Towson beats Delaware behind Schaefer's 5 TDs

Towson 49 Delaware 35

October 29, 2006|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN REPORTER

NEWARK, Del. -- A defense that applies no heat against Towson quarterback Sean Schaefer is asking for trouble, a lesson Delaware learned painfully yesterday.

The Towson sophomore steered an attack that punished the No. 25 Blue Hens with 627 yards of total offense, the most they ever have permitted in a regular-season game, and ushered the Tigers to a 49-35 Atlantic 10 victory before 22,136 at windswept Delaware Stadium.

It was a key performance for Towson (6-2, 3-2), which kept its hopes alive for a Division I-AA postseason appearance, assured itself of a winning season, and matched its victory totals from 2005, both overall and in the conference.

"I think we have to win out unless a lot of other things happen," Tigers coach Gordy Combs said of the team's playoff chances, which all but evaporated for Delaware (4-4, 2-3), the national champion in the division three years ago.

Schaefer rarely had rushers to contend with as he passed for 435 yards and threw for five touchdowns, equaling a career high. The few times he was under duress, he scrambled for important gains in a shootout that produced 1,081 yards of offense.

"Hats off to Towson," Delaware coach K.C. Keeler said. "We blitzed them, played zone, nickel and dime, you name it and we did it. ... Our defensive coordinator said he didn't have another call left on the sheet."

After the Blue Hens rallied with two touchdowns late in the first half to tie the score at 21, they took the second-half kickoff to the Towson 10-yard line. But Zach Hobby was wide right on a 27-yard field-goal attempt, and that was the last time Delaware threatened to seize the lead.

The Tigers - who played without preseason All-Atlantic 10 receiver Andrae Brown (knee) - scored touchdowns on all four of their second-half possessions, driving 80, 69, 80 and 73 yards to improve their road record to 4-0. Towson, which fell just out of the Top 25 after consecutive losses to Maine and Massachusetts, likely will return to the rankings.

Eric Yancey was the primary target for Schaefer, catching nine passes for 140 yards and three scores.

"After that first drive, we just felt the only way they were going to be able to stop us is if we stopped ourselves," said Yancey, referring to an 80-yard march on the opening kickoff that ended with a 22-yard touchdown catch by Demetrius Harrison. Harrison, Brown's replacement, had six receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns.

The key was the abundance of time for Schaefer, who leads I-AA in completions per game.

"I didn't have much pressure," Schaefer said. "The offensive line has stepped up big all year."

The 627 yards generated by Towson were only 43 short of the school record, set 10 years ago.

"It's difficult to match a team playing that well offensively," Keeler said.

kent.baker@baltsun.com

Towson 7 14 14 14 -49

Delaware 0 21 0 14 -35

First quarter Tow-Harrison 22 pass from Schaefer (Halbruner kick), 12:10.

Second quarter Tow-Yancey 34 pass from Schaefer (Halbruner kick), 14:18. Del-Bradley 38 run (Hobby kick), 12:50. Tow-N.Williams 10 run (Halbruner kick), 8:09. Del-Agnone 13 pass from Flacco (Hobby kick), 1:32. Del-Love 12 pass from Flacco (Hobby kick), :06.

Third quarter Tow-Yancey 7 pass from Schaefer (Halbruner kick), 5:16. Tow-Harrison 48 pass from Schaefer (Halbruner kick), 1:19.

Fourth quarter Del-Agnone 23 pass from Flacco (Hobby kick), 12:52. Tow-Yancey 20 pass from Schaefer (Halbruner kick), 9:08. Del-Patrick 5 pass from Flacco (Hobby kick), 7:28. Tow-McClaude 12 run (Halbruner kick), 2:35. A-22,136.

Tow Del

First downs 31 29

Rushes-yards 3-192 23-113

Passing 435 341

Comp-Att-Int 27-37-0 32-52-2

Return Yards -3 20

Punts-Avg. 2-40.0 2-38.0

Fumbles-Lost 2-0 0-0

Penalties-Yards 7-67 2-10

Time of possession 31:17 28:43 Rushing-Towson, N.Williams 18-84, McClaude 10-65, Schaefer 5-19, Harrison 1-14, Miles 2-11, Castor 1-3, Team 2-(minus 4); Delaware, Michaud 15-61, Bradley 7-59, Flacco 1-(minus 7). Passing-Towson, Schaefer 27-37-0-435; Delaware, Flacco 32-51-2-341, Team 0-1-0-0. Receiving-Towson, Yancey 9-140, Harrison 6-128, Arnold 6-58, Lee 4-79, McClaude 1-16, Perry 1-14; Delaware, Love 12-126, Patrick 7-74, Michaud 7-62, Finnegan 3-35, Agnone 2-36, Bradley 1-8.

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