West sparks Towson football to upset of UConn

Posted Aug. 29, 2013, at 9:53 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 29, 2013, at 11:24 p.m.

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — Terrance West rushed 36 times for 156 yards and two touchdowns while quarterback Peter Athens ran for one score and threw for another as the visiting Tigers shocked the Huskies.

Sterlin Phifer scored twice and Athens completed 13 of 20 passes for 192 yards as Towson (1-0) won its first game against an FBS opponent. The Tigers, ranked 12th in the preseason FCS poll, totaled five sacks and held Connecticut to 81 yards rushing.

Chandler Whitmer threw two touchdown passes to Shakim Phillips, including a 21-yard strike with 3:29 remaining in the game, and Connecticut (0-1) pulled within 26-18 with a two-point conversion. The Huskies stopped Towson on the next series, but fumbled the punt and West capped the scoring on a 5-yard run with 16 seconds left.

Whitmer connected with Phillips for 31 yards and a score with 4:55 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead, but the Huskies could only manage three more points before halftime. Phifer caught a 23-yard scoring strike from Athens on the next drive and ran five yards for a touchdown midway through the second quarter for a 13-7 lead.

The Tigers extended the lead to 19-10 on a 1-yard run by Athens with 5:09 left in the third after a 13-play, 95-yard drive and D.J. Soven missed his second extra point. Towson stopped the Huskies on fourth down at its 32 early in the fourth quarter and West scored on a 6-yard run on fourth down with 5:14 left.

Delaware 51, Jacksonville 35: Andrew Pierce rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown and Julian Laing had 97 yards and two scores as the Blue Hens rolled to season-opening win at home.

Jalen Randolph chipped in 57 yards and had a TD run of his own as Delaware piled up 358 yards on the ground in head coach Dave Brock’s first game at the helm. The Dolphins had minus-37 yards rushing.

Trent Hurley completed 19 of 29 passes for 238 yards and a 1-yard touchdown pass to Nick Boyle midway through the second quarter that pulled the Blue Hens into a 14-14 tie. Pierce answered Kade Bell’s third TD pass of the half with a 2-yard score before the break to make it 21-21 and Delaware took the lead for good with an 11-play drive to begin the second half and a 20-yard field goal by Sean Baner.

Randolph and Laing scored on consecutive possessions as the Blue Hens opened up a 38-21 advantage early in the fourth before Hurley was intercepted for a score. After Laing’s second score and a missed extra point made it a 16-point game, Bell threw his fourth TD pass to pull Jacksonville within 44-35 with 3:45 left in the game.

The Dolphins recovered the ensuing onside kick but fumbled the first play from scrimmage and linebacker Jeff Williams scooped it up and took it in to cap the scoring with 3:31 to go. Bell was 18-for-34 for 261 yards for Jacksonville, which was outgained 596-224.

Fordham 51, Rhode Island 26: Michael Nebrich threw for four touchdowns and ran for another as host Fordham opened the season with a runaway win.

Carlton Koonce, who set Fordham’s single-season rushing record last year with 1,596 yards, ran 14 times for 90 yards for the host Rams (1-0), who are looking to build on a 6-5 campaign in 2012. Sam Ajala and Brian Wetzel combined for 202 receiving yards and had two TDs apiece.

Nebrich completed 17 of 25 passes for 267 yards. He sandwiched a pair of scoring passes around a 32-yard TD run to help Fordham race to a 24-3 lead early in the second quarter.

Rhode Island (0-1) got within 12 points on three occasions in the second half, but Fordham safety JQ Bowers had a 61-yard interception return for a score and Nebrich threw TD passes of 49 and 64 yards to keep the visitors at bay. Kendall Pearcey added a late 16-yard scoring run to cap the rout.

Bob Bentsen was 18-for-31 for 156 yards, one TD and two interceptions for Rhode Island, which has lost 14 straight games since Nov. 5, 2011. Robbie Delgado rushed 21 times for 113 yards in a losing cause.

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