The season opener for the Marauders didn’t start exactly how new head coach Greg Breitbach envisioned it.
A 47-16 opening day loss to LIU Post dropped the Maruaders to 0-1 on the season and gave many fans flashbacks to last season’s lopsided scores.
Sophomore quarterback Connor Casey completed 24 of 44 passes for 232 yards and two scores in his first full season as the starting quarterback.
The Marauder’s rushing game, headed by Ian Sadon, struggled to break free from the LIU Post defensive line, averaging just 2.1 yards per carry on the day. Redshirt freshman Dante Barkley was a bight spot in the young receiving corps, catching eight passes for 86 yards.
The game started on a high, albeit unusual, note for the Marauders. A first quarter snap sailed over the head of LIU Post punter Tim Sternfeld and out of the back of the end zone, giving the Marauders a safety and an early 2-0 lead.
Two quick scores put Post ahead by 10, after each extra point was blocked in what would go on to be a rough day for the Pioneer’s kicker.
A comeback appeared to be in the works after a nine play, 71 yard drive lead by Casey was capped off with a touchdown pass to junior running back Brent Collins.
However, less than three minutes later the Pioneers retaliated with a quick score, extending their lead to eleven and rallying the Post offense.
The Pioneers never looked back after going up 20-9, scoring twice more in the third quarter alone to put the game out of reach. Post eventually went on to reach the end zone twice more in the fourth, manhandling the Marauder defense for the majority of the afternoon.
Both offenses played fairly well on the afternoon, though the Pioneers clearly outclassed the Marauders both on the ground and in the air. The Marauders managed to rack up nearly 300 yards of total offense, 232 of which came courtesy of the arm of Connor Casey.
Though the ‘Ville defense obviously faltered on multiple occasions, a few bright spots shined during the otherwise diasppointing afternoon.
Senior linebacker Jordan Rigby tallied seven tackles (one for a loss) and two deflected passes, while tight end and special teams specialist Trenton Petrovich had two of the team’s three blocked field goals on the day.
The Marauders and coach Breitbach hope to right the ship next Saturday when they travel to Erie to play the 0-1 Mercyhurst Lakers. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.