This game was not just any regular game for Marist College. As with every year, Senior Day has an added magnitude. In addition, the Red Foxes were hoping to give their supporters a win, to end this season of home games on a high note. But Jacksonville had other ideas, as they ruined the day of celebration and remembrance with a 52-45 win.
A strong first drive led by Austin Day’s three of four complete passes would eventually lead to a seven-point lead. They mixed the pass and run after Dwayne Menders’ 37-yard kickoff return; the offensive attack led to a one-yard Hunter Cobb rushing touchdown, which was followed by Luke Paladino’s extra point and gave the Red Foxes a 7-0 lead. Jacksonville came up with an equally plentiful offensive possession to follow, as Garrett Nicolas found a hole and sprinted toward seven-point daylight for 75-yards. Just like that, it was 7-7.
Later in the first quarter, Anthony Purge’s successful ground-game led to a 32-yard Luke Paladino attempt for three points. His attempt, though, was blocked by Caysaun Wakeley, leading to an 88-yard return and a 14-7 lead for Jacksonville
Marist’s defense was tested through the second and third quarters, though they adequately answered the challenges. They forced a goal-line stand; Jacksonville’s Zachary Benwick hooked a field goal to the left, giving the Red Foxes a break after they allowed them to approach the end zone. Marist came back on offense when Hunter Cobb would take the ball all the way to the end zone for an 80-yard touchdown, his second.
Prior to halftime, Jacksonville would employ exactly what they attempted to at the start with an aggressive offense. It would follow through, giving the Dolphins a 17-14 lead behind a 26-yard field goal by Benwick and a run from Jordan Younge-Humphrey. Marist would cap hope to cap off one last drive by running Hunter Cobb. He was stopped at the goal line, leaving it 17-14 at the half.
As the third quarter began, Marist stopped Jacksonville, though the Dolphins attempted a fake punt, one that helped Marist’s field position. Austin Day was precise with his long, on-the-move passing following the fake, ultimately finding Joe Petro for a 34-yard touchdown, making it 21-17 Marist. Jacksonville would come back with a long drive full of runs by quarterback Calvin Turner Jr.’ he ran on the Marist defense all day long, and his offensive prowess led to Turner Jr. finding Mitchell Bailey for a 14-yard touchdown. Jacksonville took the lead, 24-21.
The fourth quarter was very back and forth; each would put points on the board and then the other team would answer the call. It started early, as Cobb ran for a one-yard touchdown, giving Marist a 28-24 lead. It was followed by Jacksonville’s Sean Dispenza rushing into the endzone and regaining a three-point lead. As the Dolphins continued to run the ball, they kept the drive alive and wore down the Marist defense. The longest play of the drive was a 21-yard run by Turner Jr., which led to a five-yard run for a touchdown by BJ Riley, putting Jacksonville back up 38-35.
With two minutes left, Marist remained behind by three. Austin Day faced a third-and-one and scrambled for 17-yards and a first down. He kept completing passes to move the chains and keep the drive alive. His continuous completions and lack of timeouts forced coach Parady to send out the field-goal. Jacksonville iced the kicker; Paladino responded with a 45-yard tying field goal. Jacksonville called timeout, a tactic that was to Marist’s benefit, as they were rushing on to the field for the field goal. Paladino then stepped up, hit the right upright and somehow squeezed in a 45-yard field goal. Time for overtime.
As overtime began, Day scored an early touchdown off of the run, putting the Red Foxes up 45-38. Jacksonville got the ball back and Turner Jr. just kept running all over the Marist defense, who just had no answers for him; he eventually ran it in for a six-yard touchdown to tie the game 45-45. Cobb fumbled late and Jacksonville would escape, scoring again and increasing the advantage. Dolphins with another score, stealing a 52-45 victory in Poughkeepsie. Next week Marist will play their final game of the season as they go on the road to Valparaiso.