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Lafayette Football Opens Season with 48-7 Win over Marist

Sept. 4, 2004

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EASTON, Pa. ( - Lafayette sophomore quarterback Brad Maurer ran for 70 yards in the first quarter and the defense held Marist to 31 yards in the first half as the Leopards cruised to a 48-7 victory over Marist on Saturday at Fisher Field.

Maurer, making his first collegiate start, finished with 67 yards on eight carries and completed 4-of-6 passes for 59 yards and one score. Joe McCourt ran nine times for 86 yards and two touchdowns, becoming Lafayette's all-time leader in rushing touchdowns with 36.

Lafayette posted 409 yards of total offense, including 289 rushing, while holding Marist to 137 for the game.

Lafayette is now 1-0 for the third straight season.

Three straight runs netted Marist a first down on the game's opening possession before Larry Johnson intercepted an underthrown fade route in front of the Marist bench. Lafayette advanced to the Marist 35, where Maurer was dropped for a loss on an option play on third-and-two. Mike Davis's punt skipped out of bounds at the two-yard line.

On third-and-three at the nine, James Luft's pass was deflected and intercepted by Dion Witherspoon. The play was wiped out by a pass interference call, but on the next play Bryan Kazimierowski picked off Luft's pass at the Marist 40.

The Leopards (1-0) covered the short field in two plays. Maurer scampered for 22 yards on the first play, and McCourt erased the final 18 with a run off right tackle in which he slipped a tackle and out-ran a defender to the pylon.

The defense forced a three-and-out, and Brandon Stanford juked his way to the Marist 49 before lateralling to Jeff Sejour, who carried to the Marist 35. A 15-yard run by Maurer on third-and-four moved the ball to the 14, and five plays later Maurer scored on a three-yard bootleg keeper around left end.

Rick Ziska bumped the lead to 17-0, converting a 25-yard field goal attempt on the Leopards' first possession of the second quarter.

Following another Marist (0-1) punt, the Leopards took over at their own 29-yard line. McCourt ran for 55 yards and caught a pass for 13 as the offense marched 71 yards in nine plays. McCourt rumbled the final six yards for the touchdown, and Ziska's point-after stretched the lead to 24-0.



Maurer put an exclamation point on the first half with a 32-yard scoring toss to Archie Fisher just 22 seconds before the break. Ziska's fourth PAT of the half bumped the lead to 31-0 at halftime.

Pat Davis took over at quarterback to open the second half and promptly moved the offense inside the 20. On fourth-and-one from the 12, Davis found Brendon Green wide open in the right flat for the score.

Ziska's second field goal of the day, a 26-yarder, capped a 14-play drive that erased 6:40 off the clock.

On Marist's first offensive play following the field goal, Witherspoon stripped Obozua Ehikioya and Justin Stovall recovered at the Red Foxes' 24. Five plays later, Alfred Belton bolted through a hole off the right side for a six-yard touchdown run. Ziska's sixth PAT made it 48-0 with 14:07 remaining.

Marist dented the scoreboard with 8:10 remaining on a seven-yard scoring toss from James Luft to Mike Marshall. The play capped an 11-play, 69-yard drive.

Marist was led on the ground by Ehikioya, who collected 40 yards on eight carries. Defensively, Mike Drury had nine tackles for Marist, while Maurice Bennett and Andrew Brown both tallied six stops for Lafayette.

Lafayette opens Patriot League play next Saturday, traveling to Georgetown for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Marist hosts Wagner in a non-league tilt next Saturday at 7 p.m.