Ian Corwin threw for a career best 4 touchdown passes as Drake (1-3) crushes Marist (1-3), 41-17, on Family Weekend.
Marist’s defense was no match for the Drake offense from the minute they got the ball. On Drake’s opening drive, they marched down the field for a touchdown in six plays. Out of the six scoring plays that Drake had on the day, their longest time of possession was just 4:06. They got big play after big play, and Marist had no answer. “We came into this thing with high expectation for ourselves.” said Marist Head Coach Jim Parody. “They just beat us in all areas of the game today.” While Marist had more total rushing yards and passing yards, the 41-17 outcome of the game showed that something on the offensive and defensive side of the football was not working.
A key injury in the first half to Marist’s offensive lineman Ian Grant did not help the cause either. Grant went down with an apparent leg injury that looked to be very severe as players from both teams took a knee after the play was over. An air cast was placed on his leg and he was transported to the hospital for further evaluation. Grant, after redshirting his freshman year, has been a vital part of the offense and after his injury on Saturday, the running game for Marist suffered. “We moved in and out of our offensive line quite a bit today” said Parody. “We played quite a few people at different positions and guys were ready to step in and battle.” The pressure to the quarterbacks and tackles for loss on rushing plays showed that Marist’s offensive line was struggling to hold back the Drake defensive line and give their quarterbacks and running backs adequate time to make a play.
With injuries piling up and many questions to be answered, one of the biggest questions was who was going to take the starting position at quarterback. Redshirt quarterback Austin Day started the game after sitting out last week‘s game against Cornell University. Day suffered a concussion two week prior to Saturday’s game against Stetson but still got the start today against Drake. Day threw for 221 yards and a touchdown on 21-36 passing. He also threw an interception that led to a 54–yard run back and an eventual touchdown by Drake. When the game was getting out of hand, Parody went to the other redshirt sophomore quarterback, Luke Strnad, to see if there was anything, they could throw at Drake to catch them off guard. Strnad was 10-14 for 97 yards and a touchdown after being subbed into the game in the fourth quarter. He ran the option well and had a very nice 34–yard touchdown pass to redshirt junior Cade Mcnaughton to give at least one thing for the Marist fans to cheer for. With six quarterbacks on their roster, Marist has to figure out who’s the best fit for each position as they face a tough test next week against San Diego.
The one bright spot for Marist throughout this season has been redshirt senior Anthony Olivencia. The wide receiver has been one of Marist’s most consistent players on offense and was the lone bright spot on Saturday’s game against Drake. He had 6 receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Drake but continues his impressive season. So far on the year he has 18 receptions for 355 yards and 3 touchdowns. “He’s a guy who’s been a playmaker for us in the first four weeks of the season.” said Parody “We look for that to continue on.” Not only does Olivencia need to continue his stellar season but other guys on the both sides of the football need to step up and start making big plays in order for Marist to have a successful season.
The 3,918 people in attendance at Tenney was the third most in the stadium’s 13-year history. Another historical fact was that Marist was 0-7 lifetime versus Drake and today’s outcome was the same as the first seven meetings.
Marist football is back in action next Saturday when they travel to San Diego, California to take on the University of San Diego in another PFL showdown. San Diego is coming off a 9-3 season and PFL championship but Marist looks to prove why they are one of the top teams in the conference.
Edited by Doug Johnston
Header image by Allison Smith