Football drops nail biter at Columbia
This has been the margin of defeat for the Marist football team.
Three points, and this team could have been undefeated heading into Saturday's matchup against Davidson, their first Pioneer League game of the season.
Instead, the Red Foxes find themselves in the midst of a losing streak. After winning their season-opener in dominating fashion, the team lost two straight games to drop their record to 1-2.
The talent is definitely there. Impact players are all over the place, on both sides of the ball. But this has not translated into victories, and head coach Jim Parady understands that every week brings on new challenges for his team.
"We are still a work in progress here [in Week Three]," Parady said. "We just got to keep cleaning up all three phases [of the game]. It is kind of clichÃ©, but its true."
Parady is right. No team is perfect, and there are always improvements to be made, especially early on in the season.
Look no further than last week's game against Columbia for an example. The Red Foxes had more yards (314-255), longer time of possession (30:34-29:26), and the defense allowed only 255 total yards to the Lions, but still lost, 10-9.
"Very frustrating for myself, the coaching staff, and the players. We knew we let one slip away. It was frustrating to not come away with a win," Parady said.
Parady explained that problems on special teams and red-zone inefficiency served as the biggest flaws for Marist throughout the game. The team had two turnovers inside the red-zone: a tipped interception, and a fumble on the one-yard line. Following a touchdown pass from Chuckie Looney to Louis Cotrone, Jason Myers' extra point attempt, that could have tied the game at 10, was blocked.
"Our special teams hurt us quite a bit in this game," Parady said. "We felt we left 17 points on the field offensively. Too many [missed] opportunities."
There were some positive moments for the Red Foxes against Columbia. Parady was very pleased with his defense's efforts against the Lions.
"I thought overall it was a very solid defensive performance," Parady said.
However, there were too many negatives that outweighed the positives in this contest. Missed opportunities do not translate into victories. In order to end losing ways, the team must be able to cash in on their chances, not miss out on them.
Marist will get a prime opportunity to get back on the winning track this weekend. Davidson, a team that comes into Tenney Stadium 0-2 this season. The Red Foxes will not take the Wildcats lightly though. The last time the two teams played in Poughkeepsie, Davidson defeated Marist, 28-21.
"Their [Davidson's] defense plays multiple fronts, more than any other defense we have seen play. They are very active, and their offense has a very good passing attack. We have a lot of respect for what they are going to bring in here," Parady said.
Parady explained that the keys to the game for the Red Foxes will be to stopping the passing attack of the Wildcats, and being able to go back to putting the ball pass the goal line in the red zone.
The Red Foxes must come away with a victory on Saturday. A victory would not only end the team's current losing streak, but would also make the team 1-0 in the conference.
Parady believes that his team will be ready to play on Sunday.
"We are going to use the motivation [from Saturday's loss] to move forward into this week," Parady said. "If you talked to us Saturday night, everyone was really down. But now, the attitude has gotten a lot better, and we are ready for this week.
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