VILLANOVA, PA 10/27/2012 – A west wind was blowing at Villanova Stadium. It was not Hurricane Sandy, it was Terrance West and the Towson Tigers offense that propelled them to a 49 – 35 win over #19 Villanova. West had 222 all-purpose yards including a 48 yard touchdown run and a 78 yard pass reception from quarterback Grant Elders leading #23 Towson to the win. This was a high scoring, fast paced game that favored Towson, not a style Villanova wanted to play.
“We’re not built to score thirty-five points and go back and forth with the other team,” said Villanova Coach Andy Talley about how the game unfolded. “That’s not who we are and we got into a match where you had to go score for score for score. We’re not ready to do that.”
Villanova did to a point. The Wildcats scored first when Sophomore running back Kevin Monangai caught a 33 yard touchdown pass from Red-Shirt Freshman quarterback John Robertson giving Villanova a 7 – 0 lead at the 12:15 mark. It was the first touchdown reception for Monangai. Towson answered less than two minutes later when West scored on a 48 yard touchdown run. The Tigers went ahead 14 – 7 on a touchdown reception by wide receiver Tom Ryan who caught an 18 yard touchdown pass from Elders. The Wildcats had to respond, and did when Robertson and Monangai teamed up for a 6 yard touchdown with 1:47 left in the first quarter. On the next possession West took a screen pass from Elders 78 yards to give Towson a 21 – 14 lead. Robertson got it going back in Villanova’s direction scoring on a 5 yard run, then finding Junior wide receiver Joe Price for a 16 yard game-tying touchdown. However, Towson took a 35 – 14 halftime lead when wide receiver Spencer Wilkins caught an 11 yard touchdown pass with just 2 seconds before intermission.
In the second half Robertson threw his fourth touchdown of the game, a four yarder to Sophomore tight end Earnest Pettway evening the game at 35. That would be the last score of the game for the Wildcats. West went 4 yards for a touchdown with 7:39 to play in the third quarter. Enders scrambled 40 yards with 2:32 left in the third to give Towson their final margin of victory.
For the Tigers it was a matter of executing the game plan. Coach Rob Ambrose calls his team high entertainment for your dollar. West and Elders carried out the plan.
“Their defense came out strong,” said West. “We executed and played with a chip on our shoulders.”
“We’re a good offense, one or two plays from putting it all together,” Elders said. “I’m not going to say we did that completely. We executed, the line blocked great, and the playmakers made plays.”
Talley felt the Wildcats played well, but did not play to their strength, running the ball to control the clock and playing defense. Villanova allowed Towson played at a pace more to their liking.
“They executed well,” Talley said. “We did not make them struggle for everything they got. They had two huge plays in the first half. We needed to make that team continue to work on every series, but we broke down and gave up big plays. We continued to work hard, but broke down. Thirty five points should have been enough.”
West ran for 144 yards and scored three touchdowns in addition to the long touchdown catch and run. Elders ran for 122 yards. He was 16 – 28 for 269 yards and four touchdowns. As a team Towson ran for 321 yards.
“The bottom line was to stop the run, and we didn’t stop the run,” said Senior defensive back Ronnie Akins. “They ran all over us for the most part. That’s the main reason why we lost the game.”
Robertson went 17 – 23 for 216 yards. Price caught three of the passes for 67 yards. Monangai ran for 103 yards surpassing the thousand yard mark. He became the 29th player in school history to reach 1,000 career rushing yards. This was his third straight game running for more than 100 yards which Monangai has done five times this season.
The defending conference champion Towson is 4 – 4 for the season and is 3 – 2 in conference. Villanova is 6 – 3 overall and has a 4 – 2 CAA record. The WIldcats have a bye week coming up before facing James Madison currently ranked #9. Talley is happy to have the week off.
“It’s a great time for a bye for us,” Talley said. “I think our players can sit and suffer from this loss for two weeks. Sometimes that’s a good lesson.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian