Marian gets emotional win for Karras

INDIANAPOLIS - His post-game message was a thank you on many levels.

For one it was of praise for NAIA top-ranked Marian's marathon 45-38 victory over seventh-ranked St. Francis (IND) Saturday afternoon at St. Vincent Health Field.

But for Ted Karras Jr. there was a more personal thanks that crept more into an event off the field.

"Very tough week for me personally, men, I couldn't ask for a better gift," said the Knights' head coach to his knee surrounding on a knee at the conclusion of the game.

His challenge before the Cougars was dealing with the death of his uncle, former NFL player and actor Alex Karras. He died on Wednesday of kidney failure at the age of 77 in Detroit and its effects were felt five hours south in Indianapolis.

"It was a little tough, my uncle Alex was a great guy," said Karras. "I spent a lot of good quality time with him and I sure do miss him."

If Saturday served as a little tribute from Ted to Alex, it was one that came with plenty of thrills. The teams combined for 947 yards and 83 points as the lead bounced up and down for 60 minutes.

St. Francis jumped out of the gate quickly taking a 21-7 lead on three touchdown passes-two from David Yoder and one from Nathan Scully. Marian cut the lead in half thanks to a pair of Tevin Lake rushing touchdowns around a Cougars' touchdown scoring run to make it 28-21 at the break.

Marian was able to gain the lead by the end of the third quarter by outscoring St. Francis 17-7, with a Adam Wiese 16-yard touchdown pass giving the Knights a 38-35 lead at the end of the third. Emerson Ueber brought the game to even in the fourth with a 28-yard field goal.

"It was just hard work on both sides of the ball," said Lake of the team's ability to survive the back-and-forth nature of the game.

The running back would once again give Marian the lead when he ended a 13-play, 79-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge to make it 45-38. With Yoder leading the way, St. Francis would drive to the Marian 11 with ten seconds to play and two shots at the endzone.

But it was there the Knights defense stiffened, as Dimetri Oliver batted down the first attempt by Yoder to reach the endzone. On the last play of the game, the coverage by Marian held strong as Yoder's final pass sailed out of play as time expired.

"I love the way our team responded, we had a good week of practice, they carried on for me. I wasn't there fully all the time, but they carried on and they knew the task at hand and they delivered today," said Karras.

After the speech of thanks to the team, they were more than happy to say "You're Welcome."

"I love coach. He's a great coach, he's a good motivator," said Lake of Karras. "Everyday in practice he says 'Never forget that we're No. 1 and that we're a family.'"

Thought two of them were on his mine at the conclusion of a wild game at St. Vincent Health Field.

 
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