Scudellari, a redshirt freshman who came in to start the second half, connected with Doyle on a screen pass which gave the Toreros (2-1, 1-0 Pioneer Football League) their only lead. Scudellari, who replaced Sebastian Trujillo after San Diego gained only 66 first-half yards, completed 5-of-7 passes for 108 yards.
The Toreros' JT Rogan scored on a 2-yard run to tie the game at 10 as the third quarter ended.
Marist (1-2, 0-2) took a 10-3 lead on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Reilly to Ray Fiumefreddo with 5:36 left before halftime. The Red Foxes also led 3-0 on a first-quarter field goal by Kevin Pauly before San Diego tied the score on Mike Levine's field goal late in the quarter.
After 30 minutes of football at Torero Stadium, head coach Ron Caragher wasn’t happy. USD was trailing Marist in the Pioneer League opener 10-3, fizzling on offense and flat all the way around.
To change the energy on the field, Caragher took what was arguably his top weapon off the field, according to 619Sports.
Redshirt freshman Sam Scudellari stepped in for all-Pioneer League quarterback Sebastian Trujillo in the second half, and the Toreros responded with a comeback effort. Scudellari led a pair of scoring drives, including the game-winning 26 yard touchdown pass to Patrick Doyle with 41 seconds remaining, as USD rallied to beat Marist 17-10, improving to 2-1 on the season.
Indeed, J.T. Rogan’s words were only effective thanks to the hard running his legs provided. The 6th-year senior carried 12 times for 36 yards and a touchdown in the second half to help Scudellari’s nerves settle.
But the real hero for the Toreros on this day was the collective effort of their defense, which gave ground between the 30-yard-lines but held firm when the Red Foxes (1-2) threatened to score. Despite holding the ball for over 34 minutes and outgaining USD 286-219, Marist missed two field goals and saw several other drives stopped with tackles for loss.