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Marian blanks PG for third straight win

Time is on my side.

The Rolling Stones’ big hit seems like the perfect moniker for Marian’s football team these days as the 2021 football season winds down.

It’s been an uphill battle at times, but things are starting to look up for the Colts.

Stan Dakosty knew what was on the table when he was called back to active duty. The veteran coach is starting to smile a lot more these days, and after last evening, he could see the fruits on the tree starting to crop up.

The Colts used their defense and special teams to knock off visiting Pine Grove, 20-0, at Stan Dakosty Field in Men of Marian Stadium. It was the third straight win for the rising upstarts, who will host Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech on Thursday evening in a contingency game.

“Defensively we’re playing lights out,” Dakosty said.

A muddy, sloppy track prevented either team to score an offensive point in the game. But the Colts surely brought the house on the defensive side of the ball, and on special teams.

Marian made the right move in punting the ball after an early drive stalled, and Mike Gelatko laid his foot into a 48-yard kick pinning the Grover’s deep into their own territory with time dwindling in the opening quarter. On its first offensive snap, the ball was fumbled and quarterback Carson Lengle had no choice but to fall on it in the end zone. That resulted in a safety and a 2-0 Marian lead.

On the ensuing free kick, speedy sophomore Mike Silliman returned the pigskin back to the house on a 45-yard TD jaunt that made it 8-0. It stayed that way until the second half.

The Colts once again relied on their defense up to post another score. Another outstanding punt by the Colts pinned the Cardinals at their own 2-yard line - and it paid big dividends.

Fast rising sophomore linebacker Jesse Rodino was all over Lengle, forcing the fumble then falling on it in the end zone for a touchdown and a 14-0 Marian lead.

“We are starting to play with a lot more confidence,” said Dakosty. We had some injuries that hurt us early in the year, but we are really starting to build some momentum - not only this season, but for next season as well.”

Fittingly, the defense provided Marian with its final touchdown when Silliman picked off a pass thanks to a huge rush by the line, and he took off for a 22-yard touchdown return with 7:02 left in the third quarter.

“I told people that we’re on target,” Dakosty said walking off the field as the rains finally slowed - something his team isn’t doing. Instead the Colts are rising to the occasion as the season winds down.

After early struggles, Marian is now finding ways to win.

It obvious that everyone connected with the program is excited about next week and about next season.

MARTIN CLOSE … Matt Martin is closing in on the 1,000-yard milestone. He picked up 65 yards last evening, putting him at 980 for the season. He should knock down the door Thursday.

GO FIGURE … Yes, the rain was a factor. Yes, the offenses on both sides were nearly negated by the wet turf, but it was fun to watch. Ask the players, they had fun, too.

HE SAID IT … Christian Smith, a former player for the Colts now in his fourth year at Penn State, a journalism major no less, makes the calls from the press box. He does a good job of it, too. One word for Christian – Roar! By the way, he said the last Marian shutout came against Shenandoah in 2017.

WHO WAS THAT MAN … It was hard to distinguish numbers as the game wore on with mud spewed all over. So when Jesse Rodino recovered the fumble, it took nearly a full quarter to find out who did it. It was his second recovery of the night.

NEARLY TO THE HOUSE … Martin, who plays linebacker, also had pick six, but it was called back on an illegal block.

COLTS MADE THE CALL … Mike Gelatko had the biggest run of the evening - and he isn’t a running back. Marian’s brain trust called for a fake punt and the freshman took off on a 25-yard run. Marian also did it a second time and he picked up nine more yards, but failed to get a first down.