San Diego scored 31 unanswered points against the Red Foxes on Saturday, ultimately defeating them 31-14.
Wide receiver Juston Christian reached 4,000 career receiving yards in the loss. Christian completed 70 yards and two touchdowns on three catches in the final game of the season.
“His numbers speak for themselves and he’s the guy that made our program better. He’s somebody that will hopefully get a shot at the next level. One of 18 in the history of college football. Those numbers speak for themselves,” said head coach Jim Parady.
San Diego quarterback Anthony Lawrence found wide receiver Michael Bandy to set up the offense inside the 20-yard line. The Marist defense held them and San Diego settled for a field goal. They took the early lead 3-0 with 9:54 left in the first half.
When asked how the defense performed against San Diego, Parady said, “I thought they competed hard. With an offense such as San Diego’s, they’re averaging 40 something points a game. We bent a little bit, which has been our M.O. all year.”
Wide receiver Anthony Olivencia and Day were linking up nicely all day and were able to move the ball downfield for Marist.
The San Diego defense pressured Day all game. Day struggled with accuracy, and was over throwing his receivers as a result form the pressure from the defense.
Emilio Martinez caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to increase their lead to 24-0 at the half.
Defensive end Enmanuel Soriano sacked Lawrence on a third down to force San Diego to punt. A great punt from Tanner Kuljian pinned Marist inside the 5-yard line. Olivencia and Day continued to be successful. Olivencia had 224 yards on 12 catches. He said, “this is probably the most fun that I have ever had in a football game.”
Day was injured on a successful completion to Olivencia, and was able to get to the sideline on his own power. Jacob Hallenbeck played quarterback for one snap while Day was on the sideline. Day returned to the game and failed to convert on fourth down. San Diego took over on downs.
On the following possession Lawrence hit wide receiver Michael Armstead in stride for a 56-yard touchdown pass. San Diego increased their lead to 31-0 with under eight minutes left in the third quarter.
The San Diego defensive line continued to be dominant and shut down the Marist running game. Running back Darryn Jordan was injured after being tackled behind the line.
On the following Marist possession, Olivencia and Day once again moved the ball down field for the Red Foxes. Day found Christian for a 30-yard touchdown pass after he escaped the pocket. San Diego still lead 31-7 with five minutes left in the third quarter.
Wide receiver Christian Brooks fumbled the football and red shirt senior free safety Wes Beans recovered it for Marist. The Red Foxes failed to capitalize on the turnover.
When asked about his last game for Marist Beans said, “It’s kind of surreal. You come in here as a freshman and you see all of the seniors leave and you don’t really think much of it. It hits you fast and it hits you hard. I’m so happy that I was able to play with this group of guys this season and throughout my career. It’s been so great to me and it’s just been a blessing.”
Day found Olivencia for a 46-yard completion to advance the ball downfield. Christian was hurt after catching a 35-yard touchdown pass from Day. San Diego led Marist 31-14 with 14:50 left in the game.
Parady said the training staff benched Christian for the rest of the game and that he was not sure of his injuries.
When asked about his connection with Day, Olivencia said, “It starts in practice. Me and Austin have a good relationship on and off the field. We kind of just look at each other and we know what we are going to do. We have a respect and trust for each other.”
Day continued to be pressured by the San Diego defense. He fumbled while scrambling out of the pocket. San Diego recovered the football with under three minutes left in the game.
Beans nearly returned a punt. However, a block in the back penalty brought the ball back. Day’s passing attempt was intercepted on the goal line by free safety Hunter Nicholas. The interception by Nicholas sealed the win for San Diego. San Diego beat Marist with the final score 31-14.
When asked about the overall outcome of the season Coach Parady said, “We overcame a 0-3 start and put ourselves into a position in week 10 we were still in contention for a league championship. The fight in the team and not giving up after our 0-3 was something that was a huge positive for us.”
“Senior day is hard. It’s so hard with the emotion of senior day and the finality of it. San Diego is obviously a very good football team,” said Parady. “We knew coming in that we would have to play a very good football game to get a victory here today. We just made some mistakes in the first half. We finished the game strong. I’m proud of the guys for the way that they finished the game. We dug ourselves into too deep of a hole.”
The Red Foxes end their season 5-6 overall and 5-3 in conference play.
Edited by Meaghan Roche