September 20, 2003

Bulldogs Cruise Past Towson, 62-28

Sept. 20, 2003

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TB Robert Carr and WR Ron Benigno each scored three touchdowns and Yale created six turnovers as the Bulldogs breezed to a 62-28 win over Towson in the season opener at the Yale Bowl.

The game's first play from scrimmage provided a sign of things to come. From the Yale 33, Carr found the left side of the line too clogged but quickly shifted directions and dashed 19 yards to the right. He picked up eight on his next run, followed by an eight-yard completion from QB Alvin Cowan to WR Ralph Plumb, before breaking off another big run. On first-and-10 from the Towson 32, Carr took off through some huge holes opened by the Eli offensive line to go 28 yards down to the four. On the next play he took it into the end zone, and John Troost's extra point gave Yale a 7-0 lead.

The Yale defense then made its opening statement, holding Towson to negative yardage and forcing a punt. Yale then drove from its own nine to its 46 in five plays before a holding call shifted momentum. Yale was unable to overcome that penalty, and while the defense forced another Towson punt the Bulldog offense soon made another error that proved costly. Cowan took the ball right on an option and while being dragged down attempted to pitch it to Carr. Carr couldn't handle the toss, however, and Towson pounced on the loose ball at the Yale 15. Two plays later, the score was tied thanks to a four-yard touchdown run by TB Mikal Lundy.

Yale's next drive went three-and-out, but the Eli defense quickly turned the tide. LB Kenneth Estrera recovered a fumbled snap at the Tiger 40 on Towson's first play. From there it was all Carr - literally - as the Yale tailback put together five runs for all the yardage Yale needed to get into the endzone for a 14-7 lead. He saved his best run for last, bouncing off of several tackles and using a strong second effort to get the ball over the goalline from seven yards out.

Towson responded by driving 65 yards for the tying score early in the second quarter, as WR Kelvin Drewery caught a short pass and spun off a Yale tackle to get the ball into the endzone. But after a brief dry spell the Bulldog offense began clicking again with some big plays. The first converted a fourth-and-four from the Towson 34, as Cowan appeared ready to take the ball right on an option before pulling back and hitting a wide-open FB Alex Faherty for a 31-yard gain. Three plays later, Cowan did keep the ball, going right into the endzone from five yards out to get the lead back for Yale.

The next big play came with Yale driving in the waning moments of the first half. Cowan's 33-yard pass to WR P.J. Collins got Yale from the Towson 41 to the Towson eight, and three plays later Cowan fired a bullet to Benigno in the endzone. While it looked like Yale would have to content itself with a 28-14 lead at the half - there were only 89 seconds left - the Eli defense actually had the final say. DB Fred Jelks picked off a Tiger pass at the 49, then dashed down the left sideline for a dramatic touchdown with just 56 seconds left in the second quarter.

The second half began with a big special teams play, as TB David Knox blocked a punt on Towson's first possession and DB Andrew Butler recovered it at the Tiger seven. Carr picked up his third touchdown of the day on a five-yard run two plays later. Later in the quarter, a 67-yard pass from Cowan to Collins helped set up a seven-yard scoring toss to Benigno. The extra point was blocked, ending Troost's school record string of 42 consecutive made.

Towson added a 59-yard touchdown pass from QB Anthony Melzi to WR Will Marcus at 10:39 of the fourth quarter to make the score 48-21 and set off a wild sequence for Yale. Two plays later, Cowan and Benigno connected for another touchdown, this one a 45-yarder. DE Brady Clegg then recovered a fumbled snap on Towson's next play, setting up a 26-yard touchdown pass from QB Jeff Mroz to WR Chandler Henley. Towson fumbled the ensuing kickoff for the fifth turnover of the day, recovered by Yale's Lee Driftmier. While the Tigers added a touchdown with 41 seconds to play, they also added a sixth and final turnover, as DB Jonas Rodriguez picked off Melzi's pass for the final play of the game.

The 62 points was the most allowed by Towson in its history and the most scored by Yale since a 66-0 win over Alford in 1930.

Yale hosts Cornell at 1:00 at the Yale Bowl next Saturday.

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