Jimmy Rolder’s two interceptions help Marist blank Nazareth

Jimmy Rolder’s two interceptions help Marist blank Nazareth

Marist’s Jimmy Rolder (8) and Jayson Harris-Woodard (44) celebrate an interception against Nazareth. | Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

The Marist linebacker grabbed one right at the goal line in the third quarter and caught the second to kill a drive in the fourth quarter of the No. 6 Redhawks’ 13-0 win against No. 11 Nazareth on Saturday in LaGrange Park. 

Jimmy Rolder’s two interceptions were back breakers.

The Marist linebacker grabbed one right at the goal line in the third quarter and caught the second to kill a drive in the fourth quarter of the No. 6 Redhawks’ 13-0 win against No. 11 Nazareth on Saturday in LaGrange Park.

“It was exciting,” Rolder said of the third quarter interception. “They were driving down and confident coming into the second half and I made a big play. I was just kind of floating in my zone and I saw the receiver coming across the middle and my eyes lit up on that.”

Rolder’s heroics were the standout plays, but the line play on both sides won the game for Marist. The Redhawks held Nazareth to just nine total yards on the ground.

Pat Coogan, Marist’s 6-5, 305 pound offensive lineman, has been helping out on the defensive line in goal line situations this season.

“I’ll get in there a little more against the premier run teams like Mount Carmel and Loyola so I can stop the runner inside,” Coogan said.

Coogan and his teammates on the offensive line helped running back Jamari Grant rush for 156 yards on 30 carries. Grant scored both touchdowns of the game, a one-yard run late in the second quarter and then another one-yard run with 9:42 left.

Coogan, a Notre Dame recruit, is one of a handful of Power 5 recruits in the area that opted to stay and play football in the spring.

“We only have two games left so we have to grind it out,” Coogan said. “It’s been so much fun. It’s kind of surreal at the moment to only have two games left but that is what we’ve got and we are gonna run with it.”

Nazareth’s star quarterback JJ McCarthy, who played this season at IMG in Florida, is already on campus at Michigan.

“Staying was really important for me,” Coogan said. “I owed it to my teammates, my coaches and definitely Marist and the community. And it’s another chance to play football. I discussed it with my parents, my coaches and the coaches at Notre Dame and we agreed that if I was wholeheartedly in on playing that I should play. And I was, so no regrets at all.”

Marist’s Patrick Coogan (78) blocks Nazareth’s Justin Taylor (2). Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times
Marist’s Patrick Coogan (78) blocks Nazareth’s Justin Taylor (2).

Marist quarterback Dontrell Jackson Jr. was 9-for-15 for 125 yards with one interception. Senior Matthew Rolek caught four passes for 90 yards. Jackson connected with five different receivers.

The Redhawks (3-1) will host St. Patrick next week and then finish the season with a major showdown at home against top-ranked, undefeated Loyola.

Nazareth (2-1) didn’t play the first week of the season and then beat St. Laurence and De La Salle the next two weeks. The Roadrunners will close out the season against Notre Dame and Benet.

Nazareth played three different quarterbacks, junior Aidan Pieper, junior Benjamin Michel and senior Cass Kinsella. Pieper took the bulk of the snaps and was 10-for-21 with one interception.

“[Nazareth] has always been great,” Rolder said. “They beat us last year at home. We just felt good. They came out confident and we came out ready to play. It shows how good we can be when we are all playing as a unit, everyone doing their job and making it work.”

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