Towson moving for playoff push


Tigers host Richmond in key A-10 game

State Notebook


At the beginning of this season, few would have predicted that this game would have so much meaning. Judging by last season's records, few in the Atlantic 10 would have seen this coming, given the fact that Richmond and Towson were picked to finish fifth and sixth, respectively, in the six-team South Division preseason poll.

They were the bottom dwellers of the league last year - Richmond at 2-6 and 3-8 overall and Towson at 0-8 and also 3-8 overall - and the only teams in the conference to score less than 150 points in their eight A-10 games.

However, tomorrow's noon game between the Tigers and the Spiders at Johnny Unitas Stadium has significant playoff implications. Richmond (6-3, 5-1) has already gained at least a share of the South title, while Towson (6-3, 3-3) is in a three-way tie for second place with James Madison, which it plays in the season finale on Nov. 19, and William and Mary.

"They've both done an unbelievable job," Atlantic 10 commissioner Linda Bruno said of Towson's Gordy Combs and Richmond's Dave Clawson. "Winning in this conference is not easy. It's one of the most competitive I-AA conferences in the country, so it's a credit to the two of them, and what they've been able to do."

With two conference games remaining for each team, both Towson and Richmond have won three more Atlantic 10 games than they did last year.

Regents Cup time

Salisbury and Frostburg State will be meeting for the 33rd time in the seventh annual Regents Cup game tomorrow at 7 p.m., at Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium. Salisbury is trying for a share of the Atlantic Central Football Conference title, and Frostburg State has won four games in a row after starting 2-3.

The all-time series between the two state rivals is even at 16 wins each.

"It's a rivalry game, so the kids are all fired up," Frostburg coach Rubin Stevenson said. "Right now, the Cup is down there and the kids want to bring it back."

The Sea Gulls (6-3, 3-1), who started the season 6-1, have lost two straight, including a 63-19 loss to conference leader Wesley two weeks ago. Even if the Sea Gulls gain a share of the conference title, they aren't guaranteed a spot in the NCAA Division III playoffs because the ACFC doesn't have an automatic bid.

They would need to be awarded one of four at-large bids.

Even though Frostburg (6-3, 1-3) is out of the ACFC title race, the Bobcats have been revitalized by the late run that guarantees the school its third winning season in the past five years.

Et cetera

McDaniel (5-4, 2-3) broke its four-game losing skid last week and looks to spoil Johns Hopkins' chances of winning the Centennial Conference title outright tomorrow.

The Blue Jays (7-2, 4-1 CC), behind the play of quarterback Zach DiIonno and running back T.J. Lyons, have already clinched a share of the title and a Division III playoff berth - the first in program history.

Since both Gettysburg and Franklin and Marshall are 3-2 in conference play, and face each other tomorrow, the winner would finish with four conference wins and tie Hopkins if it lost to the Green Terror.

Bowie State (8-3, 5-2 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) has been invited to play in the Pioneer Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., against Tuskegee (9-1, 8-1 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) on Dec. 3 at American Legion Memorial Stadium.

The bowl game, which takes place every season, features the CIAA vs. SIAC. It marks Bowie's first appearance in the Pioneer Bowl, and its second postseason appearance ever.

Its other appearance was in the Division II playoffs in 1988 when it lost to Portland State, 34-17. Sophomore running back Isaac Redman led Bowie this season with a school-record 1,425 rushing yards.

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