Report provided by Marist Athletics
POUGHKEEPSIE, New York – The Marist football team tied a program record with its fifth straight victory in Pioneer Football League play on Saturday afternoon. The Red Foxes scored 28 points in the second quarter – including 21 in a span of 5:21 – en route to a 35-24 triumph over Valparaiso at Tenney Stadium.
The only points in the first quarter came on a 30-yard field goal by Valparaiso kicker Dimitrios Latsonas.
Marist took its first lead 27 seconds into the second quarter, when red-shirt sophomore Jacob Hallenbeck tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Juston Christian. However, Valparaiso answered less than seven minutes later on a 66-yard touchdown pass from Chris Duncan to Griffin Norberg.
On the Red Foxes’ ensuing drive, Hallenbeck for red-shirt junior wide receiver Anthony Olivencia for a 41-yard touchdown pass. Then, with 27 seconds left until halftime, Hallenbeck and Christian connected for their second touchdown of the game, this one coming from eight yards out. Then, on the ensuing kickoff, red-shirt junior Andrew McElroy forced a fumble that red-shirt junior Joe Petro recovered and returned 27 yards for a touchdown.
The lone score in the third quarter also came on a fumble recovery, as Valparaiso’s Drew Snouffer brought one back from 50 yards to cut Valparaiso’s deficit to 28-17.
With 5:49 to play, Hallenbeck’s fourth touchdown pass of the day came from eight yards out and went to red-shirt freshman tight end Sean Gaffney. It was the first touchdown of Gaffney’s collegiate career.
Valparaiso closed out the scoring on a two-yard touchdown pass from Duncan to Deuce Larose with 42 seconds left. The Crusaders then recovered the ensuing onside kick, but fifth-year senior cornerback Brandon Miller intercepted a pass on Valparaiso’s next play from scrimmage. It was Miller’s second interception of the quarter.
Hallenbeck finished 15-for-25 for 215 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Five of his completions went to Olivencia, who racked up a career-high 139 yards receiving
Red-shirt sophomore Darryn Jordan had 31 carries for 75 yards. Jordan had 16 of his carries in the second half, which helped the Red Foxes hold the ball for 18:12 of the game’s final 30 minutes. For the game, Marist had a 33:25-26:35 edge in time of possession.
Junior linebacker Maliek Carr led Marist’s defense with 10 tackles. Carr had one-and-a-half stops for loss, and teamed with sophomore safety Jeremiah Gholston on a drive ending tackle on a fourth-and-three running play in the fourth quarter.
Marist forced four of the game’s seven turnovers.
For Valparaiso, Duncan finished 12-for-30 for 194 passing yards, with two touchdowns and three interceptions. He added 20 yards on the ground.
Snouffer and Austin Petrie tied for the game high with 11 tackles
The five straight PFL wins tie a program record previously set in 2009 and 2013.
With his two touchdown receptions, Christian tied the program’s single-season record of 12 set by Armani Martin in the 2013 season.
Miller now has a team-best four interceptions this season. All four have come in the fourth quarter of Marist victories.
Jordan’s 31 carries were the most by a Red Fox since O’Neil Anderson had 31 at Bucknell in 2009.
Marist is now 7-1 all-time against Valparaiso, including a 4-0 mark at Tenney Stadium.
Quotes of the Day
“A lot of guys were banged up today. A lot of guys came in with a new role, and I thought they played well in critical game situations,” head coach Jim Parady.
In the postgame press conference, both Parady and Olivencia praised the play of the offensive line. The Red Foxes’ five starters up front were red-shirt junior left tackle Aaron Jackson, red-shirt sophomore left guard Jerry Prutos, junior center Dan Wittekind, red-shirt sophomore right guard Kevin Doran, and red-shirt sophomore right tackle Matt McKnelly.
Marist is now 5-4 overall and 5-1 in the PFL. The Red Foxes are tied for second in the PFL with Stetson. Both trail San Diego by one game with two to play.
Valparaiso is 1-8 overall and 1-5 in league play.
Marist travels to Drake for a PFL contest. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Eastern.