Lovett 41, Marist 38

Willie Candler’s 2-yard score in the second overtime led visiting Lovett over Marist 41-38 at Hughes Spalding Stadium Friday night in Atlanta.

In the meantime the Class AA Lions snapped what may be the most unique streak in Georgia high school football. In 29 years as Marist coach Alan Chadwick had never lost consecutive regular-season games before the last two weeks. Marist lost at Thomas County Central last week, and the Lions put up five touchdowns after halftime to push the Class AAAA No. 5 War Eagles to 1-2.

“This is one you will remember for a long time,” Lovett coach Mike Muschamp told his players in the post-game huddle. “Five years from now, 10 years from now, you will still be talking about this one.”

After Joey Gogel hit a 31-yard field goal to give Marist a 38-35 lead. Candler, who finished the game 13-of-26 passing, 201 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, converted third down to force first-and-goal, then ran in on third down to secure the win.

The road does not ease for the Lions (3-0), who host Class AAA state finalist St. Pius next week.

“Our kids fought to the very end,” Muschamp said. “I can’t say enough about Willie Candler and his progression from a freshman to now.”

Lovett jumped ahead 6-0 on its first possession, paced by a 36-yard pass from quarterback Willie Candler to junior tight end Jack Barnes on the Lions’ first play from scrimmage. Lovett moved the ball inside the Marist 10, and after the War Eagles held Vanderbilt commit Grant Haley out of the end zone, Candler completed the 50-yard scoring drive when he scrambled around left end on fourth down from one yard away.

Marist took the lead 7-6 when Marcus Miller took a handoff from quarterback Chase Martenson and scored from 14 yards out. Marist punt returner Griffin King had put the War Eagles ahead with a 57-yard return but the play was flagged for a penalty.

The War Eagles took a 14-6 lead with 6:50 in the second quarter when Miller intercepted Candler and went into the endzone untouched from 16 yards away.

Martenson (19 rushes, 133 yards) called his own number and scored from 33 yards out to put Marist up 21-6 just before halftime. The run completed a 7-play, 70-yard drive for which Martensen ran for 46 yards and completed an 11-yard pass to Miller.

Lovett went 80 yards for a score on the first possession of the second half, capped off by a 45-yard run from Haley. Marist rebounded on a 50-yard run from Matt Perez to go ahead 28-13 in the third quarter.

Gogel missed a 34-yard field goal attempt to put Marist ahead by 10. Lovett took over at the 20 and went 80 yards in three plays to tie the game at 28 with 3:31 left to play. Haley (94 yards rushing) took a handoff from Willie Candler and scored from 26 yards out.

“Our kicking game let us down tonight,” Chadwick said. “That gave them the opportunity to come back and win the game. They have some good athletes and made some big plays at the right times.”

Lovett forced a Marist punt and took the ball at the 46 with 2:57 left. Candler moved the Lions inside the Marist 18 before McGranahan was flagged for offensive pass interference on 3rd-and-13 from the 18. On the next play Candler was intercepted by Michael Toner at the Marist 1 to force overtime.

Lovett 6 0 7 15 13 41
Marist 7 14 7 0 10 38

L – Willie Candler 1 run (run failed)
M – Marcus Miller 14 run (Joey Gogel kick)
M – Miller 16 int ret (Gogel kick)
M – Chase Martensen 33 run (Gogel kick)
L – Grant Haley 45 run (Cole McGowan kick)
M – Matt Perez 50 run (Gogel kick)
L – Haley 4 run (Candler pass to Jack McGranahan)
L – Haley 26 run (McGowan kick)
L – Candler 15 pass to Jack Barnes (McGowan kick)
M – Griffin King 3 run (Gogel kick)
M – Gogel 31 FG
L – Candler 2 run

20 comments Add your comment


September 13th, 2013
10:17 pm

Congrats to Lovett. Exciting game. A lot of respect for the Lovett players, coaches, and fans. Best of luck the rest of the season.

Just Saying

September 13th, 2013
10:28 pm

What a game!

Son Of Waco

September 13th, 2013
10:51 pm

In 3 weeks WACO will see what y’all look like this year……

Love Lovett

September 13th, 2013
11:39 pm

Great game for Lovett and thank you Marist Offensive Coordinator.

Max Sizemore

September 14th, 2013
5:13 am

This may be the first time since 1982 that Marist has had a losing record at any point during the season — except, possibly, for losing an opener. Or maybe that was 1981. Not sure.


September 14th, 2013
5:32 am

I think this is Lovett’s most challenging schedule ever.
Max, I bet someone will be along before noon to clarify whether it was ‘81 or ‘82; I believe it was ‘82 as they were state runner-up in ‘83, I think to Mitchell-Baker. Quite a nice streak for that program, which I have to credit for what I understand is playing up two classes. It would be nice if Lovett, Westminster, St. Pius, Woodward, & others at least played up one to make it more competitive in all sports.


