WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Size and depth prevailed, as William and Mary rolled past Towson State, 43-15, yesterday in front of 15,122 at Zable Stadium.
The Tribe, unbeaten at 6-0 and ranked 10th in Division I-AA, rolled up 430 yards total offense and held the Tigers to one field goal in the second half.
"We didn't make the plays on offense and defense when we had to and they did," Towson State coach Gordy Combs said. "That's the difference in scholarship and non-scholarship athletes."
William and Mary has 65 players on full scholarship, the maximum allowed in I-AA. Towson State (2-4), meanwhile, has 25 to 30 on full athletic grants, with another 10 to 15 grants divided among the rest of the team. The Tribe's superior depth showed in the second half.
"In the first half, they were real aggressive and went hard to the ball," William and Mary running back Derek Fitzgerald said. "In the second half, I think they let up a little bit."
Fitzgerald rushed for 64 of his 99 yards and two of his three touchdowns in the second half as the Tribe pulled away after opening a 21-12 halftime lead.
Towson State hung with the Tribe for a half behind running back Tony Vinson, who grew up 20 minutes from Williamsburg. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound tailback rushed for 100 of his game-high 141 yards in the first half as Towson led early, 6-0, and trailed only 14-12 late in the second quarter.
But Vinson carried the ball only five times in the second half after Towson fell behind and had to throw.
"We were trying to win the game and you can't win the game by running," Combs said. "You can make it close, so it looks nice at the end of the game, but we're not trying to make it close. We're trying to win."
Tigers starting quarterback Dan Crowley completed 13 of 28 passes and threw two interceptions, the second of which was critical.
Towson had just taken over on downs at its 32 early in the third quarter, trailing 21-12. On the first play, Crowley fluttered a pass down the middle that cornerback Marc Richards took away from Towson receiver Mark Orlando at midfield.
Fitzgerald proceeded to gain 42 of the 50 yards, including the last seven for a touchdown, to give the Tribe a 28-12 lead.
The Tigers responded with a 73-yard drive that resulted in Buddy Dunn's 33-yard field goal.
But William and Mary quickly answered with a touchdown to put the game out of reach, 36-15.
Next for Towson:James Madison
When: Saturday at Towson
Yesterday: Lost to Georgia Southern, 24-17. QB Eriq Williams completed 14 of 27 passes for one touchdown and no interceptions.
Last year: The Dukes scored seven rushing TDs in a 55-31 victory in Harrisonburg, Va.