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Allen Lessels on College Football: Towson controls Wildcats
He and his Tiger teammates gave the Wildcats absolute fits after that, grabbed control of the game in the second period and rolled to a 44-28 win at Unitas Stadium in Towson.
"Those guys have had a field day against us the last two years," said UNH coach Sean McDonnell before the game.
UNH dropped its CAA opener, fell to 1-3 on the season and dug itself even deeper into an early-season hole.
The Wildcats have been on a remarkable run of FCS playoff appearances - they have qualified for the postseason tournament for a nation's-best nine straight years - but have now narrowed considerably their margin of error for extending the streak to 10.
UNH's string of 131 weeks ranked in the Top 25 that dates back to September of 2004 is at risk, too. The Wildcats were ranked No. 19 last week and the new poll will be out Monday afternoon.
The Wildcats roared out of the gates and owned the first quarter.
Towson took its turn in the second and, capitalizing especially on a brutal UNH finish to the half, grabbed all the momentum and a 27-20 lead at the break.
UNH quickly turned two West fumbles into touchdowns.
West fumbled on the second play of the game and UNH junior safety Nick Cefalo recovered on the Towson 23. Three plays later, junior Nico Steriti scored on a 9-yard run.
Four plays later, West fumbled again and Cefalo recovered once more.
Two plays later, UNH wide receiver Jared Allison hit Harold Spears for a 29-yard touchdown on an option pass.
And that was it for Wildcat highlights.
The Tigers ran off 41 straight points to put the game away.
West scored Towson's first touchdown on a 50-yard run with four minutes gone in the second quarter and then, after a poor Brad Prasky punt, added a 1-yard score midway through the period.
First, Vailas fumbled to end a UNH drive with the Wildcats still up 20-17 and Towson - after getting a break when officials ruled Casey DeAndrade came down out of bounds with an interception - scored on a Peter Athens to Spencer Wilkins 21-yard pass to take the lead with 44 seconds left in the half.
The Wildcats received the ball coming out of the half. But Christian Carpenter picked off Vailas on the first play and the Tigers marched back the other way for another score and it was 34-20 and Towson had control of the game.
West ended up with 28 carries for 238 yards and three touchdowns. In three games against UNH he has rushed for 735 yards and nine TDs.