Northeastern takes down Towson

Huskies get 27-3 victory

Goldbeck: 3 interceptions

College Football

September 26, 2004|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Two weeks after making a spirited stand while losing at Delaware, the reigning Division I-AA champion, the Towson Tigers expected more than what they produced in their home opener last night.

But 18th-ranked Northeastern University instead delivered at Johnny Unitas Stadium, where Huskies quarterback Shawn Brady threw for 151 yards and a touchdown, running back Anthony Riley rushed for 117 yards, and the Tigers killed their cause with three turnovers while tumbling to a 27-3 defeat before 4,322.

The defeat, which was marred by three interceptions by redshirt freshman quarterback Andrew Goldbeck and injuries to running back Jason Corle and linebacker Brian Bradford, marked the worst home loss for the Tigers (1-2) since they dropped a 33-0 decision to Bucknell in their 1997 season finale.

The Huskies (2-1) scored the game's final 27 points, held the Tigers to 12 yards and three first downs in the second half, and provided a rude awakening that was not surprising. Towson is a new member of the Atlantic 10 and has just started to fuel its program with scholarship players.

"It wasn't a lack of effort. The overall thing is we fought hard. We knew we were going to play a good team tonight. I thought we were well-prepared," said Towson coach Gordy Combs, whose team was denied its 200th victory in school history.

Not that Northeastern -- the only team to beat Delaware last year -- was especially sharp. The Huskies committed 100 yards in penalties, had trouble moving the ball early, and needed two first-half interceptions by safety Gavin Potter and a gadget play at the end of the first half to gain control.

Towson needed more from Goldbeck, who missed two possible touchdowns with overthrown passes and took the brunt of the Huskies' blitzes.

After engineering a 13-play, 65-yard drive that produced a 31-yard Stephan Toth field goal, giving Towson its only lead with 5:12 left in the first quarter, Goldbeck threw his first interception. Potter caught the ball uncontested, as wide-out Will Marcus was turning his head to look for the ball. Potter raced 75 yards to the Tigers' 13, setting up a 22-yard field goal by Miro Kesic that tied the game at 3-3 with 6:33 left in the first half.

"I think [Goldberg] threw the ball early. By the time I turned around, I saw the safety going the other way," Marcus said. "I didn't know what was going on. I was shocked myself. When you've got a young quarterback, you've got to deal with the growing pains and move on."

At that point, Towson had lost Corle (12 carries, 55 yards) to an ankle injury and Bradford to a dislocated elbow. And the Huskies were gaining the upper hand with their advantages in size and athleticism.

Northeastern scored on their final two possessions of the half to take a 17-3 lead and basically put the Tigers away.

Northeastern 0 17 7 3 -- 27

Towson 3 0 0 0 -- 3

First quarter T -- Toth 31 FG, 5:12 Second quarter NE -- Kesic 22 FG, 6:33 NE -- Brady 1 run (Kesic kick), 2:25 NE -- Thomas 34 pass from Parks (Kesic kick), 0:09 Third quarter NE -- Parks 19 pass from Brady (Kesic kick), 9:12 Fourth quarter NE -- Kesic 31 FG, 6:30 A--4,322.

NE T

First downs 19 14

Rushes-yards 51-197 31-58

Passing 193 83

Comp-Att-Int 10-17-0 10-21-3

Return Yards 62 157

Punts-Avg. 6-39.2 7-36

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0

Penalties-Yards 10-100 2-11

Time of Possession n/a n/a

Rushing--Northeastern: Riley 18-117, French 5-26, Gyles 8-31, Murray 5-15, Q. Mitchell 1-8, Hopkins 1-4, Brady 7-21, West 1-3, Kent 2-2, Parks 2-3, Team 1-0. Towson: Corle 12-55, Miles 10-32, Brunetti 2-6, Perry 1-0, Goldbeck 1-0, Melzi 1-0, Team 1-0. Passing--Northeastern: Brady 8-14-0-151, Cassidy 1-1-0-8, Parks 1-1-0-34, Team 0-1-0-0. Towson: Goldbeck 9-18-3 82, Melzi 1-3-0, 1. Receiving--Northeastern: Q. Mitchell 3-83, Parks 2-35, Thomas 1-34, French 1-19, Riley 1-8, Motley 1-8, Lawlor, 1-6. Towson: Yancey 4-35, Alexander 3-35, Brown 1-7, Marcus 1-5, Brown 1-1.

Next for Towson

Matchup: Cornell (1-1) vs. Towson (1-2)

Site: Johnny Unitas Stadium

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Radio: WTMD (89.7 FM)

Yesterday: Cornell beat Yale, 19-7

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