Notre Dame holds off Marist in thriller

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Notre Dame 45, Marist 35

THE SKINNY

Despite seemingly not having an answer for quarterback Jack Donegan, junior receiver Flynn Nagel, receiver Nic Weishar and the Marist offense all night long, Notre Dame prevailed in a thriller 45-35 Friday in Niles. The Dons (6-1 overall, 3-1 ESCC) led the entire night, but the RedHawks (4-3, 3-2) clawed their way back in it with a 49-yard touchdown throw from Donegan, a senior, that hit senior wide receiver Mark Ferguson perfectly in stride. That was followed by a two-point conversion laser that Ferguson took just inside the pylon to draw his team within 31-28 with 8:09 remaining in the fourth quarter. After a Chris James rushing touchdown, a diving catch by Weishar, a senior, drew Marist within three again with three and half minutes remaining. However, another James score and a pick by senior Pat Cravens sealed the Dons’ victory.

TURNING POINT

With the way Friday night was going, no one-score lead was going to be secure. So, facing a fourth-and-three on the Marist 30-yard line with a 38-35 lead and 2:48 to go in the game, Notre Dame senior quarterback Ryan Greene had a lot of pressure on him as he rolled away from two defenders and completed an 11-yard strike to senior wide receiver Matt Galloway. James capped the drive with his third touchdown of the quarter.

THE STAR

There were a lot of stars Friday night, but James was the brightest of them all, rushing for 238 yards and five touchdowns on 29 carries. That included a 14-yard touchdown, a 35-yard score and then an 8-yard score in the fourth quarter to fend off the Marist rally.

BY THE NUMBERS

Twentysix of Chris James’ 29 carries, including his first 12, went for positive yardage.

QUOTABLE

“I think it’s been the best game ever. Overall, the best win ever. I think it was overall just the best game.” — senior running back Chris James

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