Poughkeepsie, NY – Marist quarterback Matt White ran for two touchdowns and threw for three more as the Red Foxes handed Stetson a 49-14 loss at Tenney Stadium on Saturday.
The loss dropped Stetson to 2-7 on the year, 1-6 in Pioneer Football League play, while Marist improved to 5-4 overall with its fourth consecutive victory. The Red Foxes improved to 4-2 in league play with the win.
The teams gave fans a wild first half that included almost 500 yards of total offense, 100 yards in penalties and big plays on special teams. Unfortunately for Stetson, the big plays all went for the Red Foxes, who blocked a Stetson punt to set up a score, blocked a field goal to prevent a Stetson score, and had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Marist also controlled the Hatters with its defense, which recorded eight sacks and forced three Stetson turnovers.
White finished the day with 234 passing yards on 13-of-18 attempts. All three of his TD passes went to Tralli, who had four receptions for 83 yards. White also led the Red Foxes with 50 yards rushing with two scores.
The second half was much quieter as Marist produced the only points with single touchdowns in each of the last two quarters.
The Hatters had a chance to get on the board first thanks to a long opening kickoff return by Ja’Vonta Swinton that set Stetson up at the Marist 41. The Hatters’ drive ended after consecutive pass attempts from Ryan Tentler, on third and fourth down from the 34, were dropped. Both plays had a chance to finish in the end zone if the Hatters had held on to the ball.
Marist did not have that problem on its first possession, driving 66 yards on just five plays with White doing most of the damage. He connected with Matt Tralli for a gain of 32 on first down, and then ran for 16. After a pass interference call moved the ball to the Stetson 13, White ran it in from the nine for the first points of the game.
Mike Maccarone, who was perfect on six PAT kicks in the game, made it 7-0.
The Hatters quickly answered when Tentler hooked up with Swinton for a 37-yard gain. A pass interference call against Marist moved the ball to the 10, and Tentler ran it in from there. James LaGamma added the PAT to tie the game at 7-7.
Marist regained the lead on the next possession of the game, using eight plays to cover 79 yards. The big play of the drive was a 45-yard pass from White to Juston Christian to the Stetson 3. White ran it in from there for a 14-7 Marist lead.
From there, things turned sour for the Hatters. Marist held the Stetson offense, forcing a punt that cornerback Cam Gibson broke through to block. The Red Foxes got the ball at the Stetson 19 and, even after a false start penalty, needed just one play to score on a 24-yard pass from White to Tralli.
The Marist defense shut the Hatters down again on the next possession and the Red Foxes went right back to work. White continued to make plays with his arm, throwing for gains of 18 and then 40 to move to the Stetson 6. After the clock expired on the first quarter, White hit Tralli on the first play of the second for a 28-7 Marist lead.
That was where it stayed for most of the second quarter before the Hatters embarked on a 12-play scoring drive. Tentler got the drive started when he connected with Kegan Moore for a 56-yard gain. Tentler then alternated runs with Cole Mazza to move inside the five. Mazza completed the drive on fourth down from the 1 and Grant Amick’s PAT cut the deficit to 28-14.
The momentum from that score didn’t last for Stetson, however, as Marist’s Lawrence Dickens returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.
The combination of White and Tralli got Marist on the board again in the third quarter when the duo hooked up for a 21-yard TD. It was a school-record tying third TD reception of the game for Tralli and gave Marist a 42-14 lead.
The Red Foxes tacked on another score late in the game with the second offense on the field. Leon Cummings did the honors for Marist, running it in from 15-yards out.
For Stetson, Tentler finished with 192 passing yards, completing 11-of-25, with two interceptions. He gained 97 yards on the ground, but got credit for just 34 as a result of being sacked seven times.
The Hatters will close the season with consecutive home games at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium. Stetson will host Ave Maria next Saturday for homecoming, with a 3 p.m. kickoff, and will then host Davidson on November 21.