Goldbeck, Towson back on track

QB passes for 285 yards in 21-11 win over Cornell

Tigers end 2-game skid

College Football

October 03, 2004|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Towson University had trouble running the ball and committed enough penalties to make its coach mad yesterday, but quarterback Andrew Goldbeck and a strong defense refused to let the Tigers fall again.

Goldbeck was the star before 2,522 at Johnny Unitas Stadium, where he threw for a career-high 285 yards and two touchdowns. His defense did the rest, as Towson stopped a two-game losing streak by beating Cornell, 21-11.

"We were looking to bounce back after a bad performance," said Gold- beck, the second-year freshman from Calvert Hall who tossed three interceptions in last week's 27-3 loss to Northeastern, then rebounded to complete 24 of 36 attempts with no interceptions. "We had a good week of practice. We thought we could take advantage in the passing game."

Towson (2-2) won for the 200th time in school history. The Tigers did it by not turning the ball over and by scoring touchdowns on their first and last possessions of the first half to take a 14-0 lead. And they did it because Goldbeck seized big-play opportunities to hurt Cornell's overmatched secondary.

After softening up the smaller Big Red (1-2) on the ground with an 11-play, 56-yard scoring drive to open the contest, the Tigers could not sustain a running game with their backfield-by-committee.

Josh Corle (ankle) missed the game, leaving sophomore Kerry Miles, junior Matt Brunetti and freshman Nick Williams to average barely 3 yards on 34 carries.

But Goldbeck took care of the rest, with an assist from a defense that forced two turnovers, allowed 66 yards rushing and broke up 11 passes. Junior cornerback Allante Harrison picked off his sixth pass to maintain his NCAA lead.

"One of the things we harped on all week was starting out quickly and finishing the play. I thought we did a great job of that on both sides of the ball. Then we went back [to being sloppy]," said Tigers coach Gordy Combs, taking note of Towson's 12 penalties at a cost of 117 yards.

"I thought [Goldbeck] grew up a lot today. I liked his decision-making process. He responds very well. He's an intelligent young man."

After an interception by senior safety/linebacker P.D. Moore late in the first half, Goldbeck stepped up smartly in the pocket, then hit junior receiver Will Marcus on a deep post pattern. Marcus broke a tackle and easily completed a 43-yard touchdown play with 40 seconds left in the half.

Then, after Cornell had closed the gap to 14-3 in the third quarter, Goldbeck completed a nine-play, 80-yard march early in the fourth quarter. As blitzing safety Joel Sussman was about to hit him, Goldbeck released the ball. Sophomore wide-out Eric Yancey ran by safety Kevin Rex and caught it in stride for a 55-yard scoring play.

"Their safeties seemed confused. They were still moving at the snap," said Yancey, who had five catches for 91 yards. "I gave [Rex] a move and kept running right by him. When I looked back, the ball was in the air."

That made it 21-3 with 13:46 left. To Cornell's credit, the Big Red did not go easily. They cut the lead to 21-11 when tight end Troy Follmar made a circus catch on a 23-yard scoring pass from quarterback D.J. Busch, who then converted a two-point conversion with tight end Chris Eckstein with 7:39 left.

Cornell then made things interesting by blocking a punt with 1:15 left and taking over at the Towson 20. But, out of timeouts, the Big Red drew a holding penalty on first down, then stalled for good.

Cornell 0 0 3 8 -- 11

Towson 7 7 0 7 -- 21

First quarter T--Miles 2 run (Toth kick), 10:06. Second quarter T--Marcus 43 pass from Goldbeck (Toth kick), 0:40. Third quarter C--MacMeekin 32 FG, 2:29. Fourth quarter T--Yancey 55 pass from Goldbeck (Toth kick), 13:46. C--Follmar 23 pass from Busch (Eckstein pass from Busch), 7:39. A--2,522.

.........................C T

First downs 13 20

Rushes-yards 22-66 37-100

Passing 234 285

Comp-Att-Int 43-21-2 36-24-0

Return Yards 134 84

Punts-Avg. 7-38.6 8-28.6

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0

Penalties-Yards 10-90 12-117

Time of Possession 25:20 34:40

Rushing--Cornell, Johnston 9-25, Hardaway 6-21, Busch 7-20. Towson, Miles 16-43, Brunetti 10-36, Williams 8-25, Goldbeck 3-(-4). Passing--Cornell, Busch 21-42-234-2. Towson, Goldbeck 24-36-285-0. Receiving--Cornell, Romney 6-70, Johnston 4-44, Nice 4-35, Hardaway 3-39, Carvolth 2-15, Follmar 1-23, Eckstein 1-8. Towson, Yancey 5-91, Brown 5-32, Marcus 4-51, Arnold 4-49, Miles 3-40, Alexander 1-11, Brunetti 1-7, Perry 1-4.

Next for Towson

Matchup: Rhode Island (2-2, 0-1) vs. Towson (2-2, 0-2)

Site: Johnny Unitas Stadium

When: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Radio: WTMD (89.7 FM)

Yesterday: Rhode Island lost to Brown, 20-13

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