High-powered offense leads football to victory
The offense scored four touchdowns of over 75 yards, the defense continued its strong play inside the red zone, and the Marist football team cruised to a dominating 44-7 victory over conference rival Valparaiso on Saturday, in Indiana.
Offensively, the Red Foxes put together arguably their most complete performance of the season, running for 349 yards and throwing for 312 more to total 661 yards on the afternoon. They had two 100-yard rushers: Emmanuel Onakoya (110 yards on seven carries and a touchdown) and Max Jacques (128 yards on nine carries and a touchdown). Michael Rios led all receivers with two touchdowns and 193 yards on four catches.
"It was a very nice football game for us offensively," head coach Jim Parady said. "We completed a high percentage of our passes, our offensive line worked hard in the trenches, and our running backs made some people miss at the second and third level. Anytime you have those three [phases] it is going to make for a very good game."
Parady gave lot of credit to the running backs corps, who have worked hard this season to get to the level that they are at now, according to their coach.
"What we are seeing is their understanding of blocking schemes, and knowing where people are going to come at them at the second and third level. Their vision is a lot better [at this point of the season].
Onakoya and Jacques each had long touchdown runs in the game. Early in the second quarter, Onakoya burst through the middle for an 85-yard touchdown run, and just before the end of the first half, Jacques broke for a 96-yard run into the end-zone to put Marist up 30-0.
Parady also gave credit to the passing game, where Chuckie Looney, who missed the team's previous game, threw for 232 yards and two touchdowns. Looney once again connected with Rios for two long touchdowns. The first, a 97-yard catch about five minutes into the first quarter, was the longest play from scrimmage in Marist history.
"It was very exciting for us," Parady said of his team's success in the vertical game. "It was nice to see us take advantage of how Valparaiso covered us."
The Marist players on the other side of the ball also played well against the Crusaders, surrendering only seven points and stopping their opponents on their three trips to the red zone. Safety Zach Adler led the way for the Red Foxes, totaling nine tackles and two interceptions. He was named PFL Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
"Especially in the red zone, this defensive performance was very satisfying. Our defense is ranked Number One in the conference, and we left this game feeling good about our job," Parady said.
The Red Foxes will return home after two straight road games on Saturday, when they host Pioneer League rival San Diego. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.
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