At Towson, Goldbeck puts QB job up in air

Former Calvert Hall player impressive in spring game

College Football

May 02, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Usually, the Towson football team's quarterback situation is virtually a settled issue entering fall practice. Not this year.

Baltimore freshman Andrew Goldbeck threw major doubt into the identity of the starter yesterday in the team's spring game at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

"Goldbeck did a lot of positive things," Tigers coach Gordy Combs said. "He makes good decisions, and he's productive. There is a heck of a competition going into fall camp."

Junior-to-be Anthony Melzi, who assumed the role when Jay Amer quit the team after four games in 2003, is the incumbent. Towson was 4-4 while Melzi started, but he underwent back surgery in the offseason and sat out yesterday's scrimmage, which matched the offense against the defense.

Of the three players who led the Towson offense, Goldbeck (Calvert Hall) was the most impressive. He was 9-for-20 passing for 190 yards and two touchdowns, both to wide receiver DaRon Arnold (Milford Mill).

The only time he failed to move his unit was late in the game when the offense was backed up at its 5-yard line and the defense was protecting a 19-17 lead that turned out to be the final score.

"We'll just have to wait and see and hope for the best," said Goldbeck, who sat out as a redshirt last season. "I'm already used to the offense. I know where people are going to be, and I'm real comfortable out there."

The comfort level can be attributed to Goldbeck's association with offensive coordinator Phil Albert at Calvert Hall. Albert, longtime Towson head coach, returned to the school last season.

"About the seventh or eighth practice of the spring, he had improved," Combs said. "He gives his teammates confidence, and that's very important at that position."

One of those with confidence is Arnold, Goldbeck's partner in the weightlifting room. The freshman had touchdown receptions of 24 yards in the first quarter and 54 yards early in the fourth when defensive back William Collins gambled for the ball and missed.

"Hopefully, this puts me on top," Arnold said of the wide-out lineup.

Without some injured members projected to be key players on the unit (Davon Telp, Rich Stallone, Bryan Fitzpatrick and Tony Lumpkin), the defense scored 10 points by forcing punts, three points with an interception by Collins, two points each with fumble recoveries by T.J. Foley and Adjete Wilson, and two points on a safety when Larry Fowlkes tackled Goldbeck in the end zone. That accounted for the unit's 19-point total.

"I think we're pretty strong there," Combs said.

Towson enters perhaps the toughest Division I-AA league in the nation, the Atlantic 10, this fall. The A-10 includes defending national champion Delaware, which hosts the Tigers on Sept. 11 in their first league game.

"I met with the refs who officiate in the A-10 and asked them how we look for the fall," Combs said. "They told me we have a chance and should be able to hold our own because we're pretty athletic."

NOTES: The Tigers' opener is Sept. 4, a non-league game at Elon (N.C.). ... No running back ran wild yesterday, with Marcus Frisby, a converted defensive player running as the fourth quarterback, leading the ground game with 57 yards.

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