Records fell and a thirty-point spread separated the two teams at the final buzzer, but it wasn’t a sure and easy path to victory for football.
Wrapping up a three-game home stand, the Maroons (3–1) leaned on a pair of rookies to take them to an eventual 57–27 blowout of Lewis and Clark (0–3). First-year quarterback Marshall Oium (26–39–1) passed for 362 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start, while his running back classmate Thomas Parks trampled over the Pioneers’ defense. Parks rushed for 109 yards in just nine attempts and his four TDs on the day tied a record for the modern era (since 1969).
“They came into camp with a really good attitude that they could contribute early on,” said fourth-year wide receiver Chase Pierson of his new teammates, who were out in full force this weekend.
Giving Oium, Parks, and Chicago a run for their money, Lewis and Clark played the best game of its season with third-year quarterback A.J. Brown finding ways to connect with first-years running back Joevonte Mayes and wide receiver Ryan Kostecka.
Brown’s 70-yard pass to Mayes with just over a minute left in the first quarter put the Pioneers into the previously uncharted territory of the end zone. He later found Kostecka with seconds remaining for a 33-yard toss and another touchdown to give the visitors a slight 12–10 lead. Before Saturday’s showdown, Lewis and Clark’s total points for the season had added up to a pair of field goals.
“They did a great job of stretching our defense,” head coach Dick Maloney said. “I think our defensive performance was average Saturday, and we tackled very poorly.”
Even with Lewis and Clark’s sudden offensive surge, the home team didn’t stay down for long. A 17-yard touchdown completion from Oium to first-year wideout Clay Wolff set the Maroons out in front 17–12 in the second stanza, repeating the combo that put Chicago on the scoreboard. Wolff has collected a team-leading 11 touchdowns so far this year and has charged into the end zone in all four games.
“Wolff has been a starter since day one,” Maloney said. “He’s done a nice job of blending in with the seniors in the receiving core.”
Although the Maroons continued to push back the Pioneers’ defense, with Oium throwing his last TD of the day to Pierson and veteran tailback Mike Serio rushing for a two-yard touchdown, Lewis and Clark managed to keep things too close for comfort.
With Chicago holding a 37–27 lead and three and a half minutes remaining, the running back suddenly became uncontainable, rushing for three back-to-back touchdowns. He scored from two yards out, then from 45 yards away, and capped it off with a 47-yard drive to push the final score to 57–27. The 57 points established a new game high, edging the previous record of 56 set in 1976.
From here the South Siders have a bye on Saturday before traveling to St. Louis next week to battle Wash U (4–1) and kick off their campaign to reclaim the UAA title.
“It’ll be nice to get back to basics and focus on getting ready for Wash U,” Pierson said. “There are some easy things out there that we can correct that will make us better as a team.”