Sept. 21, 2002
Towson, Maryland - Rallying from a three touchdown deficit to tie the gam,e 42-42, early in the fourth quarter, Brown's offense ran out of gas in heat that measured over 100 degrees on the Towson Stadium artificial turf, Bears opened their season with a 56-42 loss to Towson State.
When Brown marched down the field and scored on its first possession, it looked to be an easy day for the Bears' high-powered offense. All American wide receiver Chas Gessner '03 hauled in a 10 yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Kyle Slager to give the Bears an early 7-0 lead.
Towson scored its first touchdown of the day late in the first quarter to knot the score at 7-7. When Gessner caught his second scoring pass of the day, this time a 14-yarder from Slager to cap an 85-yard scoring drive, the Bears seemed to be in control of the game, taking a 14-7 advantage.
The Tigers exploded with exceptional team speed, scoring three unanswered touchdowns to take a35-14 lead at the half, and adding the first touchdown of the second half to seemingly put the game out of reach, 35-14.
Brown's offense lit up in the third quarter. Slager connected on his third scoring pass of the day, tossing a 13-yard strike to senior tight end Chris Walther to cut the Towson advantage to 35-21 with 8:11 left in the quarter.
The Bears defense forced its first turnover of the game when senior safety Shaun Eidson picked off a Towson pass and returned it 11 yards to the Towson 35-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Slager went to Gessner once again. The All-American wide receiver caught the ball on the Towson 20-yard line, broke three tackles and scampered into the end zone to pull the Bears to within one touchdown, 35-28, with 7:38 left in the third quarter.
With the pressure mounting on Towson, the Tigers extended their lead to 42-28, scoring a touchdown with 2:43 left in the half.
But Brown's offense had come to life and the Bears were determined to get back in the game. Senior Brandon Buchanan hauled in a 29 yard touchdown pass from Slager, and the Bears trailed 42-35 after three quarters. The Bears completed their rally to tie the game, 42-42, when senior Joe Rackley scored on a three yard run with 13:01 remaining in the game.
With all of the momentum going in its favor, Brown looked to fully complete the comeback. Unfortunately Slager was intercepted on the Bears next two possessions and Towson scored two touchdowns in the span of 23 seconds to take a 56-42 lead and control of the game.