The Towson Two
The Lions go to Johnny Unitas Stadium on September 27
Columbia travels to Towson for the first time ever this season, renewing a rivalry that started in 1997 at Baker Field and resumed two years later also in New York.
The Lions won both of those games in what turned out to be strong defensive performances. I thought I'd highlight those two wins for this weekend countdown games.
Game of the Day (Day 84)
September 28, 1997
Columbia 16 Towson 7
After a week one drubbing at Harvard, the Lions returned home and rode a spectacular defensive effort to a victory.
The key to the game and the turning point was obvious. Late in the first half, with 2nd and goal at the Columbia one-yard line, Towson failed on three straight tries and the half ended with both teams tied at 0-0.
The game saw one of the first big performances by Columbia star safety Chris Tillotson. He often lined up as a wide receiver, and the first score of the game was a 14-yard TD reception he caught from Lion QB Bobby Thomason. The junior Tillotson also had two interceptions and ran back two kickoffs for 69 yards.
Thomason was passing often on the day, throwing 47 passes in all. Three missed Lion field goals made the final score a little closer than it should have been.
Game of the Day (Day 83)
September 26, 1999
Columbia 28 Towson 13
The game provided a lot of exciting moments, beginning with Justin Meadlin's 69-yard punt return for a touchdown late in the first quarter.
But by the second half, Towson's stronger running game had put the Tigers ahead 13-7 before the Lions got rolling.
Sophomore QB Jeff McCall led the Lions on an impressive drive before scrambling away to throw and even more impressive 10-yard go ahead TD pass to John Cavanaugh, (Lion's great QB Mike Cavanaugh's brother).
Columbia scored another TD after a Towson fumble to take a 21-13 lead, and the Tigers fumbled the ensuing kickoff which the Lions returned for the final score.
McCall became the regular Columbia starter and had some decent days in this three years at the helm.