Marist QB McGrath found William Flooks (White Plains, N.Y.) on a 10-yard strike to seal the game and put the Foxes up 24-14. The score ended up being the game winner for Red Foxes. The win gives Marist a share of the MAAC Championship.
Good Job Billy. The Stepinac Family is very proud of you !
Article on Billy Flooks who caught the game winning touchdown for the Marist Red Foxes to win a share of the MAAC title.
Marist seizes share of MAAC crown
Red Foxes fight past rival Iona
By Phil Strum
Marist College tight end William Flooks stood all alone in the white and red checkered end zone, hoping for the perfect pass from quarterback Steve McGrath with his team ahead by three points with 6:52 left in the Red Foxes' game with Iona.
Iona's defenders, among the best in NCAA Division I-AA football, were nowhere to be found. Flooks grabbed a 10-yard pass from McGrath, which coupled with an extra point from Bradley Rowe gave Marist a 24-14 lead, as they defeated the Gaels, 24-17, in front of 2,341 at Leonidoff Field for a share of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship with Duquesne University (7-3 overall, 3-1 MAAC), on Saturday.
"It was unreal," said Flooks, whose reception was his first career touchdown in his final collegiate game. "I didn't think I was that open. I looked around me and I was standing in the end zone with the ball and my eyes lit up. It was a great feeling."
The victory gave Marist (4-7, 3-1 MAAC) a share of their first conference title since 1994 in their last game before a renovation of Leonidoff Field.
"It's great," said Marist coach Jim Parady, who also coached 1994's squad. "To see everybody come out of the stands and celebrate with us, I'm happy for them and the families to be able to be with us for the last one as we close out Leonidoff. There's just no better way to do it."
Flooks' play was the culmination of a four-play, 50-yard drive that started when Kevin Frederick returned a kickoff 36 yards to midfield. McGrath threw a 37-yard pass on target to senior Prince Prempeh, who made a highlight-reel quality catch near the sideline at the Iona 13-yard line. After a three-yard run by O'Neil Anderson and a five-yard run by Adam Hansen, Marist got a five-yard penalty for a false start at the Iona five-yard line. That's when McGrath found Flooks.
"We felt we needed to keep attacking offensively," Parady said. "I don't know where their coverage was, but he was wide open."
Rowe and Iona's Chris Lofrese exchanged field goals in the first quarter, knotting the game at 3-3. Lofrese had three field goals in the game (33, 44, 20), while Rowe added one (33 yards).
The first touchdown of the game came when Marist freshman wide receiver Will Brown ended up running the ball 25 yards for a touchdown. McGrath's one-yard run three seconds into the fourth quarter capped a 13-play, 65-yard series for Marist that included a 15-yard rush by McGrath himself. McGrath was 15-for-20 for 203 yards with a touchdown pass and rushed for 43 yards with a touchdown.
"He's a great competitor," Parady said of McGrath, who had his helmet popped off his head on a 12-yard run in the second quarter. "He took a lot of shots today and he kept fighting it. I thought he was banged up a couple of times, but he didn't want to come out of the game. He's intense. He's fiery. I was a little worried he might be too fired up for the game, but he threw the ball great. He calmed himself down when we got on the field and he was a great leader for us."
Juan Chamba cut the lead to 17-14 on a 20-yard pass from Dustin Croick, before Flooks' decisive score. Croick was 27-for-41 for 231 yards for Iona (3-7 overall, 2-2 MAAC).
"It was a great journey," McGrath said. "I made so many friends for life. I love these guys. They played their hearts out all season. There were a couple of bad breaks here and there, but it looks all good now."