Almost as quickly as the lights lit up Tenney Stadium, the lights were off for the Marist Red Foxes, as they lost to the Columbia Lions by a score of 38-3. Marist avoided their first shutout since 2015 with a late Luke Paladino field goal, but the feeling of the game made the points insignificant.
It was a fast-paced start for the Lions, who got the ball first and absolutely torched the Red Fox defense. They started out with a couple of run plays that went for sizeable gains, which then set up the deep shot from junior quarterback Joe Green to sophomore receiver Bryson Canty for a touchdown.
Columbia got the ball right back after a Marist punt, and they were marching down right again with a no-huddle offense, quickly burning the defense’s stamina and making life that much harder.
“It was harder for us to make the substitutions we wanted to make,” said redshirt senior safety Clayborne Fields III, who, per multiple sources, has recently been scouted by several NFL teams. “Especially once they got to shorter yardages and we wanted to get our 1-on-1 defense out there.”
When the Lions entered the red zone, Joe Green fired a pass that was picked off by the aforementioned Fields. He returned it to midfield, and the Marist sideline was jubilant. It was the most excited they had been all season – that is until they noticed a yellow flag on the field.
The referees called a roughing the passer on redshirt junior safety Kyle Coffindaffer, bringing Columbia within the five-yard-line and eventually scoring a touchdown. After that, it seemed like Marist knew they met their fate.
“The call was what it was,” said head coach Jim Parady. “At that point, instead of the change of momentum and let’s get the [offense] out there, it was negated by the penalty.”
Marist’s offense, once again, could not get clicking. True sophomore quarterback Brock Bagozzi started the game and looked to be locked into the starting quarterback role, at least early on in the game. After the game, Parady revealed that he intended to give redshirt freshman Diego Arroyo some run in the first half, but he “thought that Brock was doing pretty well.”
Redshirt senior Glenmour Leonard-Osbourne was definitely used more in this game compared to his limited showing against Georgetown, but he wasn’t given much space to operate. The Lions clearly kept a noticeable eye on him and didn’t allow him to break out and utilize his game-breaking speed.
The problem for Marist was the inability to create sustainable drives to get into scoring range, and when they did, they couldn’t finish it off with points. The Red Foxes had three drives that got to about Columbia’s 30-yard-line, but they couldn’t score on them after getting shut out on fourth down.
Redshirt senior kicker Luke Paladino was active this game after suffering a right ankle injury two weeks ago against Georgetown, but Parady was probably cautious about using him as that is his kicking leg.
There was also a lot of confusion among the offense, leading Parady to burn all of his squad’s timeouts by the nine-minute mark of the second quarter. Parady looked particularly disgusted by the time he called his third and final timeout of the half.
“We had some personnel issues,” said Parady. “As we rotated in and out, that gut us…I also thought the play clock had gone down differently than it seemed like normally. I burned the last one because I didn’t like what the defense presented to us.”
Before the end of the half, Columbia senior kicker Alex Felkins knocked through a 53-yard field goal, a Tenney Stadium record, to give the Lions a 31-0 lead heading into halftime.
Fans poured out of the stadium by this point in the game, and all of the anticipation that had been there pre-game had dissipated.
At the start of the third quarter, Brock Bagozzi attempted to throw a deep ball to Glenmour Leonard-Osbourne. Instead, he threw a duck. Senior cornerback Bryan Bell-Anderson picked the ball off and took it to the house.
During the return, Bagozzi was noticeably distraught by the interception and didn’t make an effort on the return until it was too late.
On Marist’s next possession, Bagozzi didn’t come out onto the field and was replaced in his role by Diego Arroyo.
“We had come out of the half, and it was a situation where we didn’t put any points on the board at that point,” said Parady. “It was time for a little change…with the pick-six, it was time.”
Arroyo had a rough showing against Georgetown, but he completed 8-18 passes for 118 yards, including his first completion of the season after accounting for none against the Hoyas. Bagozzi’s final tally was 14-28 for 124 yards and two interceptions.
By the time the fourth quarter came around, the most exciting part of the night for Marist fans was the 50/50 raffle that PA announcer and Marist tennis coach Gary Sussman read the numbers of. It was all but over by then.
As Parady was exiting the press conference, there was only one thing left that he could say. “Columbia’s a good team. That’s on the record guys,” Parady half-jokingly said with a smirk.
For the Red Foxes, the next time they hit the field will be next Saturday against the Drake Bulldogs in what will be their first away game of the season. That game will also be their first PFL contest with kickoff set for 2 p.m.
Edited by Jonathan Kinane
Photo from Jonathan Kinane