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Towson rides backup to FCS final

December 21. 2013 10:57PM
Associated Press

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CHENEY, Wash. — Backup quarterback Connor Frazier scored on a 1-yard run with 17 seconds left to lift Towson to a 35-31 victory over Eastern Washington in a Football Championship Subdivision semifinal game on Saturday in foggy, wet conditions.

Towson (13-2) took over on its 29 with 1:35 left in the game and went 71 yards for the winning points.

Eastern Washington (12-3) got the ball back with 12 seconds left, but Vernon Adams’ first pass was intercepted.

Towson will play two-time defending champion North Dakota State (14-0) in the national title game on Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas.

Eastern Washington was makings its third trip to the semifinals in four seasons, and won the 2010 national championship.

The Tigers have won 12 straight games on the road dating to last season, and overcome the loss of starting quarterback Peter Athens to a shoulder injury.

Towson scored the first 21 points of the game, gave up 31 straight points, and then scored the final two touchdowns for the win.

Adams threw for 394 yards and two touchdowns for Eastern Washington, which outgained the Tigers 580 yards to 483.

Frazier completed 6-of-10 passes for 98 yards, and also ran 18 times for 98 yards and the winning touchdown.

Towson marched 75 yards down the wet, slippery field on its first possession, with quarterback Peter Athens throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Holder for a 7-0 lead

Eastern moved down the field on its first possession, but receiver Cooper Kupp fumbled on Towson’s 12 and the Tigers recovered. Derrick Joseph caught passes for 50 and 16 yards for Towson, and Terrance West dove over from the 1-yard line for a 14-0 lead. It was West’s FCS-record 40th touchdown of the season, 39th on the ground.

After a pair of EWU punts, Towson drove 91 yards in seven plays to take a 21-0 lead. The drive ended when on fourth down Athens threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Brian Dowling in the end zone with 10:32 left in the first half.

Eastern Washington finally scored when Adams threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Forte midway through the second quarter.

Towson fumbled on its next possession and Eastern Washington’s Will Katoa recovered on his own 36. Starting with just two minutes left in the half, the Eagles drove to the 1, but time expired when Adams was stopped while trying to run into the end zone.

Towson amassed 309 yards of offense in the first half but Athens was not able to play in the second half because of a shoulder injury. He had thrown for 144 yards and the touchdowns. Frazier was unable to move the offense until late in the fourth quarter.

North Dakota State 52, New Hampshire 14

FARGO, N.D. — Brock Jensen threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score to help North Dakota State rout New Hampshire in the Football Championship Subdivision semfinals Friday night.

The two-time national champion Bison (14-0) advance to the title game Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas.

John Crockett ran for 196 yards, including a 71-yarder on North Dakota State’s first play from scrimmage in the second half.

The Bison overcame two turnovers in the first 3 minutes and spotted New Hampshire (10-5) a 7-0 lead on the third play from scrimmage when cornerback Steven Thames returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown.

North Dakota State scored the next 52 points.

Jensen threw touchdown passes to Zach Vraa, Derrick Lang and Kevin Vaadeland.

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