The Parthenon

King crowned in second half of Herd’s win

Marshall%E2%80%99s+Tyler+King+%283%29+breaks+out+of+an+attempted+tackle+by+Kent+State%E2%80%99s+Nick+Faulkner+%2817%29+during+the+Thundering+Herd%E2%80%99s+21-0+shutout+win+Saturday%2C+Sept.+16.+King+finished+with+101+rushing+yards+and+a+touchdown+after+only+playing+the+second+half.
Marshall’s Tyler King (3) breaks out of an attempted tackle by Kent State’s Nick Faulkner (17) during the Thundering Herd’s 21-0 shutout win Saturday, Sept. 16. King finished with 101 rushing yards and a touchdown after only playing the second half.

Marshall’s Tyler King (3) breaks out of an attempted tackle by Kent State’s Nick Faulkner (17) during the Thundering Herd’s 21-0 shutout win Saturday, Sept. 16. King finished with 101 rushing yards and a touchdown after only playing the second half.

Richard Crank

Richard Crank

Marshall’s Tyler King (3) breaks out of an attempted tackle by Kent State’s Nick Faulkner (17) during the Thundering Herd’s 21-0 shutout win Saturday, Sept. 16. King finished with 101 rushing yards and a touchdown after only playing the second half.

Kyle Curley, Assistant Sports Editor

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Marshall’s offense has been able to move the ball this season, but that fact remains that it could not finish a drive with ease. The missing piece: a solid rushing attack. The team may have just found one in Tyler King. King showed his coaches, the players, the media and, more importantly, the community that he can be quite the force at running back.

In previous games this season, Marshall relied on the services of newcomer Trey Rodriguez. Rodriguez, over the course of two games, managed 29 carries for just 73 yards and zero touchdowns. Keion Davis and Anthony Anderson were in the rotation at running back as well, but also have failed to make an impact in terms of rushing out of the backfield.

King was forced to sit out for the first two weeks of the season due to an infection that kept him out of the Kelly green covered uniform. Having to wait to play was not something that most players are comfortable with.

“It feels so good (to be back); just being away from football for over a year and to be able to come out and have a game like that,” King said. “I really appreciate the whole Marshall coaching staff, the strength and conditioning (staff) and Marshall university for this opportunity. This was my second chance and they believed in me, and I believed in them, and we are coming together as a team.”

However, King knew his time on the sidelines could be put to good use. King could continue to lift the spirits of his teammates.

“It helped me overall,” he said. “The coaches knew what they were doing. They didn’t want to rush me back too quickly. I took that as a sign to make myself a team player. I knew that I wasn’t playing, so I sat on the sidelines and cheered my teammates on.”

King had not played a snap all season, and Marshall found itself struggling throughout the first half of Saturday’s showdown with Kent State at the Joan C. Edwards stadium.. Marshall managed to cap off a late first half drive to give itself a 7-0 lead. Heads were hanging low, and King knew he had to give his team a boost. King took over in the locker room and told his teammates they couldn’t be happy with this effort they were putting forth.

“You guys weren’t in there for halftime when we are all sitting and quiet,” starting quarterback Chase Litton said. “We needed the juice, and Tyler King stepped up. He had not played a snap the whole first half, and he comes in there, and he’s loud, he’s vocal and he’s letting everybody know you cannot sit here and be acceptable with this.”

Once the teams returned to the sidelines for the second half of the game, a new face was called upon. King enter the game at the 9:46 minute mark of the third quarter. However, no impact was made as he only had two touches for a single yard.

In the fourth quarter, Marshall was in the lead by a meager seven points. King once again entered the game. His first rush of the fourth quarter was a burst up the middle for 21 yards. Shortly after, he would rush for another 15 yards, and just like that, he was the leading rusher on the team, at the time with just four carries.

On Marshall’s final drive of the game, there was no need for anyone other than King to touch the ball. King ran the ball seven straight times for 60 yards, and he capped off his debut with a 29-yard touchdown scamper to seal a 21-0 victory for the Herd.

“Once I crossed the goal line and looked back to see all of my teammates, it felt so great,” he said. “I give all the credit to them.”

When dust settled, King finished the game with 101 rushing yards on just 14 carries.

“All I know is when we put the ball in his hand, he made yards,” head coach Doc Holiday said. “That was good to see. He is a talented guy. I’m glad we were able to get him in there and see what he could do. He is a competitive kid, and we will add him to the mix.”

The impact one player can have on a team is a very intriguing idea. One player on a team of young men can change the way an entire community believes in that team. Tyler King could be that player for this football team.

Kyle Curley can be contacted at [email protected]

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