Marist rallies to beat Stetson 26-23 in Pioneer opener

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Austin Day threw a 45-yard touchdown pass, backup Luke Strnad threw a go-ahead 75-yarder and Marist overcame a late fumble to beat Stetson 26-23 in a Pioneer Football League opener Saturday.

Anthony Olivencia had 150 yards on four receptions and caught both TD passes. In the fourth quarter, he stretched to catch a ball thrown behind him, then escaped a lone defender to race for the go-ahead score.

Stetson recovered a fumble at its goal line with 1:11 to play but its final drive stalled following a sack by Peter Delatour.

Marist's John Pierce scored a safety by blocking a punt on the Hatters' opening drive and the Red Foxes held a 12-7 first quarter lead after Luke Paladino's 49-yard field goal and Mekahi Johnson's 54-yard TD run.

Day's pass to Olivencia put Marist (1-1) up 19-10 at halftime before the Hatters' defense stiffened and Stetson closed to 19-17 on Gaven DeFilippo's 3-yard TD pass to Jeremiah Nails. DeFilippo was 36 of 60 for 301 yards passing. Jalen Leary, 53 yards on 11 carries, put Stetson (1-1) up 23-19 on the second of his two 6-yard scoring runs after Jamieson Craske intercepted a pass.

Johnson, 125 yards on 16 carries, had run 54 yards and was a yard away from scoring late in the fourth quarter when he fumbled, forced by JJ Henderson.