Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Fourth Quarter Dominance Propels the Herd Over ECU on the Road

A fourth-quarter surge by the Herd propelled the team to a 31-13 win against the ECU Pirates in a rainy and historic matchup in Greenville, North Carolina, on Saturday, Sept. 9.

“This game means a lot to a lot of people connected to both of these universities,” Marshall Head Coach Charles Huff said. “We talked to the team before the game. The way you honor somebody is how you do something.”

After both teams were held scoreless in the first quarter, the Herd would go up two scores on the Pirates after a one-yard touchdown rush from Rasheen Ali followed by a 20-yard field goal from Cameron Lake in the second quarter.

ECU would soon capitalize on miscues by Marshall on both sides of the ball. Going into halftime, ECU evened the score at 10-10.

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“I think they played with the right mentality,” Huff said. “We knew it was going to be a battle. This was one of the premier teams in the American (Athletic) Conference, but we talked all week about playing to our standard, and our standard is 60 minutes.”

The weather was not on the side of the teams on Saturday night. Sheets of rain poured down upon the field. Lightning strikes would cause the game to be delayed one hour and 41 minutes. 

After the delay, ECU would score the only points in the third quarter. Andrew Conrad would nail his second field goal of the game to push the score to 13-10.

In less than five minutes, the Herd would score 21 unanswered points. The first strike was a trick play; wide receiver Chuck Montgomery found a wide-open Caleb McMillan to score a 75-yard touchdown to push the lead to 17-13.

Ali would continue his campaign, scoring the final two touchdowns of the game to ultimately push the game out of reach for the Pirates. Ali was held to just six yards on his first 15 carries. Ali finished the night with three touchdowns on 18 carries for 85 yards.

Through the first two games of the season, Ali has five touchdowns, which is tied for the second-most rushing touchdowns in the nation.

Cam Fancher finished the night 15 of 28 for 178 yards. He had 30 yards on the ground on 15 run attempts.

“They just came out and battled,” Huff said. “We had to win the game, and that’s the mentality we have to have. Offensively, we have to feel like we have to go win the game. Defensively, we’ve got to say we’ve got to go win the game. I think the leadership showed up tonight. There were times where we could’ve folded, and we didn’t.” 

Eli Neal and J.J. Roberts led the Marshall defense with seven tackles each. Sam Burton and J’Coryan Anderson recorded one sack a piece.

The Herd will go into the early bye week undefeated. Marshall will face Virginia Tech at home on Sept. 23.

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