It didn't take long to figure out Towson's game plan against Delaware State.
Hand the ball off to junior running back Terrance West, and do it often.
That strategy worked, with West rushing for five touchdowns — tying Tony Vinson's single-game school record — and carrying the Tigers to a 49-7 victory over the Hornets in Saturday night's home opener at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
“I'm not worried about any records. I'm just worried about the national championship,” West said. “That's the big picture. That's the main goal.”
The win gave Towson (3-0), ranked No. 4 in the Football Championship Subdivision, a 10-6 lead in its series against Delaware State (0-2). It was the first time the teams have played in 19 years, resuming the rivalry that was contested annually from 1980 to 1994.
Leading 7-0 in the first quarter, the Tigers had a sequence in which they ran five passing plays in a row after reaching the Hornets' 38-yard line.
After the drive stalled with a missed field goal, Towson got back to running the ball on its next possession.
And once Towson handed the keys to West, he responded with 16 rushes for 82 yards to go with his five touchdowns, with four in the first half.
West's previous high was four touchdowns, which he reached three times in 2011.
“I think Terrance said it perfectly. There are team goals and there are individual goals,” Towson coach Rob Ambrose said. “And the best scenario is when the individual goals happen while chasing the team goals.”
There was no letup after halftime.
Towson wide receiver Derrick Joseph returned the second-half kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, giving him three career kick return scores, a school record.
The backups entered the game with more than 10 minutes left in the third quarter, with Towson holding a 49-0 lead.
Towson quarterback Peter Athens finished 16-for-24 for 209 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Leon Kinnard had four catches for 70 yards, including a 40-yard reception in the second quarter that led to a touchdown by West.
“We're multiple,” Ambrose said of his offense. “We're going to do our best to be efficient at both [passing and rushing].”
Towson continued the second-longest winning streak in the FCS; its seven straight wins trails only North Dakota State's 12. The Tigers have won their past 10 home openers and have a 35-10 record all time in home openers.
They face North Carolina Central next week at 2 p.m. in Durham, N.C.