Towson edges Coastal Carolina, 47-45, in five overtimes

Quarterback Hart throws for three touchdowns, rushes for 79 yards

  • Towson's Tom Ryan catches a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. The host Tigers won, 47-45, in five overtimes.
Towson's Tom Ryan catches a touchdown pass in the fourth… (Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd…)
September 12, 2010|By Todd Karpovich, Special to The Baltimore Sun

When Chris Hart transferred to Towson before the season, coach Rob Ambrose was confident he had landed a dual-threat quarterback who would add a new dimension to the offense, and all of those skills showed in a five-overtime marathon Saturday night against Coastal Carolina.

Hart helped erase a 14-point second-half deficit, including the tying touchdown with 25 seconds left in the Tigers' home opener. Towson then went on to play its longest game before pulling out a 47-45 victory before an announced 8,990. Towson is 1-1, and the season won't get any easier Saturday at Villanova, ranked second in the Football Championship Subdivision.

"I was basically just reading the defense, taking what was given to me," Hart said.

Hart found Hakeem Moore for a 25-yard touchdown pass in the fifth overtime and then ran for a two-point conversion. Eric O'Neal answered from five yards, but Coastal Carolina could not convert the two-point conversion.

"I was just trying to do the best I could out there," Moore said. "The defense played great. Overall, we played great as a team. I've never been part of something like that."

Coastal Carolina (0-2) has one of the best secondaries in the FCS, but Hart found the seams, completing 13 of 21 passes for 155 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Hart also ran for 79 yards on 22 carries. Towson running back Tremayne Dameron had 107 yards on 27 carries.

Coastal Carolina quarterback Zach MacDowall completed 17 of 31 passes for 174 yards and also ran for two touchdowns.

After trailing 7-0 at the half, the Tigers' offense showed signs of life, tying the game on a 24-yard pass from Hart to Moore with 7:39 left in the third quarter. The Chanticleers answered on the ensuing possession and took a 14-7 lead on a 1-yard run by MacDowall. Coastal Carolina increased the lead to 14 with 12:36 left in the game on a 10-yard run by Racheed Gause.

The Tigers continued to fight, and a 57-yard pass from Hart to Moore gave them the ball at the 4. Hart then found James Oboh for a 2-yard touchdown, cutting the margin to seven with 9:40 left.

Hart then orchestrated a 12-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Tom Ryan with 25 seconds remaining.

In the first overtime, Nick Wallace hit a 34-yard field goal for Towson. Coastal Carolina's Justin Durham answered with a 42-yard field goal. MacDowall scored from the 1 in the second overtime, but Durham missed the extra point. Towson responded on a 2-yard run by Dameron, but Wallace missed the extra point.

Dameron scored again from 4 yards in the third overtime, but Towson failed on the mandatory two-point conversion. Eric O'Neal answered for Coastal Carolina but also missed the conversion. In the fourth overtime, Durham kicked a 43-yard field goal, and Wallace answered from 27 yards, forcing the fifth overtime

"Anybody at this game got their money's worth," Towson coach Rob Ambrose said. "I'm very proud of these guys. I said when I got here our kids will never quit. And they don't quit. We could have played all night. I love these guys."

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