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Potomac Top Dogs Bare Teeth

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Potomac Top Dogs Bare Teeth

The Potomac DII Men’s College league has in recent years been one led by Salisbury University and Towson University, so it was of interest this past weekend that two other teams - undefeated teams - faced off against those longtime powers.

But when the dust settled, it was the old guard firmly on top, as Salisbury hammered Georgetown 52-19, and Towson put George Mason to the sword 67-12.

“We’ve been playing well,” understated Towson Head Coach Don Stone. “We’re fortunate. We have 12 out of last year’s 15 starters coming back this year. We have a really nice cohesion, which helps us.”

No. 8 Pat McKenna heads up the Towson attack, while their halfback combo is comprised of multi-year starters.

“Our depth runs 25 deep, and we’ll need it because Salisbury has a really nice program down there,” added Stone. “They have been an obstacle for us - for everyone, really. We know if we want to win a national championship, we have to go through them, and really we don’t even think about it. Looking at the top teams, like JMU or Duluth or Whitewater, just getting to the final four is an accomplishment.”

Still Towson has the goods. They lost to Maryland by only six in a preseason game, a game Stone felt his squad could have taken. Maryland has since won big in their two opening DIAA league games, so that in itself is an indication of how strong the Tigers are - strong and stylish.

“We try to play a lovely game,” said Stone. “We pride ourselves on our passing. We don’t think ourselves of just trying to bowl people over; we have a lot of speed and we pass more than 90% of DII college teams. Tat’s how we beat teams.”

The good news for Towson going forward is the fact that the school has finished building new field space for clubs and intramurals. Over the last two years the Tigers have not played on campus, but that’s all about to change, with their October 18 home game against Georgetown to be played on campus on a 70-meter-wide pitch. Defenses better watch out.

Salisbury will have clashed with Towson by then. The Sharks looked very good beating Georgetown handily.

“Every year I worry about our team and our turnover,” said Salisbury coach Bill Creese. “Georgetown has been good for years, and beat us during the Cherry Blossom tournament in the spring. We were hoping to come out of that game with a win, but then in the first ten minutes we were up 10-0.”

Georgetown made some tactical errors, and Salisbury punished them with power and fitness.

“We just put phases together,” said Creese. “We secure the ball pretty well - good enough at least - and we played our style correctly.”

It didn’t hurt that Mike Mullens and Nick Rodriguez returned from injury to shore up a fairly inexperienced backline.

“Our backline was better, and overall we did some of the small things right, like not letting the ball sit at the breakdown,” said Creese.

All those small things add up, and when you throw in coaching continuity, fitness, and a winning tradition, you get a distinct hierarchy in the Potomac League. It’s Salisbury and Towson now at 2-0, Georgetown and George Mason at 2-1, and three teams - UMBC, George Washington, and Johns Hopkins - starting down the barrel of an 0-2 record.