Towson's Combs making progress

Coach hoping success translates into extension

College Football

State Notebook

October 20, 2005|By MATT PAPUCHIS | MATT PAPUCHIS,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Towson's Gordy Combs knew that he had one season to turn it all around if he expected to be the team's coach after this year. So far, he has guided Towson (5-2, 2-2 Atlantic 10 Football Conference) to its best start since the 2002 season.

Among those wins was a 35-31 upset of Delaware, then the fifth-ranked Division I-AA team in the nation. A week later, Towson defeated Rhode Island on the road for its second Atlantic 10 win.

The Tigers didn't record a league win in 2004, their first year in the Atlantic 10.

Athletic director Wayne Edwards, who will be retiring in June after 11 years with Towson, said a decision has not been made on whether Combs will be retained for a 15th year. He said he will make a recommendation to president Robert L. Caret, who will make the decision.

Edwards didn't say if he has finalized his recommendation, but he said: "We are obviously very pleased with the progress of our football program. At this time, there is nothing I can say about this, other than I will be meeting soon with President Caret to discuss."

Edwards said Towson has given midseason contract extensions before.

A win this week at 12th-ranked William and Mary would give the Tigers their fourth straight victory, which they haven't achieved since 1996.

Morgan shows `D'

It was only Morgan State's second win of the season and its first in conference play, but it's the way it came that excited coach Donald Hill-Eley.

Morgan's 7-0 shutout over rival Howard last weekend proved that the Bears' defense is capable of coming up with big stops. Entering the game, the Bears had allowed an average of 36.6 points a game and had surrendered 40 points or more in three straight contests.

That contributed to the worst start for Morgan (2-5, 1-3 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) since Hill-Eley took over in 2002.

But after recording their first shutout since 2001 -- led by linebacker Darius Leak (team-high 65.5 tackles and three sacks) and safety Choo Choo Davis (47 tackles and two interceptions) -- the Bears are poised to claw their way back to respectability with four conference games left.

Et cetera

Bowie State (6-2, 3-2 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) is in the race for the league's Eastern Division title with two games left, including the Gold Bowl game this weekend against Virginia Union (2-6, 1-4).

Johns Hopkins wide receiver Anthony Triplin's 11 receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown in Friday's win over Gettysburg earned him the Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Week Award. It was the 100th win for coach Jim Margraff and improved the Blue Jays to 6-0.

Salisbury, which has put up 143 points in its past two games, received 67 votes in this week's Division III poll. The Sea Gulls (5-1) are looking to crack the Top 25 with a win this week over St. Peter's (1-5).

Frostburg State defensive end Kevin Culbert (nine tackles, one interception) was the co-Atlantic Central Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week, and Shanorm Young (154 rushing yards, two touchdowns) was the co-ACFC Offensive Player of the Week after last week's win over Thomas More. Frostburg is 3-3.

McDaniel (4-2), coming off a triple overtime loss to Dickinson, wraps up its nonconference schedule at Randolph-Macon (1-5) on Saturday.

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