Quarterback Peter Athens did not suffer a broken collarbone or a separated shoulder during Towson’s 35-31 victory over Eastern Washington on Saturday, and his status for the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision title game against North Dakota State on Jan. 4 is undetermined.
The senior had his right arm in a sling after rushing for 12 yards and falling on the football awkwardly near the end of the second quarter, and he sat out the entire second half of the No. 7 seed Tigers' win against the No. 3 seed Eagles. But coach Rob Ambrose held out some hope Monday that Athens could return for the title game.
“It’s questionable,” Ambrose said Monday morning during a conference call. “He felt better. We met yesterday and he felt better than he did when we left Washington. I don’t put a lot out there on injuries, but they X-rayed him before we left to make sure that nothing was broken. So nothing’s broken. So the [possibility] still exists. I’ll know more towards the end of the week after he’s had a week of a rest and nothing but ice.”
Athens has made all 15 starts this season, completing 70.3 percent of his passes (248-of-353) for 3,194 yards and 19 touchdowns and carrying the ball 62 times for 169 yards and two scores. If he cannot recover in time for Jan. 4, the start would go to sophomore Connor Frazier, who completed 6-of-10 throws for 98 yards and rushed 18 times for 98 yards and the game-winning 1-yard touchdown plunge against Eastern Washington.
Frazier, who spoke on the same conference call as Ambrose did, had nothing but praise for Athens.
“Pete is a great quarterback and did a really great job leading this team,” Frazier said. “He led us to the semifinal, and he’s a great quarterback. He definitely has the command in the huddle, everybody is listening to him. He just led us to the semifinal, and he’s just a great quarterback.”