Saturday, Oct. 22, William and Mary (6-1, 3-1 CAA) traveled to Towson, M.D.. to defeat Towson (2-5, 0-4 CAA) 44-24. The Tribe scored touchdowns in every quarter of the game.
The Tribe displayed its variety of players, plays and positioning throughout the game. Its variety allowed the Tribe to score five touchdowns on the first six possessions of the game.
“Everyone was highly involved,” head coach Mike London said in a post-game press conference, “It was a great team win.”
Some of the touchdowns mirrored plays Tribe fans have witnessed all season: sophomore quarterback Darius Wilson making use of his running backs and tight ends to score on the first drive of the game. Sophomore running back Malachi Imoh, sophomore quarterback Hollis Mathis and senior running backs Donavyn Lester and Bronson Yoder, all contributed to rushing down the field. The team totaled 300 rushing yards throughout the game.
“There’s so many guys that can tote the rock in a way that we want the play to be done,” London said.
Lester scored the first Tribe touchdown of the game on a one-yard rush.
On its second drive, William and Mary scored again. This time, the Tribe relied on its passing game. On the third down from the Towson 12-yard line, Wilson passed deep to senior wide receiver Caylin Newton.
For both of these early touchdowns, sophomore kicker Ethan Chang’s extra point attempts were good. The quarter ended 14-3, favoring the Tribe, and with a Tribe possession heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter began with one of the most bombastic plays of the game. The Tribe reached the redzone, but Towson held the visiting team on third down. On fourth down, Chang came onto the field with redshirt freshman punter Andrew Piercy. Piercy took the snap and tossed downfield to Chang for the 17-yard score.
“We talked about some of those things: how we could impact what they do, if they’re overly aggressive, if they don’t make sure to leave gaps or allow us to out-leverage them,” said London. “So, we just had to call it, ‘Okay, here’s the situation, we’re going to go ahead and do it.’ We practiced it, wanted to get it on film, so everyone else in the league knows we will do those types of things. The play was executed the way it should be.”
For the fourth Tribe score of the game, the Tribe went back to relying on its rushing. A long run from Mathis and a deep pass to Newton pushed the Tribe into scoring position. Lester ended the drive with a three-yard touchdown run to extend its lead to 24 points.
A Tribe interception began the team’s next drive earlier than anticipated. This time, the team adopted a no-huddle strategy, trying to make up ground in the last three minutes of the first half. William and Mary failed to reach the red zone, but a 42-yard field goal from Chang gave the visiting team a 30-3 lead over Towson after the half.
The Tigers received the ball to start the second half, but failed to convert on its drive, so they punted.
Despite starting at its own 17-yard line, the Tribe only took one play to score again. Wilson found senior tight end Lachlan Pitts, who carried the ball 83 yards for the score. It marked Pitts’s fourth touchdown of the season — the most of any Tribe tight end since 2007.
“That play was indicative of his skillset: a guy that can block and a guy that can catch,” London said. “It’s great to have him. I think he’s one of the better tight ends in our conference — if not the best.”
Towson made the most of its second possession of the quarter. Keeping the Tribe on its toes with no-huddle shotgun plays, the Tigers used redshirt senior quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome and junior running back Joachim Bangda to force its way down the field. Pigrome scored the first Tiger touchdown of the game with a six-yard run.
Redshirt freshman running back Martin Lucas scored his first touchdown of the season halfway through the fourth quarter. The drive was short, but effective, and yet another name ended up on the scoresheet.
The adaptability of this team, combined with the talent of its players, has allowed the success in this season so far. After this game, eleven different players have scored Tribe touchdowns: a variety that has proved difficult for opponents to anticipate time and time again.
“I just thought a lot of players played well, and it was a testament to the coaches, getting the guys ready to play, to come out with a win,” London said.
With the victory William and Mary improves to no. 10 in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 Poll. The team’s 6-1 start is their best since 2009.
The Tribe return to Zable Stadium Saturday, Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. to face CAA rival Rhode Island, who they are currently tied with in the conference rankings.