Towson's Brown returns in time for A-10 schedule

With injury healed, receiver should boost Tigers' passing game vs. Maine

State Notebook

Colleges

October 05, 2006|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun reporter

The big-play Tiger is back, just in time to tackle the meatiest portion of the rugged Atlantic 10 schedule.

Not that Andrae Brown has been inconspicuous while Towson has built a 4-0 record and risen to a No. 17 ranking among NCAA Division I-AA teams. The co-captain has been on the sideline at every game, acting as unofficial head cheerleader, after suffering a broken finger in a freak accident during preseason workouts.

"He's always running around goofing off with everybody," Tigers quarterback Sean Schaefer said. "He drives to all the away games, just can't stay away. When he comes out, it's with passion to play. He's always in a good mood."

Schaefer is one of many Tigers thrilled to have Brown on the field again. The wide receiver was Towson's only player honored on the preseason All-Atlantic 10 team, after being named second-team all-league a year ago. He led Towson with 63 catches for 870 yards, scored nine touchdowns and had a five-touchdown splurge against Northeastern that earned him Offensive Player of the Week.

The Milford Mill alumnus will provide yet another option for the Tigers' powerful passing game when they face Maine on Saturday in their first A-10 home game.

"The opposition's defensive coordinator has to account for him, wherever he is," Tigers coach Gordy Combs said. "He's another dimension to defend."

"As of Monday, I was going full blast," Brown said. "It was a hurting thing to be out. It's the first time for me. I just tried to watch film and learn. And I went to every last game to support them as much as possible. Now, I just want to play and contribute."

On the road again

Morgan State might be poised to go on a roll after a confidence-boosting 28-14 victory over Bethune-Cookman, a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's upper echelon.

The Bears' next two games are on the road, but the opposition is the league's co-doormats, North Carolina A&T and Howard, and Morgan's backup quarterback, sophomore Mario Melton, emerged from the shadows to become the MEAC Offensive Player of the Week.

"Mario stepped in and did a great job. He threw the ball well, made things happen, and the guys rallied around him and played for him," coach Donald Hill-Eley said.

With starter Byron Selby (Dunbar) idled by a broken knuckle on his throwing hand, Melton will be in charge of the attack for at least several more weeks.

Melton accumulated 239 yards of total offense, 106 of them rushing, scored on a 70-yard run and threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Rodrick Wolfe (Edmondson).

Morgan also produced the MEAC Defensive Player of the Week in lineman Terrell Floyd, the catalyst in shutting out Bethune-Cookman (which had been averaging more than 37 points a game) until the final nine minutes. Floyd had nine tackles, three for losses of 25 yards, three sacks and a fumble recovery.

But Hill-Eley is concerned that the Aggies might be ready to spring such an effort on Morgan at their homecoming. A&T has been on the road for three straight games.

"They have so much potential and we're going to play to their potential, not their record," Hill-Eley said. "You always have to guard against them rising up."

Et cetera

Towson's men's soccer team (7-1-2) is off to its best start in 11 years under coach Frank Olszewski and has moved into second place in the Colonial Athletic Association and fourth in the regional rankings behind Maryland, Virginia and Old Dominion. A stout defense has been the main reason. Towson has won five 1-0 games. ... UMES will hold a slam-dunk contest and a three-point shootout in conjunction with its Midnight Madness basketball opening Oct. 13. Four finalists will compete in each event, which are open to the public. ... Salisbury's field hockey team dropped to No. 4 in the Division III poll after losing consecutive games for the first time since 1999. The Sea Gulls are the three-time defending national champions.

kent.baker@baltsun.com

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