Towson knocks off Rhode Island, captures CAA title, playoff spot

West runs for two TDs, Enders throws for two TDs in 28-17 win

November 19, 2011|Baltimore Sun staff

KINGSTON, R.I. — After trailing Rhode Island 10-0 in the first quarter, Towson shrugged off the deficit to score the next three touchdowns and pull out a 28-17 victory to wrap up the CAA title today. The No. 8 Tigers (9-2, 7-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association) earned their first Football Championship Subdivision playoff berth with the win.

Towson was tied with Maine for first place in the CAA but clinched the championship when the Black Bears lost to New Hampshire today.

Terrance West broke the Tigers' scoring drought with 11:44 left in the second quarter when he scored from three yards out. That cut the score to 10-7. With 1:53 left in the first half, West scored from 10 yards out to put Towson up 14-10.

Tigers quarterback Grant Enders, who was a stellar 20-of-26 for 212 yards and two scores, put Towson up 21-10 when he connected with Tom Ryan on a 21-yard scoring pass.

The Rams stopped the bleeding a bit when they cut the Tigers' lead to 21-17 when Willie McGinnis scored from six yards out with 7:21 left in the third quarter.

But Towson kept Rhode Island at bay and locked up the victory with 6:06 left in the game when Enders hooked up with Ryan again, this time from 18 yards out.

The Tigers will learn who they play at 10 a.m. Sunday during the NCAA FCS Playoff Selection Show on ESPNU. The team will hold a party on the first floor of the University Union Building. Students, faculty and staff, alumni and fans are invited to attend. The doors open at 9:30 a.m.

With the CAA's automatic bid, Towson will get a bye in the first round of the playoffs and play its first game on Dec. 3.

In addition to throwing for 212 yards, Enders led the Tigers in rushing against the Rams with 60 yards on nine carries. West carried 19 times for 52 yards. Ryan caught five passes for 65 yards.

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