The Drake University football team shut out the Marist Red Foxes 42-0 in the homecoming game last Saturday, improving its record to 3-2. Saturday’s game was the first at Drake Stadium in nearly a month, following the team’s three straight games on the road.
Drake outgained Marist 433-77, and redshirt sophomore quarterback Mike Piatkowski returned from injury to throw for 266 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed for another score.
“Having our football family back together again was a huge boost,” Head Coach Chris Creighton said.
The Bulldogs dominated the game in all aspects. In their first possession, the Bulldogs carried the ball 56 yards in 10 plays in less than four minutes, ending with an 8-yard run for a touchdown by senior running back Tom Kostek.
The highlight of the game followed a few plays later when senior Michael Lahart returned a punt 49 yards for a touchdown. The last time Drake returned a punt for a touchdown was in 2005.
Drake’s defense held the Red Foxes to only one first down the entire quarter.
The second quarter started on a high note once again for the Bulldogs when senior Patrick Cashmore ran in a touchdown not even a minute into the period, bringing the score to 21-0.
Marist attempted to pick up its game a bit, taking the ball down to field goal range, but ended with a failed field goal attempt, which was missed wide left. The Drake defense once again took control when it sacked Marist quarterback Tommy Reily in three consecutive plays.
Later in the second quarter, a shanked punt by Marist punter Kevin Pauly left Drake in scoring position, on Marist’s 16-yard line, which resulted in a 5-yard Piatkowski pass to junior Drew Blackmon for a touchdown. The Red Foxes failed at another field goal attempt toward the end of the quarter, ending the half with a score of 28-0.
The second half had less action overall, but Drake still kept control of the game. Piatkowski had a career high for pass attempts (41) and completions (29) in the game. Fifth-year senior Steve Platek had a career-high 11 receptions prior to an injury that took him out of the remainder of the game.
“It was a great game plan from coach Creighton from the beginning,” Piatkowski said. “The defense stopping them gave the offense momentum, and the line did a great job protecting me. Everyone made great plays.”
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Piatkowski ran 5 yards for yet another touchdown, taking the score up to 35-0.
The Bulldogs then attempted a field goal, which was blocked, but they came back near the end of the quarter with a touchdown run by sophomore Trey Morse, ending the game with a final score of 42-0.
The strong performances by the entire team ensured a successful football game.
“The defense shut them out, special teams was great and the offense started rolling and didn’t stop,” Piatkowski said. “It was an all-team effort.”
Creighton also recognized the team’s success.
“I love our team,” he said. “When we come to play, we’ll fight and compete and play to win.”
The Bulldogs will play at Jacksonville (Fla.) University this Saturday at noon.
Photo: Heather Boone