Big first quarter carries Colts to victory
"It's been a long time since we've been 4-0, and we're exited about it." Those were Marian head coach Stan Dakosty's exact words after the Colts 26-14 win over Pius X last night at Men of Marian Stadium.
Actually, it has been a long time since the Colts have been 4-0. The last time Marian started out 4-0 was six seasons ago. The Colts also got the Pius X monkey off their back as well. The Colts haven't beat the Royals in their last three tries, last beating them in 2008 before last night's victory.
The Colts really went to work in the first quarter and they did so in a timely manner.
Marian got their first score of the night at the 4:19 mark in the first when Corey Quick hit a wide-open Mike Cataldo streaking down the sidelines. Quick actually had another man in Eric Swankoski just as wide open about five yards to the right of Cataldo, but Cataldo hauled in the pass from Quick.
Pius X then fumbled on the ensuing kickoff and it was recovered by the Colt's KJ Snerr. Snerr's recovery led to Quick once again dialing it up long distance to John Julian for a 47-yard score. Quick's strike to Julian came just 18 seconds after his touchdown throw to Cataldo, giving the Colts an early 12-0 lead.
The first quarter continued to stay kind to the Colts. Marian was handed good field position after a Pius 21-yard punt. The Colts drove 41 yards in a little over two minutes capping their drive off with a two-yard rush into the end zone from Anthony Agosti making it a 19-point game.
"I'm real proud of my kids tonight," said Dakosty. "We were down a couple lineman tonight, it might not have been noticeable, but we were. We had some young kids come into the game and really step up. We got things going there in the first half with our passing attack and overall we're excited about the way we're playing football right now."
Dakosty should also be excited about the way his team played defense. The Colts only allowed four yards of total offense in the first half, sacking Pius X quarterback Aaron Savelli five times. The Colts pressure bottled up the Royals running lanes and had Savelli running for his life on literally every Pius X snap.
"Our defense has been playing great all season long," said Dakosty. "We stopped them twice on our goal line in the third quarter and that really gave our kids confidence. If they get that score there who knows what could've happened, we could've been in a dog fight."
Pius X tried to get in the ball game at the start of the second half. Eric Marbury returned a kick 83 yards for a score cutting the Marian lead to 26-8. Later in the fourth, Pius tacked on another touchdown when Savelli threw a 28-yard floater to Marbury for a touchdown, cutting the Marian advantage to 26-14. Marbury was also a deviant on the defensive end, intercepting Quick twice on the night. However, the Royals offensive attack couldn't get anything going and never really threatened the Colts "D". They played inconsistent football all night, putting themselves in second and third and long frequently throughout the game.
"We just have a lot of inexperience," said Royals coach Phil Stambaugh. "It's going to take some consistent success for us to win some games. We haven't gotten there yet and offensively we haven't been consistent all season. I'll tell you what though, I'm not panicked at all. We're getting better every week and it's going to turn around for us.
Marian will now head to North Schuylkill (3-1) next week to face the Spartans in a very important Anthracite Football League clash.