Monday, November 17, 2014

Davidson Wildcats 7 at Marist Red Foxes 38 (NCAA Football, Pioneer League) - November 15, 2014

Now that hockey season is well underway, I hope to make a dent in my AHL venue count over the next couple of years. I am within a few hours of several rinks here in the Northeast but that requires a rental car, not always a cheap option in New York City. This past weekend though, my friend Eddie told me he would driving to Allentown, home of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. I was interested as the Toronto Marlies would be visiting. There was one catch. I would have to go to Marist football in the afternoon first.

Marist College is in Poughkeepsie, NY, about two hours north of NYC. It can take time to get there as there is no direct highway route, but the drive is quite pleasant in the fall, with the leaves turning and some quiet towns along the way. The campus lies along the Hudson River, providing a lovely backdrop should you have time to tour. Get there early though, as the parking lot near the stadium fills up and you'll be sent to the far reaches of the campus to find a spot.

The Red Foxes are part of the Pioneer Football League in the FCS and play in Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field, a small facility with a single seating area that you can see above. All seats here have chair backs and cost $10, but they sell $8 lawn seats as general admission, which allow you to wander around the field and stand quite close to the action, as you can see below.

A single concession stand offers hot dogs and sausages with peppers, while the band keeps a selection of food behind the south end zone that fans are probably not supposed to pilfer, but that didn't stop Eddie and me from grabbing a couple of donuts. After all, we needed to rejuvenate for the long walk back to the car.

The visitors were Davidson, most famous as a basketball school (Steph Curry starred here from 2006-09), but they are terrible at football, coming in at 1-9 with their only win over the College of Faith, an independent institution that isn't even part of the NAIA, not to mention the NCAA. Davidson were ranked 124th of the 124 teams in the FCS, making them the worst team in Division I. Marist were 3-7 (ranked 102nd), so a battle of titans was not on the cards. Marist led 14-0 after one quarter on two touchdown runs by Wale Onakoya, and then put the game away in the second with a 47-yard pass from Ed Achziger (#12 below) to Armani Martin (above, appearing to pray in the end zone).

Two more touchdowns made it 35-0 at the half, and I really didn't pay much attention the rest of the way, but Marist held on for the 38-7 win.

There were 18 punts in the game, which is all you really need to know about this one. Ah, the things I endure to see a Toronto team on the road.



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