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Marist Pulls Away from Kings Point to Stay Unbeaten in Tri-State

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Marist Pulls Away from Kings Point to Stay Unbeaten in Tri-State

Marist's lineout functioned well on the day.

Marist defeated the US Merchant Marine Academy to take control in the Tri-State Men's D2 league.

Marist improved to 4-0 in conference play, and wrapped up a regular-season sweep of Kings Point. The two had met before with Marist edging the USMMA 20-17. This time, it was mostly Marist as the Red Foxes pulled away 51-17.

Kings Point started the game well, winning the ball in the air from the kickoff and putting Marist under pressure. But Marist got out of it with strong defensive work with flanker Tomas Falcon and center Enrique Pesantez forced a turnover and soon the ball was booted down the field.

Marist ended up with the ball on the five-meter line, and while they were stopped by a penalty, the Foxes ended up stealing the USMMA lineout and mauling it in to take a 7-0 lead. Prop Christian Gregor doing the honors.

Kings Point's ensuing restart went directly into touch leading to a scrum center for Marist. From there a run from Pesantez got them close and prop Ben Surman dove over for the try. Federico Gubana converted for the 14-0 lead. 

Marist's defense in their own 22 remained strong and another turnover near their tryline turned the field around and soon Gubana was kicking a penalty for a 17-0 lead. Marist gathered the restart and moved the ball well through the forwards before linking with center Albert Severini. Another kickable penalty and Gubana was good with the kick to make it 20-0.

Kings Point won the restart and powered in before they earned a penalty which they put over. But Marist replied with a good chase on the restart from Pesantez and then a change of direction from Gubana, who touched down in the corner.

At 25-3 the scoring slowed down a bit as USMMA started to improve their continuity and worked nicely through the phases. But Marist held on well enough and score some powerful runs from Gregor at prop and No. 8 TJ Finegan. One such run saw Finegan make about 15 meters before offloading to wing Drew Bloom to score in the corner.

USMMA replied with a try and looked in position to build on that. But the first half ended 32-10 in Marist's favor.

In the second half mistakes undid the Kings Point attack and Marist punished them, eventually tapping on a penalty and putting prop Peter Behnke over. Gubana converted and it was 39-10. A crossfield kick from Gubana was nabbed by Bloom to make it 44-10, and while a nifty backline move from the Merchant Mariners got them their second try, Marist was too far ahead at that point. A strong maul off the lineout put Gregor over for his second. Gubana converted for the final score of 51-17, taking his own tally up to 21.

Marist seems to be improving and will be in good shape as the playoffs loom. Their ability to score through different aspects of play, and their excellent kicking game, will give them a boost as they try to take the Tri-State to the next level.