For the second straight week, a redshirt freshman was the star player for Marist. This week, it was running back Hunter Cobb who had a huge day against Davidson. The Red Foxes were in desperate need of a win after dropping their previous four games, but their 1-5 record does not tell the full story from this season so far. Marist has played the top two teams in the PFL, San Diego University and Drake University, as well as the 24th ranked team in the entire FCS, Dartmouth University.
As for Cobb, he had a career game to say the least. Entering this game he had just 47 total rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on the season. Against Davidson, he had 187 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cobb’s 187 yards was the most by any Marist running back had all season.
For a team that averages just 60 rushing yards per game, Marist used the rushing attack to their advantage. In total, they had 232 rushing yards and averaged 6.3 yards per rush. This is the same team that had 2 rushing yards in one game this season. Coming into this game, Davidson had the best rushing defense in the PFL, giving up under 100 yards per game. Marist more than doubled that and scored two rushing touchdowns to go along with that which matched the amount of rushing touchdowns that Davidson had allowed all season.
The Marist defense also came up big when it mattered most. Davison had the best offense in the PFL entering Saturday’s game averaging more than 35 points per game. Their running game was 3rd in all of the FCS with an average of 355.6 rushing yards per game and 21 total rushing touchdowns so far this season. However, their passing game has had only 3 touchdowns on the season. Marist held them to 163 yards rushing, more than half of their season average.
They did well containing the quarterback option and the defensive line held their own and clogged up the middle. Marist entered the game giving up 204.7 rushing yards per game and allowing 14 rushing touchdowns. They were also able to limit Davidson junior Wesley Dugger, a PFL All-Conference first team selection in 2018 who had only lost 3 yards this whole season. Dugger entered the game having rushed for over 100 yards in three games. He is even Davidson’s all time leader in touchdowns with 38. However, the Red Foxes held him to just 83 yards and 1 touchdown, which for Dugger’s standards against PFL opposition is not a star performance.
Marist forced three turnovers for the second week in a row as the defense looks at its best this season. A big turning point of the game was the first drive where Marist stopped Davidson when they tried to go for it on 4th down. This was huge because Davidson had scored on every first drive this season in the conference so Marist were the first team to finally stop them.
After a career long 62 yard punt from freshman Dominic Donohue, Marist forced a big fumble that led to a Cobb rushing touchdown, extending the lead to 24-7. While Davidson came back to make it a 24-21 game, Marist stopped their final drive with a little over a minute left to secure their second PFL win.
This is Marist’s ninth straight win against Davidson and their 10th win in 11 games. They are a perfect 6-0 when traveling to Davidson, with their only loss coming in 2009 in Poughkeepsie. Marist looks to get over .500 in PFL play next Saturday, November 2nd, when they take on the Butler Bulldogs at Tenney Stadium.
Edited by Alex Azarm