Since I forgot to do a Tuesday Countdown this week, I figured I’d give my alma mater the spotlight in the Friday Five. So let’s take a trip down memory lane and run down five memorable Towson games I saw in person -- and yes, not all of these were wins, or even great games, but they were memorable to me for some reason or another.
5. Sept. 3, 1998 - Towson 15, Morgan State 10
This was the first game I ever went to, in my first week at the school. It wasn’t a particularly well-played game, but Towson opened up the track around the field to a standing-room crowd, and set a then-stadium record for attendance.
4. Nov. 17, 2001 - Towson 27, Georgetown 9
It was a disappointing senior season for me, but it ended on a high note. Sporty Evans scored a pair of touchdowns against Georgetown -- delivering on a pregame promise to score in front of his hometown DC fans -- and Matt Romeo had a huge game running the football.
3. Sept. 1, 2001 - Albany 14, Towson 10
This wasn’t a particularly good game by either team, and was a bad omen for the 2001 season. The reason I remember this game fondly is it was the first game I covered for the Baltimore Sun. I was an intern who’d been there less than a week, but when they found out I’d be at the game for my school paper, they asked if I’d write their game story too. Mostly, it was them being cheap (by having an intern do the story, they didn’t have to pay a stringer), but it was still cool for me to get a byline in a major paper at 21 years old.
2. Sept. 5, 2002 - Towson 49, Morgan State 28
Truthfully, it’s not the game I remember in this one. Having just graduated a few months earlier, I made the trip down to Maryland for the 2002 season opener, and had the honor of meeting Johnny Unitas in the press box. He had just started working for the school, and was very cordial. Unfortunately, he passed away six days later. I was lucky to have met him when I did.
1. Oct. 30, 1999 - Lehigh 44, Towson 39
Yes, Towson lost, but that’s not what people remember from this game, even 10 years later. Joe Lee had already put up some video game-like numbers in his only season as the starter, but this game was insane. Lee was 47-of-77 for 576 yards. Read that again. He threw 77 passes (at the time an FCS record). He had 30 incompletions, and his completion percentage was still above 60%. After the game, Lee was still heartbroken about a pick-six he’d thrown early in the game that ended up accounting for the winning points for Lehigh. Amazingly, all the Lehigh players and coaches wanted to talk about was Lee. They jokingly asked where Towson had been hiding him (Lee spent three seasons as Kevin Smith’s backup) and were amazed that anyone could have completed that many passes and thrown for that many yards against their defense. This was Ambrose’s spread offense at its most efficient, and even though it came in a loss, I’ll never forget that game.