Strong 1st half boosts Towson

Tigers get road win at Elon, despite late miscues

Towson 24 Elon 17

College Football

September 10, 2006|By Bill Kiser | Bill Kiser,Special to The Sun

ELON, N.C. -- In the first half of last night's game against Elon, Towson played like a team trying to convince people it deserved more than nine votes in the Division I-AA poll.

But the second half showed that the Tigers may have a little work left to do, as they held off the Phoenix for a 24-17 non-conference victory at Elon's Rhodes Stadium.

Towson quarterback Sean Schaefer threw for 248 yards and one touchdown, Chris Desautels made a 23-yard field goal and three extra-point kicks, and Kerry Miles and Rasheed McClaude both ran for scores as the Tigers built a 21-point lead midway through the third quarter.

But a pair of Towson mistakes - a blocked punt and an interception - allowed Elon (1-1) to score two unanswered touchdowns before the Tigers' defense stiffened.

"It was a hard-fought game on both sides," Towson coach Gordy Combs said. "I don't think we were trying to send any messages. We were just trying to win the game."

This is the 15th time that Towson has opened its season with two straight wins since the program began in 1969.

Towson jumped on the Phoenix at the start, rolling to 208 yards total offense and scoring on three of its first four possessions to go ahead 17-0.

Schaefer hit 14 of 20 in the half for 139 yards and one touchdown, a 10-yarder to Eric Yancey on the Tigers' first possession.

"They played the same coverage the whole game," said Schaefer, who finished the game 25 of 36 with two interceptions. "I just went into a little slump there when I threw the interceptions."

Miles scored on a 1-yard plunge five plays after Towson recovered an Elon fumble to put the Tigers up 14-0 with less than a minute to go in the first quarter, and Desautels made his first field goal of the season with 12:13 left in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, Towson's defense shut down the Phoenix offense, not giving up a first down until midway through the second quarter and holding Elon to 24 rushing yards in the first half.

"I was really disappointed with how we came out of the gate," Phoenix coach Pete Lembo said. "We were just not ready to play on both sides of the ball. We weren't physical enough."

Elon quarterback Wes Pope - who threw for four touchdowns in last week's upset of Coastal Carolina - had just 87 yards in the first half yesterday, and finished with 172 yards on 22 of 39 attempts with one interception.

However, the late mistakes - Elon blocked Tigers punter Bill Shears' kick late in the third quarter to set up T.J. Clegg's 6-yard touchdown run, and Schaefer's second interception led to Pope's 6-yard shovel pass to Clegg - allowed the Phoenix back in the game.

Towson 14 3 7 0 - 24

Elon 0 3 7 7 - 17

First quarter Tow-Yancey 10 pass from Schaefer (Desautels kick), 11:11. Tow-Miles 1 run (Desautels kick), :53. Second quarter Tow-FG Desautels 23, 12:13. Elon-FG Wilcox 39, :03. Third quarter Tow-McClaude 4 run (Desautels kick), 6:38. Elon-Clegg 6 run (Wilcox kick), 1:07. Fourth quarter Elon-Clegg 6 pass from Pope (Wilcox kick), 10:59. A-7,544.

Tow Elon

First downs 16 10

Rushes-yards 28-63 18-47

Passing 248 177

Comp-Att-Int 25-36-2 23-40-1

Return yards 70 93

Punts-Avg. 4-29.8 5-41.4

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-1

Penalties-Yards 4-49 4-63

Time of possession 34:16 25:44

Rushing-Towson, McClaude 17-76, Miles 5-12, Harrison 2-4, Schaefer 4-(minus 29). Elon, Hall 6-22, Pope 5-22, Clegg 5-2, Mayers 1-1, Fearheiley 1-0. Passing-Towson, Schaefer 25-36-2-248. Elon, Pope 22-39-1-172, Hudgins 1-1-0-5. Receiving-Towson, Yancey 6-55, Harrison 5-43, Arnold 4-72, M.Lee 4-44, Perry 2-17, Godlasky 2-14, McClaude 2-3. Elon, Mayers 8-69, Hudgins 6-43, Hall 3-26, Clegg 2-8, Clay 1-16, Blackwell 1-9, Pope 1-5, Williamson 1-(minus 2), Redden 0-3.

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