After a thrilling 45-31 win against Stetson, the Marist Red Foxes came back up north to Poughkeepsie and got rocked by the Dayton Flyers by a score of 24-7, in what was Marist’s 100th game in the Pioneer Football League.
Redshirt freshman Shane Hamm got the start at quarterback for Dayton today, replacing fellow redshirt freshman Dante Casciola after the Flyers got shut out against Butler last week. This was the first start of his college career.
Marist head coach Jim Parady knew that Hamm would give them a tough fight though.
“[Hamm] is a strong kid,” said Parady. “We had initially recruited him out of high school, he ended up going to Dayton, but we knew he was a good player because we had seen him during his high school days.”
The Flyers’ bell cow on offense is senior running back Jake Chisholm, a player who is only 5’9” and 195 pounds, but is shifty and bounces off defenders easily, making him a pesky back to defend.
Even though this tends to be the case, Marist was able to stop the 2021 All-PFL First Team back on fourth down at the Red Fox 10-yard-line. Marist has played much better on defense this season when the ball is in their own redzone, showcasing a “bend-don’t-break” mentality.
Overall, they had limited Chisholm’s running lanes effectively all game long, going for 91 yards on 27 carries, limiting him to only 3.3 yards per carry avoiding the home run play. He did have one touchdown but that came during garbage time.
“You’re just trying to limit him,” said Parady. “You try not to let him get out for those big plays and I thought defensively we were able to do that during the course of the day.”
The game had a slow, methodic pace during the first quarter, and there wasn’t any scoring action until the second quarter. When it came, however, it came in a big way.
Hamm had been dinking and dunking early on, but this time he decided to take a deep shot to sophomore receiver Luke Brenner, who was glued by redshirt senior safety Clayborne Fields III and redshirt junior cornerback Isaiah Smith. The two defenders both made a play on the ball, but somehow the pigskin went right through their mittens into the hands of Brenner, who ended up with the touchdown to give Dayton the early lead.
The only drive where Marist progressed beyond midfield was the Red Foxes’ last drive of the first half, but like true sophomore quarterback Brock Bagozzi has been prone to throughout the season, he threw an interception at a critical point. Bagozzi spun out of the pocket to avoid a free rusher and threw the ball to the endzone with about 15 seconds on the clock, when Marist had the opportunity for the field goal.
Even though they missed out on potential points, Parady understood Bagozzi’s decision to go for the home run.
“He saw a one-on-one matchup with a receiver that had a height advantage down there,” said Parady. “The ball fluttered and kicked a little bit with the wind…we had to get down to the 25 [yard-line] to kick that field goal…we only had one more play at that point to get it into field goal range.”
A player on defense who has made his presence known the past few weeks has been redshirt sophomore defensive end Miles Kauderer, and the emerging defender had another great day today on the edge with two sacks and multiple pressures on Hamm.
Kauderer’s emergence could not have come at a better time, as the Red Foxes had been starving for an effective edge rusher.
“We hit [Hamm] well,” said Parady. “We got to him and scrambled him out a lot.”
Bagozzi was replaced in the third quarter by redshirt freshman Diego Arroyo – a move that came the possession after Bagozzi lost a fumble, his second turnover of the day.
When Arroyo came in, the offense made three spark plays in a row – two 20+ yard completions from Arroyo to redshirt junior Will Downes, and a 15-yard rush by redshirt sophomore Devin Thompson.
This led to Marist’s best drive of the day to that point yardage-wise, but it did not go in Marist’s favor, as a 43-yard Luke Paladino field goal was blocked by the Flyers to keep Marist scoreless with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
“It was a 10-point game at that point trying to get it back to one possession,” said Parady. “That’s something that we have to convert in those situations in a game like this with limited possessions.”
There was a scary moment in the fourth quarter where Kauderer was down and clearly in heavy pain. The rest of the Red Fox squad were on their knees, but luckily Kauderer was able to walk off under his own power. He would eventually come back to the game and even sacked Hamm on his first drive back.
With seven minutes in the fourth quarter, Marist had the ball in an important drive to try and make it a one possession game. At fourth-and-10, instead of going for a 39-yard Luke Paladino field goal, Parady elected to go for it.
“They were getting good interior pressure at that point,” said Parady. “Even though we were kicking with the wind at that point, [the block] was in the back of my mind.”
Arroyo took the snap in the shotgun and no one was open, forcing the young QB to move around the pocket, going backwards to try and keep the play alive. After a few seconds, Arroyo was brought down 21 yards behind the line of scrimmage, giving the ball back to Dayton beyond midfield.
This effectively sealed the game away for the Red Foxes.
Marist almost got shut out, which would have been their first since September 5, 2015 when they lost 17-0 to Bucknell. This agenda was squandered when the Red Foxes scored their first points of the game with 18 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, after redshirt sophomore running back Tristan Shannon scored his first career touchdown.
Marist will be back in PFL action next Saturday when they take on the Butler Bulldogs in Indianapolis. Butler had shut out this very Dayton team last week, when they beat the Flyers 31-0.
Edited by Ricardo Martinez
Photo from Kira Crutcher