Marquette, MI – September 10, 2022 – The Marquette Redmen (0-2) held their home opener, and played host to the Gaylord Blue Devils (2-0) on Saturday at Hart Stadium. This game was broadcast live on Fox Sports Marquette 105.1-99.9 and online!
Q1: Marquette began the game receiving the opening kickoff. The Redmen offense started off with negative yards after a penalty. They were faced with a third and long scenario early and were unable to move the chains. Gaylord took over on offense after a generous bounce from the punt landed the Blue Devils on their own 23 yard line. Another costly Marquette penalty gave Gaylord their first first down of the night. The Redmen defense remained tough to not allow big plays in the air or on the ground. Peter Closner came off the edge for Marquette and tallied a sack that led the Blue Devils to punt.
Neither team could find rhythm on the ground as both of their defenses played tough. Marquette took to the air but with no success and were forced to punt yet again. Gaylord’s Russel Hush tried to find some space off tackle, but Marquette’s Adam DuVall brought him back behind the line of scrimmage. Quarterback Caleb Aungst became familiar with Marquette’s Peter Closner as Closner registered back to back sacks. Nate Benninger received the punt and brought the return all the way down to Gaylord’s five yard line. The Blue Devil defense stayed stout and didn’t allow Marquette to cross the goal line. The Redmen did get points on the board after a field goal by Jack Quinell.
Marquette’s Jackson Jurmu got his first interception of the year as he snatched the first attempt from Aungst from a would be receiver, and returned it back to Gaylord territory. The Redmen took over on offense and remained there as the quarter ended.
Q2: The Redmen weren’t able to cash in on the turnover, and had to punt the ball away to the Blue Devils. The Marquette special teams did a great job of pinning Gaylord back deep in their own territory. The Blue Devils continued to go to the run game with runs from Russell Hush. The Blue Devils continued to chip away at the Redmen defense as they continued downfield and move the chains.
Gaylord’s Ty Bensinger had a costly mistake as he lost control of the ball and was recovered by Marquette’s Jan van den Ende. Marquette executed a screen pass perfectly against a blitzing defense and gained their first first down of the night. The Redmen got on the board yet again after a 12 yard pass and catch across the middle from Quinnell to Closner to put Marquette up, 10-0. The Blue Devils kept things moving on the ground after a 29 yard gain from Ty Bensinger, crossing over into Marquette territory. Gaylord responded to the Redmen score with one of their own with a catch from Brady Pretzlaff from Caleb Aungst.
The Redmen looked to build on their lead with gains on the ground from Curtis Houghton. Marquette faced a big fourth and short in Gaylord territory, and converted with a 14 yard reception from Nate Benninger. Peter Closner was able to find an edge and bounce his way off would be tacklers into the endzone. The point after was good from Quinnell to put the Redmen up, 17-7.
The Blue Devils were at the mercy of the Marquette defense as the Redmen continued to punish the Gaylord running backs. Gaylord then went to the air to chip away at the Redmen defensive backs, and marching down inside Marquette territory. Penalties however proved costly for the Blue Devil offense as they faced a third and 29 scenario. The Blue Devils then punted away to let the Redmen close out the half on offense.
Halftime: Marquette 17 – Gaylord 7
Q3: Gaylord got the kickoff to start the second half of play. Ty Bensinger put the Blue Devils in solid starting position as they tried to close in on the Redmen lead. The Marquette defense continued to play with intensity as they smothered the Blue Devil offense. Dasan Smith of Marquette was able to reach Caleb Aungst for the sack and caused Gaylord to punt.
Marquette took back over on offense off a great return from Nate Benninger.The Redmen took to the air, but Quinnell was intercepted by Louden Stradling. The Blue Devils then looked to keep riding the momentum of their ground game. Marquette’s defense played tough, but Gaylord was able to continue to chip away. The Blue Devils moved the chains consistently and in no hurry. Gaylord attempted a field goal that was blocked by none other than Pete Closner to start the final quarter of play.
Q4: The Marquette started the quarter holding all the momentum, but were forced to punt away to Gaylord. The Blue Devils continued to ride the back of Bensinger in their march downfield. Marquette’s defense played big when needed with a tackle for loss by Tristan Potila to bring up fourth down. The Blue Devils however played bigger by converting a fourth and six with a nine yard reception from Gus James. The very next play Gaylord reached paydirt with a 23 yard touchdown reception from Brady Pretzlaff.
Marquette’s offense took to the skies with a catch from Curtis Houghton to start the series. The Redmen then looked to move the chains, run the clock, and hold their three point lead. After another punt, the Blue Devils had another opportunity on offense starting at their own 31. The Blue Devils chipped away at the Marquette’s defense, but it was made up for as Peter Closner registered another sack. Gaylord however continued to move down the field and into Marquette territory. Marquette’s defense however shut down the Blue Devils in crunch time to close out the game.
FINAL: Marquette 17 – Gaylord 14
The Marquette Redmen get their first win of the year to move to 1-2 on the year. Their next game is Friday when they travel to Kingsford to take on the Flivvers in a GNC matchup! Listen live on Fox Sports Marquette 105.5-99.9!