BISMARCK, ND – Facing the nation’s top run defense, the University of Mary ground game outperformed the 7th ranked University of Sioux Falls Cougars two previous opponents but the results remained the same as the Marauders dropped a 38-7 decision to visiting USF.
Sioux Falls limited their first two opponents this season to a combined -17 yards rushing and one touchdown in each game. The Marauders, second in rushing in the Northern Sun, churned out 104 yards on the ground but couldn’t consistently sustain drives.
While focused on the ground, the UMary lone Marauders touchdown of the game came through the air. Trailing 21-0 late in the second half, Colton Farmer found Jordan Beaty streaking down the slot and hit the redshirt freshman in stride for a 69 yard touchdown. It is the first career touchdown for the United States Navy veteran.
Sioux Falls immediately responded. After the corresponding kickoff to the goal line was returned 46 yards, the Cougars drove the remaining 54 yards on four plays, capped by a 27 yard Max Mickey scoring run with 3:30 left in the third quarter.
The Marauders then fumbled on their next possession, setting up the Cougars 34 yards from the goal line. It was the only turnover for either team in the game. Eight plays later and 56 seconds into the fourth quarter, Jason Towns scored his second touchdown of the game from 3 yards out to seal the Sioux Falls win.
In an entertaining first half featuring big plays and big hits, Sioux Falls scored on their first possession as Towns ran in from 12 yards out to end a 74 yard drive. USF also scored on its second possession when Mickey ran in from two yards out late in the opening stanza.
UMary’s defense then stepped forward, holding USF without points on their next three possessions, twice forcing punts and deflecting a field goal attempt.
The Marauders best scoring opportunity of the second quarter was set up by a big 3 yard tackle for loss on a second down at the USF 3 yard line by Richard Bendish, forcing the Cougars to punt from their own 5 yard line.
Taking over at the USF 40 yard line, UMary drove to the USF 22. The Marauders just missed their first points of the game when Aaron Brennen’s 39 yard field goal attempt hit the right upright.
UMary generated 188 yards of offense. Farmer ran for 46 yards and completed 2-of-3 passes for 84 yards. Beaty had a 69 yard reception and DeSahwn Gay caught one pass for 15 yards.
Noah Krebs led the Marauders defense with a game-high 16 tackles. He also broke up a pass. Jarad Zittleman had nine tackles and Dylan Anthony eight. Ryan Naki broke up two passes.
USF posted 245 of its 473 yards on the ground. Mickey ran for 150 yards and two scores. Towns added 52 yards and two touchdowns.
Ian Fieber completed 20-of-28 passes for 206 yards and a score.
A short week for the Marauders, UMary next faces Upper Iowa University on Thursday, Sept. 21, in Fayette, IA.
Credits: University of Mary Athletics