Marist defeats Lions in first game back since pause

The Lions football program had to forfeit their last two games against Elmira and Marshfield because of COVID-19 issues within the program.

Top-five-ranked Marist rolled into town fresh off of a tough loss against another top 4A team in the state, Cascade. The Spartans’ offense has been rolling this season as they average over 45 points per game and continued their stout attack against the Lions last Thursday. Marist would get back on the winning side, however, as they rolled past Cottage Grove 56-16. 

Marist scored on all of their possessions in the first quarter as they jumped out to a huge 28-0 lead over the Lions who started to get a bit of offensive momentum at the end of the first quarter. Parker Nelson on the last drive of the quarter for the Lions would start to find a groove as he ran for a gain of 30 yards down to the Marist 45-yard-line. 

On fourth and eight, Nelson dropped back to pass and got a lucky bounce as the ball bounced off a Marist defensive back into the hand of receiver Hayden Peterson for a big gain down to the Marist 25-yard-line.

Later in the series, the Lions would draw a pass interference penalty against the Spartans that moved the ball down to the Marist 12-yard-line as the quarter came to a close (Marist 28-0). 

Nelson would rush two times to start the second quarter for a 10-yard score getting the Lions on the board (28-7 Marist). The Spartans offense continued to be a difficult matchup for the Lions defense as they added another score from 18 yards out (35-7 Marist). 

Cottage Grove would try to match the score as Nelson got another lucky bounce off of a Marist defensive player into the hands of Peterson for an 11-yard gain. Nelson would take two runs for 29 yards down to the Marist 36-yard-line. The Lions were the beneficiary of a penalty called on the Spartans that moved the ball down to the Marist 22-yard-line. 

But the offense wasn’t able to capitalize and instead opted for a field goal. Chase Cordin lined up for the 31-yard try and made it through the uprights as the Lions scored on back-to-back possessions (35-10 Marist).

Marist’s offense proved to be perfect in the first half as they scored on all of their drives, totaling 42 points and adding a special teams touchdown blocking a Cottage Grove punt in the endzone and recovering it for the score.

Nelson and the Cottage Grove offense had just over a minute and a half before halftime and that would prove to be plenty of time for the Lions. Nelson was able to find Peterson again for a 57-yard touchdown pass giving the Lions the last score before halftime (49-16 Marist). 

The Spartans would add another score before the game concluded and the Lions ended their night with 16 points as the final score would be 56-19 in favor of Marist.  

Marist proved why they are one of the best teams in all of 4A, but the Lions will look to build on some positive offensive plays as they travel over to the coast to play a winless Newport team on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.

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