DELAND, Fl – Red-shirt sophomore quarterback Mike White connected with red-shirt sophomore wide receiver Christian Keenan on a 76-yard touchdown pass with 39 seconds remaining, giving the Marist football team a 45-38 triumph at Stetson in a Pioneer Football League game on Saturday.
With 51 seconds remaining and the score tied at 38, Marist took over at its own 24. White stepped up in the pocket and delivered a strike just past midfield to Keenan, who maneuvered past one defender and raced to the end zone with the game-winning touchdown.
White finished with 446 yards of total offense – 344 and three touchdowns through the air, and a career-high 102 with a touchdown on the ground. Junior wide receiver Lawrence Dickens caught 11 passes for 139 yards. Dickens’ reception total is tied for the second-highest in a game in program history.
Marist jumped out to a 24-0 advantage, and had a 24-point lead twice in the contest. The Red Foxes started their first drive at their own 2, but a 44-yard run by White brought Marist into Stetson territory, and red-shirt junior running back Marcellus Calhoun scampered for a 24-yard touchdown run on the next play.
Turnovers played a key role as the Red Foxes expanded their lead. An interception by red-shirt senior Michael Marston enabled Marist to start a drive at the Stetson 46. A six-play march culminated in a one-yard run by White. Early in the second quarter, senior safety Carter Odenweller recovered a muffed punt in Stetson territory, and senior Mike Maccarone hit a 30-yard field goal with 10:56 left in the second quarter. Just 17 seconds later, Marston recorded his second interception of the day, as he picked off a reverse pass and scampered 16 yards for the first touchdown of his career.
The Hatters answered with back-to-back touchdowns, but Marist answered with 39 seconds left in the first half on a 15-yard scoring strike from White to senior wide receiver Joe Jordan. The Red Foxes took a 31-14 lead to the locker room.
Marist scored a touchdown on its opening drive on the second half. White eluded pressure, and found red-shirt freshman wide receiver Anthony Olivencia for 20-yard touchdown to expand Marist’s lead to 38-14. The Hatters answered with back-to-back touchdowns on a one-yard run by Cole Mazza, and a 23-yard pass from Nick Andreas to Kegan Moore as they trailed 38-28 after three quarters.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Andreas found Donald Parham for a seven-yard touchdown, which cut Marist’s lead to 38-35. The Red Foxes still maintained a three-point lead when Stetson’s Dylan Wyndronkowski returned a Calhoun fumble to the Marist 27 with 2:01 remaining. A sideline infraction moved the ball to the Marist 12, but the Red Foxes held the Hatters to two yards on the next three plays. With 57 seconds left, Grant Amick’s 29-yard field goal tied the score. White’s game-winning pass to Keenan came on the next play from scrimmage.
Defensively, the Red Foxes forced four turnovers. Red-shirt sophomore linebacker Willie Barrett had a team-high eight tackles, including one-and-a-half behind the line of scrimmage. Red-shirt junior linebacker Ruben Avalos III had seven stops, including two-and-a-half for a loss of yardage. Senior cornerback Cameron Gibson finished with six tackles, an interception, and a pass break-up.
Marist is 5-4 overall and 5-1 in the PFL. Stetson is 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the PFL.