September 23, 20231st2nd3rd4th1OT Final
1st Quarter
MARFG09:47Gardi 32 Yd
VALPOTD02:07DAVIS 10 Yd Pass From APPEL (OLIVA kick)
VALPOTD00:25APPEL 1 Yd Run (OLIVA kick)
2nd Quarter
MARTD03:25Downes 9 Yd Pass From Bagozzi (Gardi kick)
MARTD00:36Bagozzi 20 Yd Run (Gardi kick)
3rd Quarter
4th Quarter
MARTD07:52Mazzella 4 Yd Pass From Bagozzi (Gardi kick)
MARTD00:14Stianche 12 Yd Pass From Bagozzi (Gardi missed kick)
MARTD15:00Woods 25 Yd Run
Stats at a GlanceMARVALPO
1st Downs1914
3rd Down Conversions8-186-13
4th Down Conversions3-40-1
Passing (Comp-Att)248 (20-38) 234 (16-25)
Rushing (Att)79 (37) 55 (29)
Total Yards327289
Fumbles Lost11
Marist Edges Valpo in OT Thriller
Saturday, September 23, 2023
Marist Edges Valpo in OT Thriller
Solomon Davis had 10 catches for 175 yards on Saturday.

A heroic blocked PAT by Kurt Kessen (Shelby Township, Mich. / Utica) sent Saturday’s Valparaiso University football game to overtime, but Marist scored a game-winning touchdown in the first extra period to edge the hosts 36-30 on homecoming Saturday at Brown Field. Solomon Davis (Brighton, Tenn. / Brighton) had 10 catches for 175 yards to lead the Beacons in the Pioneer Football League opener and first home date of 2023.

How It Happened

  • A muffed Valpo punt set up Marist’s first points of the game on a 32-yard field goal by Chase Gardi to make it 3-0 with 9:41 left in the first.
  • Valpo responded to grab the lead with a 12-play, 76-yard drive that resulted in Davis hauling in a 10-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Michael Appel Jr. (Springboro, Ohio / Springboro).
  • An errant snap on a punt was recovered by Max Franco (La Habra, Calif. / La Habra) to set up Valpo with first and goal on the Marist 1-yard line.
  • Appel plunged across the goal line for the 1-yard TD to build the Valpo advantage to 14-3 with 18 seconds left in the opening quarter.
  • Marist used an 18-play, 90-yard drive to cut the lead to four on a 9-yard TD pass with 3:17 left in the first half.
  • Valpo went three-and-out on the ensuing drive and a 25-yard punt return allowed the Red Foxes to start their drive near midfield. A 40-yard pass completion set up a 20-yard TD run for Brock Bagozzi, allowing Marist to leap ahead at 17-14 with 30 seconds left in the half.
  • Davis had a big catch of 20 yards on a drive that finished with Appel finding tight end Evan Jernegan (Altadena, Calif. / St. Francis) for a 10-yard score early in the second half, putting the hosts back in the driver’s seat at 21-17.
  • The Valpo defense got another stop including a 15-yard sack by Franco on third down. That set up a Valpo drive that resulted in a 19-yard field goal sent through the uprights by Patrick Oliva (South Bend, Ind. / Saint Joseph) to extend the lead to seven at 24-17.
  • Early in the fourth quarter, Valpo went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Marist 33, but the play was dropped in the backfield for a turnover on downs.
  • Following that fourth-down stop, Marist embarked on a 14-play, 66-yard TD drive to tie the game at 24.
  • On the first snap of the ensuing Valpo drive, Davis hauled in a 50-yard score from Appel to put the Beacons back in front. An issue with the snap on the PAT led to a failed rushing attempt by the holder, so the lead was six at 30-24.
  • Marist embarked on a long drive filled with key third and fourth down conversions including a fouth-and-2 at the Valpo 40 with 1:54 remaining. The Red Foxes eventually tied the game as Bagozzi found Matt Stianche from 12 yards out to make it 30-30 with 14 seconds left. Kessen blocked the potential go-ahead PAT to keep the game tied and send the contest to overtime.
  • Valpo got the ball first in OT and a 33-yard field goal try was no good off the right upright. On Marist’s first offensive play of OT, Amin Woods ran for a 25-yard game-winning touchdown.

Inside the Game

  • Davis became the first Valpo player with 10 receptions in a game since Tanner Kuramata on Nov. 22, 2014 vs. Davidson.
  • Davis set a career high in receiving yards with 175, eclipsing his previous personal best of 118, which came in last season’s homecoming game against San Diego.
  • Davis had the most receiving yards by a Valpo player since Kuramata had 200 on Nov. 16, 2013 vs. Dayton.
  • Entering Saturday, only two players in the FCS nation had games with 175 or more receiving yards this season, Dylan Laube of New Hampshire and Brandon Porter of UIW.
  • Appel threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another while completing 16-of-25 passes for 234 yards. The rushing TD was the third of his career while he has passed for 15 career touchdowns.
  • Valpo was led in rushing by Jashon Butler (Lynwood, Wash. / Meadowdale [Arizona]) with nine carries for 31 yards.
  • The defense was paced by Will Abrams (Fox River Grove, Ill. / Cary-Grove), Colin Graves (Seattle, Wash. / Bishop Blanchet) and Evan Annis (Hilliard, Ohio / Hilliard Davison) with seven tackles apiece.
  • Valpo’s most recent PAT block prior to Saturday was also Kessen on Oct. 15 of last season vs. Butler.
  • The fumble recovery was the second of Franco’s career.
  • This marked the seventh straight Valpo homecoming game decided by fewer than seven points. Valpo has not had a homecoming game decided by more than six points since 2015.
  • This marked the 20th game decided by seven points or fewer in Landon Fox’s 44 games as Valpo head coach.
  • This was Valpo’s first overtime game since Oct. 2, 2021, also a homecoming loss to Marist at Brown Field.

Postgame Comments

Click here for postgame press conference.

Up Next

Valpo (0-3, 0-1 PFL) will host Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. at Brown Field. For ticket information, visit The game will air on ESPN+ with links to live video, audio and stats available on