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Terrance West leads Tigers past Eastern Illinois, team moves on to FCS semifinals

West scored five touchdowns in the Tigers' win. Photo courtesy of Nick Cammett, Diamond Images.

West scored five touchdowns in the Tigers’ win. Photo courtesy of Nick Cammett, Diamond Images.

This past week, the Towson athletics program created the social media hash tag #NotDoneYet. It proved to be prophetic.

Before a crowd of 3,850 and a national television audience, junior running back Terrance West broke the NCAA FCS playoff record with 354 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 39 carries to lead TU to a 49-39 victory over Eastern Illinois in the NCAA FCS quarterfinals Friday night.

With the win, the Tigers advanced to the NCAA FCS semifinals next week. The Tigers will play the winner of the Eastern Washington-Jacksonville State game. If Jacksonville State upsets Eastern Washington, the semifinal contest will be played at Unitas Stadium at Towson.

Friday night marked the third time this season that West scored five touchdowns in a game. One of three finalists for the prestigious Walter Payton Award, West increased his season total to 39 touchdowns, tying the NCAA FCS single season record for touchdowns scored.

“I’m not concerned about records,” West said following the win. “This is all about winning. We came into this game well-prepared and the offensive line did a great job blocking.”

The Tigers weren’t quite as prepared for the snow that covered the field, thanks to a storm that started two hours before kickoff.

“It took us a while to get used to the snow,” said head coach Rob Ambrose. “We have never even practiced on a snowy field. Once we figured out what we could do, we were fine.”

The Tigers finished the game with 587 yards of total offense, including 472 rushing yards. Darius Victor added 80 yards on 11 carries and scored one touchdown. Senior linebacker Telvion Clark led the Tiger defense with 15 tackles while Monte Gaddis had 14 tackles and a sack.

The Tigers flew home immediately following the game and arrived back on campus just before dawn. After a bit of rest they’ll be back on the field, aggressively preparing for next week’s semifinal clash.

They’re not done yet.

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