RICHMOND, Va. -- On a day when he became Towson's all-time rushing leader, Terrance West was appropriately dominant, running over, around, and through the Richmond defense on Saturday at Robins Stadium.
Carrying the ball wide and between the tackles, West rushed 29 times for a career-high 272 yards and scored five touchdowns, propelling Towson to a 48-32 Colonial Athletic Association victory.
West, a junior, set the tone early, sprinting 79 yards on Towson's second snap, setting up his six-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Peter Athens to give the Tigers the lead for good.
Needing 131 yards to match the previous mark of Jason Corte (1996-99), West surpassed it in the second quarter as Towson improved to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the CAA.
With its fourth straight loss, Richmond (2-6, 0-4) dropped into a last-place tie with idle Albany (1-7, 0-4), a year after second-year coach Danny Rocco's promising debut season (8-3).
The Spiders moved the ball consistently behind juniors Michael Strauss, who completed 28-of-38 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown, and Stephen Barnette, who had 11 receptions for 148 yards.
Richmond piled up 30 first downs to 22 for the Tigers, but before he was replaced in the fourth quarter, Strauss committed three costly turnovers.
Towson sophomore safety Christian Carpenter ran 34 yards for a touchdown with an interception late in the first half.
Sophomore safety Donnell Lewis stopped a Richmond drive with an end zone interception in the third quarter.
Towson senior linebacker Telvion Clark applied the clincher with 12:19 left in the game when he stripped the ball cleanly from Strauss on a blitz and ran 32 yards for score which put Towson ahead, 41-18.
Richmond stayed close in the first half, answering West's first two touchdowns with scoring drives of their own.
A 10-yard scoring pass from Strauss to Shane Savage on third-and-7 capped a 79-yard march.
A 6-yard run off tackle by David Broadus finished off a 75-yard drive and made it 13-12, but the Spiders failed for the second straight time to convert the extra point.
But in a span of 35 seconds late in the first half, Towson scored twice, on West's one-yard plunge and Carpenter's interception return, which produced the first touchdown of his career.
After that, Richmond was left to play catch-up.
Athens used play-action effectively, completing 16-of-21 passes for 228 yards.
NOTES: Richmond missed three straight extra-point attempts in the first half, drawing frustrated boos from fans. Spiders' K Brandon Jordi had kicks blocked by Towson's Tye Smith and Arnold Farmer. A third attempt sailed wide. Towson failed to convert one when holder Connor Frazier couldn't handle an off-target snap from center. ... The four losses match the longest losing streak in Danny Rocco's eight seasons as a head coach. He lost four straight in his rookie season at Liberty in 2006.