The Collegian
Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Spiders score homecoming victory over Towson Tigers

<p>Defensive lineman Kobie Turner cheers during a game.&nbsp;</p>

Defensive lineman Kobie Turner cheers during a game. 

The Spiders added another win to their record, beating Towson 28-17 for the University of Richmond’s Homecoming weekend game. 

The first quarter kicked off with UR winning the coin toss and Towson receiving the ball with a 52-yard kick and Towson returning for 10 yards.

The Spiders put up a strong defense against the Tigers, with Towson going five for ten on complete passes. Referees called a penalty on UR for offsides, and Towson gained five yards. The drive ended with Towson’s Keegan Vaughan making a 24-yard field goal attempt, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead. 

UR and Towson faced short drives when in possession. The Spiders ended the drive with five plays for 11-yards with two incomplete passes and a rush for a loss of three yards. 

UR sophomore and punter Aaron Trusler punted for 36-yards. 

Towson ran three plays for five yards and ended its drive with a punt back to the Spiders for 37 yards. Again, the Spiders’ drive was short-lived with three plays for eight yards that ended in a punt to the Tigers. 

With Towson in possession, the Tigers drove for 60 yards in nine plays. On second down and on the UR 28-yard line, Towson completed a pass for four yards followed by a rush for nine, giving the Tigers a first down. Towson’s quarterback Chris Ferguson passed to running back Dion Crews-Harris for 15-yards, resulting in a touchdown for the Tigers. Followed by a good kick, the quarter ended with the Tigers up 10-0.

The second quarter started with UR in a short possession for six plays for nine yards. An incomplete pass from UR graduate student and quarterback Joe Mancuso to redshirt junior and wide receiver Justin Jasper resulted in Mancuso getting sacked for a loss of six yards and a penalty for holding brought UR to punting to Towson. 

Towson quickly handed the ball back to UR. UR’s drive started with Mancuso rushing for six yards and a complete pass to graduate student wide receiver Leroy Henley for eight yards. 

Redshirt sophomore running back Savon Smith ran for two yards which was followed by a loss of seven yards after Mancuso was sacked. Mancuso returned with a complete pass to Henley for 21 yards and then another to redshirt freshman tight end Connor Deveney for 13 yards. A rush for 24 yards by Smith scored the Spiders a touchdown. A good kick by redshirt sophomore kicker Jake Larson brought the score to 10-7.

With Towson in possession, UR graduate student and defensive lineman Darius Reynolds sacked the Tigers’ quarterback Chris Ferguson for a loss of six yards. This was followed with a false start and another sack of Ferguson, who fumbled. UR redshirt senior defensive lineman Kobie Turner recovered the ball in the end zone to score a touchdown for the Spiders. After another successful extra point attempt, UR would take its first lead of the game with a score of 14-10.

Reynolds held a career record of 4.5 sacks after this game, the most of any Colonial Athletic Association player. 

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“I’ll contribute a lot of it to coaching,” Reynolds said during a postgame conference. “We’ll contribute a lot of it to competition with the rest of the d-line. We love to get after the quarterback.”

With Towson in possession on a third and sixteen, UR graduate student and linebacker Tyler Dressler intercepted Ferguson’s pass and ran for 32 yards, scoring another UR touchdown. The Spiders brought the score to 21-10 after the good extra point.

In the third quarter, UR’s initial drive proved unsuccessful with eight plays for 44 yards, but Towson quickly responded with a six-play drive, which ended with a 37-yard touchdown pass on third and 14, bringing the score to 21-17.

The remainder of the third quarter consisted of short drives by both teams with an average of three plays per drive and a high of 21 yards by UR. The Spiders fumbled on their first play of the second drive by Mancuso, giving Towson possession. Towson responded with quarterback Vincent Amendola also fumbling the ball, but it was then recovered by Towson. 

In the final quarter, both teams played a strong offense and defense.

UR, in possession, ran a five-play drive for 70 yards, which ended with a 54-yard rushing touchdown by freshman running back Jerry Garcia Jr., the first touchdown of  his career. The touchdown and extra point brought the score to 28-17, which was the final score for the Spiders’ homecoming game.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Spider’s head coach Russ Huessman said. “We’ll give up a few yards to score a couple touchdowns.” 

The Spiders scored four touchdowns, two of which -- scored by Turner and Dressler -- took place while the UR was on defense.

The Spiders next game is Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. against the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens at E. Claiborne Robins Stadium.

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