7 0 20 - 27

Georgetown 6 0 0 0 - 6

First quarter G-Fronczke 52 INT return (kick blocked), 8:32 Second quarter T-Romeo 4 run (Toth kick), 1:34 Fourth quarter T-Galloway 71 pass from Melzi (Toth kick), 8:47 T-Telp 49 INT return (kick blocked), 2:10 T-Telp 95 INT return (Toth kick), :12 A-996.

T G

First downs 16 13

Rushes-yards 59-200 32-95

Passing 113 139

Comp-Att-Int 7-14-2 11-25-3

Return Yards 18 121

Punts-Avg. 4-36.8 7-34.4

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-2

Penalties-Yards 4-29 2-10

Time of Possession 35:35 24:25

Rushing-Towson, Romeo 40-185, Harris 4-17, Brown 3-7, Brunetti 1-0, Lundy 4-0, Melzi 7-(-9). Georgetown, Sims 5-42, Slayton 10-26, Sarin 5-22, Huiskang 1-19, Turner 3-7, Crawford 8-(-21). Passing-Towson, Melzi 7-14-2-113. Georgetown, Crawford 11-24-3-139, Team 0-1-0-0. Receiving-Towson, Galloway 2-71, Byroads 2-27, Brunetti 1-6, Velardo 1-5, Marcus 1-4. Georgetown, Huiskang 3-28, Saunders 2-48, McArdle 2-44, Castergine 2-13, Bowser 1-6, Agnello 1-0.

Next for Towson

Matchup: Albany (7-3) vs. Towson (5-5)

Site: Johnny Unitas Stadium

When: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

Radio: WTMD (89.7 FM)

Yesterday: Albany beat Robert Morris, 27-0.

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