INDIANAPOLIS - Saint Francis' bid to upset its second top-ranked team in three weeks fell short Saturday in the Cougars' 45-38 loss to No. 1 Marian.
Saint Francis (4-2, 2-1 Mid-States Football Association Mideast League), which rolled up 522 yards of total offense and didn't punt once, had a first-and-goal at the Marian 5-yard line with 42 seconds remaining, but couldn't score in four attempts.
On a second-and-goal from the 3, Saint Francis tailback Antoin Campbell got a right side pitch out that resulted in disaster. Campbell was run out of bounds and, on the play, tried a pass that was called intentional grounding. With the loss of down and a third-and-goal from the 12, Saint Francis quarterback David Yoder threw two incompletions, the last as time ran out.
Yoder completed 27 of 45 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns, and also threw two interceptions. Aaron Knight had 10 receptions for 119 yards, Austin Coleman had 97 yards and touchdown receptions of 35 and 27, and Akeim Kelsaw had 98 yards receiving and a touchdown. Also leading the way offensively was Campbell, who had 141 yards on 27 carries.
With the two touchdown receptions from Coleman and the one from Kelsaw, Saint Francis built a 21-7 lead. But the Cougars were unable to stop Marian's rushing attack, led by Tevin Lake's 180 yards and three touchdowns.
It was the second time in three weeks Saint Francis played the NAIA's No. 1-ranked team. The Cougars defeated then-No. 1 Saint Xavier, 35-13 on Sept. 29.
Marian is 6-0 and 3-0 in the MSFA MEL.