POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist football team (1-1) suffered a 19-17 non-league loss to Bucknell (1-0) on Saturday at Tenney Stadium. The game was the Red Foxes' home opener.
Junior quarterback Chuckie Looney (Ocala, Fla.) threw for 309 yards. Looney was 25-for-39 with two touchdowns and one interception, which came on a Hail Mary pass on the final play of the first half. Three Red Foxes had at least 75 yards receiving. Fifth-year senior wide receiver Michael Rios (Miami, Fla.) accumulated a team-high 82 yards on five catches. Sophomore wide receiver Matt Tralli (Croton, N.Y.) amassed 76 yards on seven receptions and a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Armani Martin (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) had 75 yards on seven receptions.
Defensively, junior free safety Nick Kaszei (Brook Park, Ohio) had a game-high 11 tackles. Senior linebacker Mike Hagemann (Vernon, N.J.) added nine. Sophomore cornerback Vinny Fuschetto (New Providence, N.J.) had an interception. Senior safety Tyler Ramsey (Southbridge, Mass.) forced a fumble that junior linebacker Paul Sakowski (Chester, N.Y.) recovered.
Bucknell never trailed in the contest. With 3:45 left in the first quarter, Brandon Wesley threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Travis Friend as the Bison took a 7-0 lead. But the Red Foxes answered with 53 seconds left in the quarter on a one-yard pass from Looney to fifth-year senior running back Calvin McCoy (Bronx, N.Y.).
The Bison took the lead for good with 10:37 left in the second quarter on a 22-yard field goal by Sean Cobelli. The lead extended to 16-7 on a seven-yard pass from Wesley to Jake Flaherty, but Rios blocked the extra point for the eighth blocked kick of his career.
With 1:42 left in the first half, senior kicker Jason Myers (Chula Vista, Calif.) hit a 36-yard field goal to cut Marist's deficit to 16-10 heading into halftime. After a scoreless third quarter, Cobelli hit a 36-yard field goal, which capped a 14-play, 65-yard drive and gave the Bison a two-score lead at 19-10 with 4:50 to play.
The Red Foxes used a 10-play, 80-yard drive to cut the score to 19-17, as Looney finished it off with an 11-yard pass to Tralli with 31 seconds left. The ensuing onside kick bounced several times before Bucknell recovered it, and then ran out the clock.
Marist held a 366-332 edge in total yards, but the Bison maintained a 142-57 advantage in rushing yards. Bucknell also had a time of possession of 32:49, and went 7-for-13 on third-down conversions. Each team had two turnovers.
For Bucknell, Ryan Morgan and Evan Byers had eight tackles apiece. Morgan also forced a fumble that he returned 55 yards in the first quarter, which set up the first score of the game. Wesley was 20-for-27 in the air for 190 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Victor Walker caught six passes for 81 yards, and Jeremiah Young had a team-high 71 yards rushing on 21 attempts.
Marist returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Columbia. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. The meeting is the second between the schools all-time, as the Lions captured the first contest in 2007.
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Note: The contest, which was originally supposed to kick off at 6:08, did not start until 7:16. A thunderstorm moved into Poughkeepsie shortly after 5 p.m., which kept the teams off the field for nearly an hour-and-a-half.