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Ex-Saint Louis star Mariota shines in Oregon spring football game

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:05 a.m. HST, Apr 29, 2012

Saint Louis School alum Marcus Mariota had a big day in the Oregon football team's Spring Game on Saturday at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

Mariota, a redshirt freshman who is battling Bryan Bennett to be the Ducks' starting quarterback this fall, ran for two touchdowns and passed for another to lead his "Mighty Oregon" squad to a 41-14 victory over the "Fighting Ducks" before a Pac-12 Conference spring-record crowd of 44,129.

Mariota, the All-State player of the year two seasons ago, completedt 18-for-26 for 202 yards and threw one interception while playing the entire game. He also rushed for 99 yards on five carries, including an 82-yard run in the first half.


>> Marcus Mariota postgame interview
>> Marcus Mariota spring football highlights (shows his 2 TD runs and his TD pass)

"Obviously, Marcus did a really good job," Oregon coach Chip Kelly said in a story posted on The Oregonian website.

Bennett, a redshirt sophomore, went 19-for-32 for 209 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Mariota even flashed a shaka sign after one of the team's scores.

"The guys know what I can do," he said. "... I just had fun."

"We're lucky that we have two capable guys to come in a game and not miss a beat," said senior running back Kenyon Barner was quoted in The Oregonian.

Last season's starting quarterback, Darron Thomas, decided to turn pro. He was not selected this past week's NFL draft.

Oregonian reporter Aaron Fentress graded the performances of both Mariota and Bennett.

He gave Mariota an "A" in overall production, rushing and accurary and a "B+" in decision-making. His overall grade for Mariota was an "A" while Bennett received a "C."

Kelly has said he won't be naming a starting quarterback until the fall. The Ducks open their 2012 season on Sept. 3 against Arkansas State at Autzen Stadium.


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