Football Defeats Marist 34-24, Improves to 3-1
NEW YORK—In his second career start at quarterback, Josh Bean threw for a career-high 262 yards and two touchdowns, Columbia dominated the ball for 42 of the game's 60 minutes and the Lions limited Marist to 38 yards rushing in a 34-24 victory over the Red Foxes Saturday at Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. With the victory, Columbia improved to 3-1 overall on the year. For the second consecutive season, Columbia concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule with a perfect 3-0 record. The also Lions extended their school-record non-conference win streak to seven games. Columbia's offense piled up a season-high 393 yards on offense and averaged 10.1 yards per completion. Bean completed 26 of 38 passes with no interceptions. Senior wide receiver Kyle Castner totaled career-highs of eight receptions for 112 yards, junior running back Lynnard Rose caught a career-high seven passes for 49 yards and a touchdown, first-year Ty Lenhart matched his career-high with two rushing touchdowns and first-year Dante Miller rushed for 80 yards. On defense, the Lions limited Marist to 38 yards rushing on 18 carries, intercepted two passes and finished with a season-high four sacks. Columbia also overcame a stunning 274-yard, three-touchdown seven-catch performance by Marist wide receiver Juston Christian. Christian set a Columbia individual opponent and Lawrence A. Wien Stadium records for most receiving yards and tied the record in both categories for touchdown receptions (three). "We gained some momentum and we were efficient today on offense," Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football Al Bagnoli said. "We showed some great balance between the run and pass. I thought Josh Bean did a great job of making decisions and distributing the ball between a bunch of players and staying collective in the pocket. That was huge for us offensively. Defensively, we made a lot of good plays, but we gave up more explosive plays than we typically do. We had our hands full with Juston Christian. He is a terrific player. Because of his play, it was critical that we played well on offense since they kept matching us touchdown-for-touchdown. When the smoke cleared, we made enough plays on defense, our front four started applying pressure and we were able to put pressure on their quarterback and put them in some long yardage situations which really helped us." "Kudos to Marist, their kids played really hard. They came in with a lot of energy coming off a win at Dayton last week. We got tested and we responded pretty well. There are a lot of things we can get better at moving forward as we approach the teeth of our Ivy League schedule." It was a back-and-forth game as Columbia consistently dominated the ball on offense by scoring on long, time-consuming drives and Marist answered with long, quick scoring strikes. Columbia took a 7-0 lead after it pieced together a school-record 21-play, 81-yard scoring drive that took 11 minutes and four seconds of time. First-year quarterback Ty Lenhart dove over the Marist defense from the 1-yard line to give Columbia a 7-0 second quarter lead. On the drive, the Lions converted three fourth down plays including a penalty and two fourth-down and one plays as Lynnard Rose ran for a 4-yard gain and Lenhart gained two yards to keep the drive alive. The 21-play scoring drive ranked as the most plays in a scoring drive in school history surpassing the previous record of an 18-play drive set vs. Cornell in 1992. On the ensuing possession, Marist quickly answered with a 61-yard touchdown pass when quarterback Jacob Hallenbeck found Christian open to tie the game at 7-7. Columbia took the ball back and went 52 yards in 12 plays ending in a 23-yard field goal by senior Chris Alleyne for a 10-7 lead. The drive was keyed by a 16-yard pass to Kaleb Pitts, an 11-yard run by Dante Miller and a Marist penalty on a pass play which gave Columbia a first-and-goal at the Marist 3-yard line. Marist took a 14-10 second quarter lead on a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Husni to Christian. The score was setup by a 55-yard kickoff return by Mekhal Johnson and a 26-yard pass play from Husni to Christian. But Columbia scored and took a 17-14 lead into halftime when Bean found Rose open in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown reception. Sophomore Will Allen returned the ensuing kickoff 36 yards, then Bean found Kyle Castner for a 30-yard reception. Columbia also converted another fourth-and-one play when Lenhart registered a first down on a one-yard dive which setup the touchdown. Marist was not finished. The Red Foxes took the lead back 21-17 in the third quarter when Hallenbeck lofted a pass beyond the Columbia defense and into the waiting arms of Christian, who raced into the end zone for an 84-yard touchdown reception. It marked Christian's third touchdown of the game. On Columbia's next possession, Bean led the Lions on a 78-yards, 13-play scoring drive which ended in Lenhart's second scoring run, another one-yard touchdown. The run gave Columbia the lead for good. A Daniel DeLorenzi sack forced a Marist three-and-out and Bean found sophomore tight end Casey Mariucci open in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown pass. The score gave Columbia a commanding 31-21 lead going into the fourth quarter. Bagnoli was pleased with Bean and the play of his offense. Bean was making just his second appearance on the year after being sidelined for Columbia's previous two games. "When you just think about it, Josh really didn't even play a full game at Central Connecticut before he was taken out," Bagnoli said. "He showed a lot of growth between week one and week two. We have confidence in Dillon and confidence in Ty. I thought our offensive line did a tremendous job of protecting him today. He did a very good job of distributing the ball. He wasn't flustered and delivered the ball the way he had to and protected the ball with no turnovers. It was great to have him today." On defense, Columbia was led by Sean White, who led the Lions with six tackles, DeLorenzi finished with a team-high 1.5 sacks and sophomore Ben Mathiasmeier and senior Ryan Gilbert each intercepted a pass. Marist's Hallenbeck threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Columbia (3-1) gets back into Ivy League play next week in Philadelphia against Penn at Franklin Field. Kickoff for next week's game is at 1 p.m.