EASTON, Pa. - The Towson football team committed mental errors and costly turnovers yesterday, resulting in a 23-7 loss to Lafayette before 5,386 at Fisher Field.
The day began with frustration for the Tigers (1-1, 0-1 Patriot League) when one of their two buses broke down on the way to the game. It got worse for Towson when its offense stalled against the Leopards.
The Tigers, who gained nearly 500 yards last week in their season-opening win over Morgan State, never got rolling yesterday.
Lafayette (2-0, 1-0) forced four Towson turnovers, two of which the Leopards capitalized on for 10 of their 17 first-half points.
After Towson's Ray Harris fumbled the opening kickoff, Lafayette needed only three plays to find the end zone, as quarterback Marko Glavic ran for a 2-yard touchdown.
Harris left the game with a dislocated shoulder, and Towson never recovered from that initial Lafayette blow.
"It changes your outlook in terms of what you can do," Tigers coach Gordy Combs said, referring to Harris' injury. "But ... injuries are part of the game and you have to adjust to that."
Despite controlling possession for much of the first quarter, the Leopards failed on multiple scoring chances, allowing Towson to stay in the game. Martin Brecht missed three early field-goal attempts for Lafayette.
The Tigers capitalized on one of Brecht's missed kicks, driving the ball 55 yards in five plays on the ensuing possession. Tailback Matt Romeo (20 carries, 61 yards) capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run to even the score at 7.
After the first Lafayette touchdown, the Tigers' defense kept the Leopards out of the end zone until a little more than three minutes remained in the half, when Glavic connected with Jeremy Burkes on an 82-yard scoring pass, giving Lafayette a 17-7 advantage heading into halftime.
Glavic, the conference's top-rated passer, amassed 258 yards in the air. Towson quarterback Jay Amer was hurried all game by the relentless Leopards defense, connecting on only 16 of 43 attempts for 192 yards and getting intercepted twice.
Adding to Towson's troubles, junior tailback Mikal Lundy sat out the second half with a bruised hip, aggravating an injury he suffered last week. Lundy had 79 rushing yards before leaving the game.
"The bottom line is, we didn't make plays," Combs said. "They made plays when they had to make plays, and we did not make plays on either side of the ball or on special teams. We had opportunities and we didn't take advantage of them."
Towson 7 0 0 0 - 7
Lafayette 7 10 3 3 - 23
First quarter L-Glavic 2 run (Brecht kick) T-Romeo 7 run (Whitacre kick) Second quarter L-FG Brecht 30 L-Burkes 82 pass from Glavic (Brecht kick) Third quarter L-FG Brecht 39 Fourth quarter L-FG Brecht 35 A: 5,386
T L First downs 17 16 Rushes-yards 34-119 41-138 Passing 192 258 Comp-Att-Int 16-43-2 15-36-1 Return Yards 1 49 Punts-Avg. 7-39.6 5-29.6 Fumbles-Lost 3-2 2-1 Penalties-Yards 5-38 2-10 Time of possession 26:32 33:28
Rushing-Towson, Lundy 9-79, Romeo 20-61, Lewis 1-3, Amer 3-(minus 11), Team 1-(minus 13). Lafayette, McCourt 17-68, McCloud 10-36, Daman 4-19, Belton 2-5, Glavic 6-5, Green 2-5. Passing-Towson, Amer 16-43-2 192. Lafayette, Glavic 15-36-1 258. Receiving-Towson, J. White 4-71, Galloway 3-33, Romeo 3-22, Byroads 2-38, B. White 2-21, Lundy 2-7. Lafayette, Weyrauch 4-68, Walsh 4-41, Hall 2-36, McCourt 2-3, Burkes 1-82, Green 1-15, Ricketts 1-13.
Next for Towson
Site: Towson University Stadium
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Yesterday: Did not play