With starting quarterback Brock Bagozzi out with a knee injury, Marist football fell to the Dayton Flyers 35-6 as sophomore quarterback Logan Bradham made his first career start.
Looking to spoil the Flyers’ senior day, Marist got a drive going early, but Bradham threw an interception in the endzone.
“It was a miscommunication, and we weren’t on the same page,” said Marist head coach Jim Parady.
Dayton took immediate advantage, marching right down the field while leaning on the arm of true freshman quarterback Drew VanVleet. Getting it all the way down to the 1-yard line, freshman running back Luke Hansen punched it into the end zone, giving the Flyers an early 7-0 lead.
After trading turnovers with Marist, Dayton settled down their offense, and VanVleet drove them into the end zone once again, finding senior wideout Sam Bubonics on the deep slant.
With Marist desperately needing to put a drive together, they went back to their bread and butter. Junior running back Amin Woods broke out a huge run all the way to the Dayton 30-yard line. Woods, fighting for the goal line a few plays later, coughed up the football, fumbling it on the two-yard line. Dayton pounced on it for their third takeaway of the half, the second of which occurred just outside the endzone.
Marist went into the locker room with no points on the board in one of their worst first-half performances all season long. They were able to move the ball, but costly turnovers put them in a hole they could not recover from.
Marist needed a stop coming out of the locker room. They kept Dayton behind the sticks and made a big third-down stop, but that was all nullified after an untimely unsportsmanlike conduct on junior safety Cameron Ball that gave Dayton a first down.
“It was a self-inflicted mistake by us at an emotional time,” said Parady. “It was the first drive of the second half which did extend the drive and you can’t give teams extra positions like that.”
Just two plays later, VanVleet found his favorite target in sophomore wide receiver Jake Coleman on a 22-yard go route to the back of the end zone, extending Dayton’s lead to 21.
Now desperately needing points, Marist started to sling the rock, and Bradham found his rhythm.
“I thought he had a really good day, he directed the offense and put the ball in some good spots,” said Parady.
The Red Foxes looked to finally get a drive together and decided to keep their offense on the field for 4th and 12 with 10:14 remaining, but they did not get it. Marist still had yet to score, and the clock was now starting to become a problem.
After getting the ball back again, Marist finally found the end zone. Bradham connected with junior wideout Matt Stianche on a dig route for a 14-yard score on 3rd down, but a missed PAT followed, keeping it a 21-6 game.
Dayton immediately responded, using a 50-yard run by Luke Hansen to march down the field. Hansen eventually punched it in from the one-yard line for his second touchdown of the day.
On the ensuing possession, Bradham was picked off by freshman safety Josh Anderson for their fourth turnover on the day. Two plays later, the Marist defense made an interception of their own, with junior Josh Popoca doing the honors, but he could not do anything with it.
Marist, who looked to be running out of gas, gave up another touchdown on the ground to junior running back Logan Davis.
“I don’t think we tackled very well today, ” said Parady.
That run ended up being the icing on the cake, as Dayton extended their lead to 35-6 with just a few minutes remaining. It was an unsightly performance by a Marist team that came in hoping to return to .500. Turnovers were a constant; Dayton received five free possessions that aided them greatly.
“Turnovers change the momentum of the game…it deflates you a little bit,” said Parady. “How are we gonna handle adversity, we have to come back to work tomorrow, and fix those mistakes we made?”
Marist now sits at 4-6 with just one more remaining game next weekend at home against Bucknell at 12 pm.
Edited by Luke Sassa
Graphic by Jaylen Rizzo