Towson expects QB Athens to be ready for national title game

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Towson, MD ( - Towson University football coach Rob Ambrose said Monday that quarterback Peter Athens returned to practice this weekend after suffering a shoulder injury in the FCS national semifinals.

Athens appears to be on pace to start in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Game against North Dakota State on Saturday in Frisco, Texas.

The 6-foot-1, 209-pound redshirt senior was injured on Dec. 21 in the semifinals against Eastern Washington and did not play in the second half when backup quarterback Connor Frazier helped rally the Tigers to a 35-31 win, scoring on a 1-yard keeper with 17 seconds remaining to play.

"(Athens) didn't practice on Friday because we didn't get an idea of what we were dealing with until a little bit too late," Ambrose said. "But he has been practicing and running with the ones every day since."

Athens has started all 15 games for Towson (13-2), throwing for 3,194 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing 64.6 percent of his pass attempts.

Frazier, a 6-foot, 200-pound sophomore, has lined up as a running back, H-back and wide receiver in addition to quarterback this season. He is 9-for-14 for 141 yards as a passer, while rushing for 212 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries. He also has caught four passes for 62 yards and a touchdown.

In the second-ever meeting between the two programs, Towson will try to hand North Dakota State (14-0) its first loss and prevent the Bison from winning a third straight FCS title.