Marist 27, Columbia 0

Marist quarterback Jack Dinges ran 18 times for 96 yards and threw for a touchdown to lead the Class AAAA No. 9 War Eagles to a 27-0 win over Columbia.

Marist (7-2, 6-1 in Region 6-AAAA) was never seriously challenged, but put the game away with a pair of third-quarter scores.

The first came on the opening drive of the second half, with the War Eagles marching 72 yards in just 4 plays, ending with a 30-yard touchdown catch from Kevin Kelly on a play where no Columbia defender came within 20 yards of the 6-foot-2 senior.

That passing game was something that Marist didn’t do much of in the first half, but it was mostly successful when they sprinkled it in during the final two quarters.

“We mixed it in with the pass, and that was effective for us,” Marist coach Alan Chadwick said. “So that may be something we have to think about doing more.”

Marist’s next drive stalled out on the 18-yard line, but a 35-yard field goal made it 20-0 and allowed the War Eagles to cruise to victory in the fourth.

While it looked like that’d be the case all along, it took awhile for Marist’s score to match its domination of Columbia (3-5, 3-3) on the field.

In four first-half possessions, Columbia’s defense only came up with one stop, forcing them into a 20-yard field goal, but the War Eagles still only managed 10 points at halftime.

The first of those drives ended with a mishandled pitch from Dinges, giving the ball back to Columbia on its own 43.

Marist’s final drive of the half ended when the clock hit zero following a first-down run by Dinges. The War Eagles tried to get a timeout called so they could attempt one final play, but the officials ruled they didn’t get it called before time expired.

Their lone first-half touchdown came on a Michael Addicks (11 carries, 101 yards, TD) 2-yard run, capping off an 8-play, 63-yard drive that gave them a 10-point halftime advantage.

In the end, it was an easy region win that moved them one step closer to a top-2 seed in the playoffs.

“We’re in a good spot right now,” Chadwick said. “We’ve got an off week, and then we have to finish up with Chamblee in Week 10. We’ve got to get some people back and start executing on offense the way we’d like to.”

Marist has won 11 straight against Columbia since 1996. In those games, Marist has outscored the Eagles 397-34, with an average margin of victory of 33 points, and 8 shutouts.