Hudson Valley Sports Report

MARIST FOOTBALL SET FOR DELAYED SEASON OPENER

Red Foxes Head To The City To Face Columbia

By Ricardo Martinez
Special to HVSR

The wait is finally over as Saturday will be the first time since 2019 that the Marist College football team will play a regular-season game and will head to Manhattan to take on the Columbia Lions in their season-opener as well.

This would have been Marist’s second game of the season as they were going to play against Georgetown on September 3, but the game was canceled due to a COVID-19 pause on the Georgetown campus.

Marist’s Assistant Athletic Director/Sports Information Michael Ferraro was told, “it affected their preseason preparations and conditioning.”

This further prolonged the team’s wait as in spring of this year, the Red Foxes’ season was canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak on campus.

When asked how his team was impacted by the cancelation of the Georgetown game and how they handled it, 30-year head coach Jim Parady said, “I thought they’d be very down on that. We came out and actually had two very good practices, added another scrimmage on Saturday, and got some looks of some younger guys, and I think it was productive work for us.”

Marist’s captain and fifth-year senior, quarterback Austin Day, believes that the cancelation of the game only boosted the team’s confidence

“I think since that cancelation we’re even more ready to go,” he said. “It definitely lit an even greater fire under our butts; it’s been 666 days since we played a game. This week [against Columbia] is gonna be crazy; it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

Marist has not beaten Columbia as it is 0-4 against the Lions, with the most recent result being a 34-24 loss back in 2018.

“Because it’s been so long since we’ve played, this one’s really about us and our execution,” Parady said. “So we’re looking to have as clean of a game as we can, meaning try to really keep the penalties to a minimum, keep the turnovers to a minimum.”

On top of that, their preparation has consisted of playing music while practicing to simulate crowd noise that could play a factor in the game Saturday – though Fay believes the crowd noise will not affect him because he knows he is mentally and physically prepared.

“We’re kinda used to it. It’s been a while so the first drive, first series, we gotta get used to it a little bit,” he said. “But going into the game we’re not really worried about that.”

Overall, Day expects the team to get a lot of wins and to be a competitive team. He also understands that these first two out-of-conference games – Columbia and Bryant University – will go a long way in showing what this team is capable of.

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