Tigers rattle Rams, continue to roll

Towson's Andrae Brown scores rushing, receiving touchdowns in victory at Rhode Island

Towson 23 Rhode Island 14

College football


KINGSTON, R.I. -- The University of Rhode Island football team proved charitable to a fault in a 23-14 homecoming loss to Towson University yesterday at Meade Stadium.

The host Rams (3-3, 1-2 Atlantic 10) turned over the ball on four occasions - three led to the Tigers scoring a pair of touchdowns and a field goal.

In a definitive turnabout, Towson, which came into the game ranked 111th in Division I-AA in turnover ratio, finished with a clean slate in this game.

"We preached to our offense over the last two weeks that we needed to minimize our turnovers, minimize our penalties," Tigers head coach Gordy Combs said after the victory that pushed Towson's record to 4-2 (2-2 A-10). "It's great to win our first A-10 road game and our second A-10 game in a row."

The Rams, with the third-ranked rushing offense (316.2 per game) in the nation, opened the scoring on an 8-yard scamper from quarterback Jayson Davis with 10:27 remaining in the opening quarter. Davis, working from the option, finished with 102 yards on 27 rushes.

The Tigers exploited a Davis interception in the first quarter, manufacturing a 10-play, 59-yard drive that culminated in a 14-yard touchdown run on an end-around by Andrae Brown (Milford Mill).

With soggy field conditions prevailing throughout the game, the Tigers' passing attack, at least at the outset, was fraught with a number of mishandled balls.

"I dropped a few passes in the beginning because it was wet and I had to get my mind right," said Brown, who scored the game-winning touchdown on a 14-yard hookup with Tigers quarterback Sean Schaefer late in the third quarter. "Fortunately we pulled it together."

Brown's decisive score capped a 10-play, 66-yard drive for the Tigers.

Earlier, Ron Halbruner snapped a 7-7 deadlock with his second field goal of the season, a 30-yard boot with 9:02 to go in the third quarter.

Halbruner's kick was set up by a solid hit from Towson tackle Marc Destra on Rams running back Joe Casey at the Rhode Island 39-yard line. Following the recovery by John Webb, Towson used five plays to get inside the Rhode Island 20-yard line and into Halbruner's range.

"After we got through the first series in which we gave up a touchdown, we collected ourselves and played a lot better," Combs said. "We made a lot of plays when we needed to."

Towson's Nick Williams (Calvert Hall) bore the brunt of the ground game for the Tigers, carrying 26 times for 78 yards.

The sophomore back carried six times in the Tigers' final scoring drive that finished with a Kerry Miles 1-yard plunge with 5:19 to play. The Towson possession began as a result of a Davis fumble in a first-and-10 situation from the Rams' 34-yard line.

"Our defense played great," Williams said. "We've been waiting for them to come out. Our offense has been winning games but today it was our defense that got it done."

Calvin Poole briefly edged Rhode Island into the lead in the third quarter, rushing from 1 yard out to give the Rams a 14-10 advantage.

"Our offense has been responding over the last couple of weeks," Combs said. "We responded twice in the Delaware game when we were down, and we went ahead and we did that again today. We feed off each other. We got a few turnovers and were able to turn them into points, and that's what you have to do as a football team."

Towson 0 7 9 7 - 23

Rhode Island 7 0 7 0 - 14

First Quarter URI-Davis 8 run (Gallagher kick) 10:27 Second Quarter TOW-Brown 14 run (Halbruner kick) 5:04 Third Quarter TOW-FG Halbruner 30 9:02 URI-Poole 1 run (Gallagher kick) 5:33 TOW-Brown 14 pass from Schaefer (kick failed) 1:17 Fourth Quarter TOW-Miles 1 run (Halbruner kick) 5:19 A-2,508.

Tow RI

First downs 18 22

Rushes-yards 45-123 67-303

Passing 183 10

Comp-Att-Int 18-29-0 2-12-2

Return Yards 19 00

Punts-Avg. 3-31.7 2-29.5

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-2

Penalties-Yards 3-25 1-10

Time of Possession 34:06 25:54

Rushing-Towson, Williams 26-78, Brown 4-27, King 2-23, Miles 3-6, Schaefer 6-4, Team 2-(minus 2), Toth 2-(minus 13). Rhode Island, Davis 27-102, Casey, 20-74, Jones 8-60, Poole 9-57, Campbell 2-6, Biosse 1-4. Passing-Towson, Schaefer, 17-28-0-146, Williams, 1-1-0-37. Rhode Island, Davis, 2-12-2-10. Receiving-Towson, Brown 5-65, Lee 5-64, Williams 2-15, Arnold 2-14, Yancey 2-13, Brown 2-12. Rhode Island, Bowers 1-8, Poole 1-2.

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