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Football - Sat, Sep. 23, 2017
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - The Marian football team beat the heat and the Olivet Nazarene Tigers Saturday with a 40-21 victory in Bourbonnais, Illinois. The Knights are 2-1 with the win and 5-0 against Olivet all-time.

With temperatures in the 90's, both teams matched the weather with scorching starts on offense. Olivet received the opening kickoff and a 53-yard run play highlighted a touchdown drive that took nine plays, 87 yards and 4:14 off the clock. Marian countered with a huge run play of their own as Charles Salary blew through a gap in the line and carried it 58 yards to the house to tie the game. The 7-7 score held through the quarter as punts ended the final four drives of the period.

In the second quarter, it was the passing game that gave Marian the lead as Luke Johnston hit Mykelti Armstrong for a 51-yard touchdown as Armstrong beat his man deep downfield and Johnston put the pass on the money. The touchdown was the first of Armstrong's Marian career and gave the Knights a lead early in the quarter. However, Olivet answered behind a potent running game once again. The Tigers took the ball 63 yards on nine plays to the Marian five yard line. With their backs against the wall, the Marian defense was up to the challenge. 

The Knights forced a fumble at the two-yard line and TJ Comer scooped it up in a pivotal play that would change the course of the game. Marian's offense took the turnover and turned it into an 11-play, 95 yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run from Tristen Tonte. Later in the quarter, Brenden Smith came up with an interception, but a field goal try as time expired missed wide and the Knights took a 14-point lead into the locker room.

The Knights received the opening kick and took a slow, methodical march down the field to begin the second half. After five-plus minutes and 16 snaps, Johnston finished the drive with a quarterback keeper to make it 27-7. The drive brought the total snaps count after the ONU fumble to 26-2 Marian. 

In the fourth quarter, Johnston hit Johnny William for a 17-yard touchdown pass to capitalize off another interception from Smith and Maurice Woodard scored on a two-yard run to answer an ONU touchdown. Olivet would add one more touchdown, but it would not be enough as the Knights secured the 40-21 win.

Marian's offense racked up 517 yards of total offense with 264 on the ground and 252 through the air. Johnston finished 14-for-26 for 247 yards and two touchdowns. Salary led the ground game with 10 carries, 127 yards and a touchdown, while Woodard had 12 carries, 78 yards and a touchdown. Four different receivers had 40-plus yards receiving with Armstrong's 78 on four catches leading the way.

Defensively, Smith had two interceptions and led the team with 10.5 total tackles. Marian capitalized on 10 Olivet penalties for 89 yards and forced sacked the quarterback three times.

The Knights will shift their attention to the Franciscan Bowl against St. Francis next Saturday at 6:05 p.m. on St. Vincent Field.

MUKnights.com: Your online source for Marian Athletics, tickets, multimedia, Knight merchandise, photos and more. 

Final1234F
Marian (2-1)71461340
Olivet Nazarene Univ (3-2)7001421
Bourbonnais, Ill.
MarianIndv. LeadersOlivet Nazarene Univ
#1 Charles Salary - 127Rushing #24 Erik Anderson - 133
#14 Luke Johnston - 247Passing #8 Jordan Lawton - 197
#16 M. Armstrong - 78Receiving #1 A. Kahaulelio - 94
MarianTeam StatisticsOlivet Nazarene Univ
263Rushing Yards 232
252Passing Yards 197
0Turnovers 3
28:27Possesion Time 31:33