By Mike Ferraro
POUGHKEEPSIE – Before a record crowd of 6,154, the Marist football team dropped its home opener to Bryant, 34-17 at Tenney Stadium on Saturday night.
Dwayne Menders Jr. tied Marist’s single-game record with 12 receptions. He had 144 yards receiving and a touchdown.
Bryant took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, and led 17-0 when Mekhai Johnson scored on an 11-yard reception from Brock Bagozzi with 21 seconds left until halftime.
The Red Foxes then scored on their opening drive on the second half, which culminated in a 14-yard touchdown pass from Bagozzi tot Menders.
Bryant answered with 12-yard touchdown pass from Zevi Eckhaus to Anthony Frederick. On the Red Foxes’ ensuing drive, Luke Paladino kicked a 38-yard field goal, which cut Marist’s deficit to 24-17 with nine seconds left in the third quarter.
Bryant shut out Marist in the fourth quarter. Eckhaus connected with Frederick for another touchdown pass, and the Bulldogs closed out to the scoring with a 33-yard field goal by Luke Samperi with 5:27 remaining.
“I’d like to thank the community and school for coming out to the game tonight,” said Marist head coach Jim Parady. “It was an incredible environment for our first home game in two years.
“We made it a competitive game in the second half. I felt we left a lot of opportunities on the field.”
Up next, Marist opens its Pioneer Football League schedule at Valparaiso on Saturday, Oct. 2.