DAYTON, Ohio – Buoyed by 31 unanswered points, the Marist football team defeated Dayton 31-20 in its Pioneer Football League opener on Saturday at Welcome Stadium.
Senior quarterback Chuckie Looney (Ocala, Fla.) accounted for 354 total yards, with 233 passing yards and 121 rushing yards. Senior running back Atiq Lucas (Coram, N.Y.) ran for 91 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns. Defensively, senior cornerback Jack Marston (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) and senior free safety Nick Kaszei (Brook Park, Ohio) each had eight tackles. Marston added three pass break-ups.
Dayton grabbed the early lead with 13 first-quarter points. A nine-yard touchdown run by Lucas cut Marist’s deficit to 13-7 with 4:48 left in the second quarter. The Red Foxes then took the lead on a one-yard touchdown run by Lucas with 7:31 remaining in the third quarter, which capped a 14-play, 84-yard drive.
In the fourth quarter, Marist took a 21-13 lead when Looney dropped back to pass, stepped up into the pocket, and then took off for a 48-yard touchdown run with 9:34 to play. Just 26 seconds later, sophomore cornerback Zachary Quarles (Upper Marlboro, Md.) intercepted a tipped pass, and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown to put the Red Foxes up 28-13. Senior kicker Jesse Signa (South Huntington, N.Y.) closed out the Marist scoring with a 26-yard field goal with 3:07 to play.
The Red Foxes outgained the Flyers 488-341, and had a balanced attack with 255 rushing yards and 233 passing yards. It was the first win for Marist against Dayton in five tries in program history.
For Dayton, wide receiver Brandon Johnson had seven receptions for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Will Bardo threw for 136 yards and a score, and ran for a team-high 45 yards.
Marist won its second straight game, and improved to 2-2 overall. Dayton also stands at 2-2 on the season.
The Red Foxes return home next Saturday to host PFL foe Valparaiso on Alumni Weekend. Kickoff is set for noon. Single-game tickets for Marist home games are available here.