Breaux shines in debut

Basketball player has 7 catches for 109 yards

Towson 20 C. Connecticut State 10

College Football

August 31, 2007|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN REPORTER

Consider this a sign of Towson University's depth at wide receiver: On the night it lost promising Hakeem Moore, it found unstoppable Tommy Breaux.

Breaux, a 6-foot-9 basketball center for the Tigers, made his college football debut last night at Johnny Unitas Stadium with seven catches - some of them acrobatic, all of them clutch - for 109 yards.

The Tigers cashed in a 20-10 victory over Central Connecticut State that was typical of a season opener: There were as many cramps as there were mistakes on a humid evening.

In the end, they logged their 12th straight nonconference win behind the eighth 300-yard passing game of quarterback Sean Schaefer's 22-game career, getting big plays when they needed them.

None seemed bigger than the spectacular 37-yard grab Breaux made between two defenders deep in Central Connecticut territory in the first half. Schaefer finished off a methodical two minute drill with a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide-open Marcus Lee.

"After the deep ball, it was on," said Breaux, who acknowledged having a case of nerves.

Breaux arrived from Blinn (Texas) Junior College last year, practiced with the football team and played for Pat Kennedy's Tigers. His height advantage will make him a favorite target of Schaefer's in the red zone.

His presence will help make up for the loss of Moore, who suffered a dislocated ankle with five minutes left in the game and left the field on a cart. Coach Gordy Combs said he expects Moore's season to be over.

Breaux had a nifty 19-yard catch early in the fourth quarter when the Tigers were driving to a go-ahead, 39-yard field goal by Mark Bencivengo. And he had a pair of 13-yard receptions one series later when Towson finished off Central Connecticut on a 1-yard touchdown run by Rasheed McClaude.

McClaude rushed for a career-high 111 yards on 16 carries, breaking runs of 39 and 28 on the two field-goal drives.

Schaefer, meanwhile, had an uncharacteristic game with three turnovers, including two interceptions. He was effective, nevertheless, completing 30 of 40 passes for an even 300 yards. And he took the blame for Towson's miscues inside the Central Connecticut 20.

The team got just 10 points out of four trips in the red zone.

"I could've made better choices," Schaefer said.

Combs couldn't complain about an offense that piled up 413 yards on just 64 plays. Schaefer completed passes to eight receivers.

"That's typical of Sean," Combs said. "He distributes the ball so well."

The Tigers struggled through a ragged first half. Central Connecticut converted Schaefer's fumble into a 6-yard touchdown run by Jo Jo Freeman and a 7-3 lead in the first quarter.

It was Schaefer's work in the two-minute drill before that half that really stood out. Central Connecticut downed a punt at the Towson 6-yard line with 2:03 left in the second quarter.

It took Schaefer eight plays and 63 seconds to travel the 94 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. He completed the first five passes of the drive, including the deep ball to Breaux.

Towson's defense had a long night. The Blue Devils used two running quarterbacks in the option offense to gain 246 yards on the ground. They finished with 324 total yards. Combs promised more scrutiny of the defense next week before the Tigers visit Morgan State.

Linebackers Brian Bradford, who had a career-high 17 tackles, and John Webb, who had 14, were gritty against the option.

"We're a fast defense and we like to run," Bradford said. "We had a problem tackling as a whole."

ken.murray@baltsun.com

Central Conn. St. 7 0 3 0-10

Towson 3 7 0 10-20

First quarter T-FG 34 Bencivengo, 12:14 CCS-Freeman 6 run (Bien kick), 4:24

Second quarter T-Lee 19 pass from Schaefer (Bencivengo kick), 0:55

Third quarter CCS-FG 35 Bien, 4:11

Fourth quarter T-FG 39 Bencivengo, 9:24 T-McClaude 1 run (Bencivengo kick), 2:51 Att.-7,276.

CCS T

First downs 21 19

Total Net Yards 324 413

Rushes-yards 57-246 24-113

Passing 78 300

Punt Returns 0-0 2-13

Kickoff Returns 4-69 2-57

Interceptions Ret. 2-13 0-0

Comp-Att-Int 11-26-0 30-40-2

Sacked-Yards Lost 2-9 0-0

Punts 5-42.0 2-35.5

Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1

Penalties-Yards 5-27 6-55

Time of Possession 34:46 25:14

Rushing-Central Connecticut State, Freeman 20-88, Holmes 9-65, McKenley 13-44, Norris 5-28, Cavanaugh 2-13, Hull 1-6, Mallory 4-5, Roberts 1-0, Team 2-(-3). Towson, McClaude 16-111, Castor 4-12, Schaefer 4-(-10). Passing-Central Connecticut State, Holmes 7-15-0-37, Cavanaugh 3-5-0-35, Norris 1-4-0-6, Team 0-2-0-0. Towson, Schaefer 30-40-2-300. Receiving-Central Connecticut State, Roberts 3-20, Colagiovanni 3-15, Gomez 2-30, Freeman 2-11, Hull 1-2. Towson, Breaux 7-109, Perry 7-51, Harrison 4-30, Moore 4-25, Lee 3-38, Arnold 3-30, McClaude 1-10, Tongu 1-7.

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