STONY BROOK, N.Y. -- Freshman Darius Victor's 32-yard touchdown with 2:38 left gave No. 2 Towson the go-ahead score to get past No. 23 Stony Brook with a 35-21 victory on Saturday night.
The second string back rushed for 45 yards on five carries in the game, but his longest run of the night capped off a drive that was kept alive by starting running back Terrance West.
West led both teams with 150 yards rushing, including 41 on that drive, and added a touchdown. His 12 touchdowns lead the FCS this season.
Towson's defense iced the game with 42 seconds left when Tungie Coker sacked Stony Brook quarterback Lyle Negron from behind, forcing a fumble that was recovered and returned 43 yards by Donnell Lewis.
Towson entered the second half down 21-10 with a defense that allowed 147 yards in the first. With a sputtering offense, a little luck was needed to get back into things.
After getting stuffed on third-and-one with 12 minutes left in the third quarter, Jake Ryder's punt struck Stony Brook's Nick Wagner on the hip, only to be recovered by Towson's Monte Gaddis on Stony Brook's 25.
Athens hit Spencer Wilkins for an 18-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to four points with 11:01 left in the third.
Towson's defense regained its usual form in the second half, forcing three straight Stony Brook punts and keeping the Seawolves off the board for the last 30 minutes.
Towson's second half resurgence gave the offense plenty of time and chances to find its rhythm, but the Athens-led group couldn't shift into gear. It was mental lapses by Stony Brook's defense that almost put Towson in front.
Two straight personal fouls, a facemask from Naim Cheeseboro and a late hit out of bounds by Kamani Odrick, put Towson's sputtering offense on the Stony Brook 30.
But Towson had a lapse of its own as a 25-yard touchdown pass from Athens to Wilkins was wiped away due to offensive pass interference on Brian Dowling at the end of the third quarter, cutting the drive short.
DJ Soven redeemed three points with a booming 51-yard field goal to bring Towson within one with 14:45 left in the fourth quarter.