Photo courtesy of Mark McDonald
After the rollercoaster that was the last two football games, a tough 31-24 loss to San Diego and a raging 50-0 triumph against Valparaiso, the Drake is ready to solidify its game plan with another win against Marist C in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Marist is 3-5 overall and has a 2-3 record in the Pioneer Football League.
The Bulldogs have a long travel day ahead of them before the noon game on Saturday, making a stop in Denver on their way to visiting the Red Foxes.
“Winning on the road is tough, and this will be our most difficult traveling,” head coach Chris Creighton said. “We have to fly to Denver before we go to New York, but no excuses in our league, you have to do it.”
Kevin Marshall, a junior tight end who caught a 15-yard touchdown against Valparaiso, agrees with Creighton.
“We know they’re a good team,” Marshall said. “We played them well last year. We’re going to their place this year so we know it’s going to be tough, and we’re preparing for them.”
The Bulldogs and the Red Foxes only have a two-year history, with both games ending in victories for Drake. Last year at home, the Bulldogs won with a 42-0 shut out, but Creighton is not worried about the Bulldogs’ lack of history against the Red Foxes.
“I think having a two-year immediate history is really all you need,” Creighton said. “We’ve seen them. We feel as though we’re familiar with them. The fact that we didn’t play them in the 70s or 80s, I don’t think affects it.”
The Red Foxes have thus far been successful using their passing game, but Creighton is sticking to his defensive plan in preparation for the battle against Marist.
“We always want to try and shut down the run first,” he said. “And they do try to run the ball. It’s run first and then pass second.”
With the game against Marist being the last away game of regular season, the Drake football players are excited about this game and the next two upcoming home games. Jacob Dines, a sophomore wide receiver for Drake who had four receptions against the Valparaiso last Saturday, said that he is ready for this road test.
“(We’re) definitely excited,” Dines said. “We’re going to New York, and it’s our last travel game of the year, and then we got two big games at home. It should be good.”
As Drake faces the last three games of regular season, the PFL championship is on everyone’s mind.
“There’s so much football to be played left,” Creighton said. “It’s impossible to evaluate the season. I mean, we like where we’re at right now; it’s not perfect, but we’re still in the running for a championship, and that’s where you want to be in the eight or ninth week. The teams with one loss right now can’t afford to have two.”
Dines said the team still has one goal in mind.
“PFL champs, that’s were we always see ourselves going,” he said. “The whole year, that’s our goal: to make it to the top.”