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Saint Louis faithful still proud of Mariota

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    St. Louis alumni president Greg Frey watches the television screen with his daughter, Allie, as Oregon quarterback and St. Louis alum Marcus Mariota took a hard hit late in the fourth quarter during a broadcast of the college football National Championship on Monday, January 12, 2015 at the St. Louis Alumni Clubhouse in Moiliili.

The result wasn’t what Kim Meyer and the other 200-plus college football fanatics were hoping for when they gathered at the Saint Louis Alumni Association Clubhouse on Monday to watch Crusader alum Marcus Mariota lead his No. 2-ranked Oregon squad against No. 4 Ohio State.

But even as running back Ezekiel Elliot punched through the Duck defense to punctuate the Buckeyes’ definitive 42-20 victory and cameras closed in on Ohio State coach Urban Meyer punching the air in celebration of his third national championship — and the first championship of the new playoff era — Kim Meyer found it difficult to mope.

"It’s a hard loss," Meyer said. "But Marcus represented the state well. He’s an awesome man. His parents did a good job. This (loss) won’t take away from what he did this season and he’ll continue do great things for himself and his family."

It was an emotional four hours for fans of both teams, as evidenced by the raucous cheers and despondent groans emanating from restaurants, sports bars and living rooms around the state.

Saint Louis alumni showed up at the Isenberg Street clubhouse hours before the game, some in just-from-work aloha shirts, many others in Mariota jerseys and other haute Duckwear.

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