Bison defense carries the football team to 26-10 win over Marist

Anslee Krouch, Staff Writer

The Bison powered past Marist with a 26-10 season-opening road win on Sept. 3. Marist started the game with a no-huddle, fast-paced offensive looking to catch the Bison flat-footed. However, the Bison defense turned the tables by forcing six turnovers, the most turnovers for the team since 2011.

Doug Whitlock ’18, Nick O’Brien ’17, Connor Golden ’18, Bret Berg ’17, and Joe Lauro ’19 recorded five of the six takeaways that led to a 20-3 Bison lead at half. Bryan Marine ’19 added to the turnover total by stripping a Marist receiver to save a touchdown in the second half. Linebacker Ben Richard ’18 led the Orange and Blue defense with 13 tackles, two sacks, and four tackles for loss. Richard had help from Ben Schumacher ’17, who had two sacks and three tackles for loss, along with Abdullah Anderson ’18, who had 1.5 sacks and two tackles for loss, making it a tough afternoon for the Marist offense.

The Bison rattled off 20 points in the first half, while Marist’s only points came from a field goal. Joey DeFloria ’18 made a statement in his first career start by rushing 145 yards on 27 carries. Additionally, he ran two touchdowns in the first half. DeFloria set the tone with his first touchdown coming from 32 yards out on the Bison’s second possession. The Bison scored again, thanks to a 71-yard touchdown pass by R.J. Nitti ’17 to Jack Horan ’18, who started his first career game as a wide receiver. DeFloria followed suit when he scored his second touchdown on a four-yard run up the middle in the second quarter.

“The offense got off to a great start, [and] the offensive line blocked well all game which helped our production as a running back group,” DeFloria said. “The defense played great all game forcing six turnovers, which gave the offense great field position throughout the whole game. It was a great first win of the season.”

In the second half, Marist narrowed the gap to 20-10. However, Alex Pechin ’19 added two field goals to lead the Bison to its first win of the season. The Bison will next play Duquesne on the road on Sept. 10.

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