September 14th, 2013
5:41 am

It was 1982, just checked the very impressive site I encourage every type of fan to investigate this site as its breadth is amazing.


September 14th, 2013
5:48 am

My first post is confusing; I refer to Marist as an impressive program.


September 14th, 2013
7:12 am

Urban Meyer offense beats Woody Hayes offense. Tough for Marist D to stop the pass when they don’t practice against it.


September 14th, 2013
7:54 am

Lovett QB was only 13-of-26, and he threw as many interceptions as TDs, including a pick 6. Hardly shows that Lovett has a dominating passing attack or that Marist has a weak secondary. Sounds like it was a good game.

Lovett Fan

September 14th, 2013
11:09 am

It was a GREAT game. Try to see it online. Those stats do not show the number of critical passes completed, the type of pass or the reasons for the incompletion. Candler showed incredible maturity, not only picking himself up after an interception but not being afraid to go to the air when needed. Not to mention he had one of the best runs of the night. A 2minute, clutch QB who bounces out of quicksand. Coach Muschamp was a huge part of this victory…super game management and agressive calls.


September 14th, 2013
12:07 pm

Sounds like a great game. Lovett is no joke and Martensen is doing a great job leading Marist. Sad to see of Son of Waco return from the box he was put in last year when SPX ended WACO’s playoff aspirations is just irritating. SOW the Lovett vs SPX game next Friday will be much more telling of “what Lovett looks like” than anything to do with WACO. Looking for to an Atlanta Classic next Friday as the Lovett Lions face the SPX Golden Lions.


September 14th, 2013
12:08 pm

@Ben, have you looked at the region Marist plays in for football ? Tell me what good playing up does them in football.

River Bank Fan

September 14th, 2013
12:34 pm

From the Lovett Pride there is nothing but pure respect for the Marist Program. Our players have grown up with their players. Gritty performance by both Teams. I will not be surprized at all to see the War Eagles in the Dome for the AAAA.QB Martensen,King and the balance of their Team -Class Act. This 1-2 is exactly what is going to make them Great this Season! GO LIONS !!


September 15th, 2013
5:08 am

Hopefully these tough non-region games will have the War Eagles ready and battle tested come playoff time.


September 15th, 2013
2:27 pm

Kudos to Lovett for the win. I thought they were done at halftime but they came back and won the 2nd half. Nice schemes on both sides of the ball. Regarding Marist playing up two classes and the good it does them, they can’t control what regiion they’re assigned. And I think a school can only play up a max of two classes. Last, and believe me I love the Marist program and know the players are good kids, it appears this year’s talent level has slipped a bit. The tackling this year is the poorest I’ve seen in a long time and the pass rush was poor overall. We’ll still win a weak region but unless there’s improvement in many areas, we probably won’t go deep into the playoffs. I hope I’m wrong.

them lions

September 15th, 2013
3:15 pm

go lions. hopefully our boys can pull it off next week too, but the schedule’s a grind and we could easily lose our next three games. But if we keep improving like we have been, I wouldn’t be surprised if we went deep into december. *fingers crossed*

Ryan Askew

September 16th, 2013
12:32 pm

Watching the Marist game proved once again that the programs weakest links are the coaches and their still the same play calling. The first thing is, the nerve of a coach to sit in the press box and calls plays like he’s a major dollar college coach is pathetic.
The second thing is with time left in the fourth quarter to move down the field, but instead the decision was made to sit on the ball and go into over-time was a coaches decision; point being Marist has the worse assembly of white no imagination coaches ever assembled, and they really believe they are a good, and it’s not them, the talent of the Marist players are the very thing that is keeping the football program a float!
The day that Marist ad a little color to the coaching for Varsity Football will be one the best things that ever happened to the Marist Football program, because when you really look at it they are losing big games to teams who’s coaching staff are mixture of different races. (POINT BLANK)
Plus, it seems that they need to see a psychiatrist to end their obsession with mimicking Georgia State and that dumb triple option.
Some where they have had a fantasy that they would be coaching on a college level, and they are living out that fantasy at Marist of being college coaches which basically makes them crazy and insane.
That’s why when it comes down to it Marist Varsity Football needs sane high school football coaches with imagination and creativity.

Ryan Askew

September 16th, 2013
12:34 pm

Not Georgia State but Georgia Tech

Glennis Curry

September 17th, 2013
11:52 am

I also saw the game. Considering my prime seat and Marist’s track record of success, it’s tough to agree with the assessment that coaching did them in. Marist sorely missed a passing option that would keep the Lovett defense honest. In past years Marist has fielded a receiver or two and a QB capable of finding him when they need a big conversion. That went missing on Friday, and if I noticed it, surely the Marist coaching staff will too.

That said, Lovett played with a grit that will take them far. They were outnumbered and outsized on both lines and managed to protect their QB and stuff the Marist run. Final evaluation though – if Marist hits its field goals, we’re not having this conversation.