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Tigers struggle in 2nd half, fall to SBU

By: Bryan Encarnacao

towson-football

Even with star running back Darius Victor’s season being finished, the Tigers remain committed to running the ball against the Stony Brook Seawolves. But while Towson was still strong on the ground, so were their opponents and it was the Tigers’ inability to contain Stony Brook’s ground-and-pound that cost them their fourth loss of the season.

Stony Brook out-rushed Towson 205 to 156, averaged more yard per carry and finished with four rushing touchdown to get the 27-20 victory in Unitas Stadium on Saturday night.

The Seawolves started the game utilizing a fast-paced, no huddle offense that kept the Tigers on their heels. And with their opponent being s aggressive, Towson was aggressive early two and choose to go for it on fourth and three from the Stony Brook 42-yard line. The conversion failed, though, and it proved to be critical. Stony Brook responded with a touchdown drive that saw Stacy Bedell punching it into the endzone from the three yard line. That touchdown gave Stony Brook the early lead; actually it was the first time Stony Brook scored first this entire year.

Bedell finished the game with 126 yards and two touchdowns as he continuously punished the Tigers defense.

Towson responded to Stony Brook’s touchdown drive by pushing the ball down the field late in the first quarter. Deshaun Wethington, who as splitting running back duties with Shane Simpson, began to make some big plays. E has two runs for 40 yards on the scoring drive that was capped off by quarterback Ellis Knudson finding Andre Dessenberg in the corner of the endzone for the touchdown.

Both offenses stalled for a period in the second quarter until Knudson was able to connect with both Sam Gallahan and Christian Summers on deep completions of 24 and 36, respectively. The Tigers couldn’t get the ball in the endzone, tough, and had to settle for a field goal after a failed conversion in the redzone.

Knudson continued his efficient first half as he drove the ball down the field after a Stony Brook punt and found tight end Tanner Vallely for the two-yard touchdown completion to give the Tigers a 17-7 lead at halftime.

But Stony Brook set the tone after the break with their defense, squandering any chances the Tigers could muster. And that defense turned into offense.

After a Tigers punt, Bedell and quarterback Joe Carbone took turns racking up huge yards and it was Carbone who finished the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run.

Towson’s offense continued to stall and were forced to punt again. Stony Brook continued to control the clock with Bedell picking up chunks of yards and first downs. Stony Brook again followed the Tiger punt with a touchdown as running back Jordan Gowins punched the ball in.

After that score that gave Stony Brook the lead back, Towson finally got back into the redzone and faced with a fourth and one on the Stony Brook eight yard line, head coach Rob Ambrose gambled with a quarterback sneak. But instead of extending the drive the initial Towson push was topped and Knudson was called short. Stony Brook got the ball back with 10:11 remaining an a three-point lead.

Towson was finally able to come up with a key defensive stand and forced a punt, but after such an efficient first three quarters, Knudson made a crucial mistake in the fourth quarter and was intercepted by Jaheem Woods.

That interceptions seemed to seal the deal for the Tigers as their defense cold not stop Bedell and the Seawolves. Bedell scored his second touchdown with a 23-yard run.

Towson followed the drive with 27-yard field goal, but failed on fourth down at the end of the game.

Knudson finished the game completing 20 of 33 passes for 250 yards and two touchdown, but two interceptions. Simpson led Towson with 76 rushing yards while Wethington was close behind with 67 yards. Both freshman backs ran the ball 13 times in the game.

After falling to 0-3 in the CAA, Towson will have a non-conference game at Dartmouth in an attempt to fix their issues before returning home on Oct. 22 to host conference foe New Hampshire.

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Bryan Encarnacao

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