DURHAM, N.H. – Andy Vailas (Bedford, N.H.) scored a 77-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and accounted for three TDs, but No. 19/16 Towson stormed past the No. 7/7 University of New Hampshire football team, 64-35, in Saturday's CAA regular-season finale at Cowell Stadium.
Terrance West rushed 19 times for 236 yards and two touchdowns for Towson (7-4, 6-2 CAA), which claims a share of the CAA championship with UNH (8-3, 6-2) and Richmond (8-3, 6-2). Villanova and James Madison still have a chance to earn a share of the league title as well, pending the outcomes of their respective Saturday games.
Vailas was the Wildcats' leading rusher with a career-high 110 yards on eight carries, two of which went for TDs, and the signal caller went 3-for-9 through the air for 33 yards and a TD.
Vailas scored on a nine-yard rush late in the first quarter and completed an 18-yard TD strike to Brian Ciccone (Manchester, Mass.) with just under four minutes remaining in the second quarter. It was Ciccone's first career TD reception.
Steven Thames (Fort Washington, Md./four tackles) scored on a 65-yard blocked field-goal return with no time left in the first half to draw the Wildcats within 30-28 at the intermission, but the Tigers outscored the 'Cats 34-7 in the second half en route to their fourth consecutive victory.
Jared Smith (Greencastle, Pa./four tackles) blocked the aforementioned field goal and added a blocked PAT.
R.J. Harris (Odenton, Md./two catches-20 yards, TD) scored UNH's final TD on a 16-yard reception from Sean Goldrich (West Haven, Conn.) late in the fourth. Goldrich went 9 of 18 for 108 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
West, who set a career high with 261 rushing yards in last year's game against New Hampshire, scored on a four-yard run in the first quarter that staked Towson to a 7-6 lead and added a five-yard scamper early in the fourth that ballooned the Tigers' advantage to 50-28.
Towson quarterback Grant Enders went 20 of 28 for 245 yards and two TDs, and he added 11 carries for 39 yards and two rushing scores.
Dominique Booker rushed 13 times for 89 yards and two touchdowns as Towson racked up 415 rushing yards and 660 total yards of offense.
The Tigers held the Wildcats to 141 passing yards and forced three turnovers, highlighted by a 26-yard fumble recovery TD from Brian Boateng that capped a 27-point Tigers' run for a 57-28 bulge with 8:08 left in the contest.
Matt Evans (Hanover, Mass.) tallied a team-leading 12 tackles for New Hampshire, which saw its 10-game home winning streak snapped.
The Wildcats surrendered 64 points at Cowell Stadium for the first time since a 64-42 loss to Massachusetts on Nov. 19, 1988.
UNH, which earns a share of the conference championship for the first time since 2005, will find out if it has extended its nation-leading streak of postseason appearances to nine straight years during the 2013 NCAA Division I Football Championship Selection Show on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 1:30 p.m. on ESPNU. For more information, visit ncaa.com/FCS.
For more information on UNH football, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.