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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Marshall Football Dominated by Dukes

Cam+Fancher+is+tackled+by+a+JMU+defender.
Abigail Cutlip
Cam Fancher is tackled by a JMU defender.

Marshall football’s October troubles continued on Thursday, Oct. 19, against the undefeated James Madison University Dukes at home, losing 20-9.

The Herd has lost all three of its games in the month of October. Head coach Charles Huff is now 5-6 in his coaching career at Marshall in the month of October. 

Marshall’s offense put up zero offensive points in the matchup against the Dukes. The Herd was missing several starters on both sides of the ball, including star running back Rasheen Ali.

The Herd’s offense tallied a mere 169 total yards, finishing the contest with negative four rushing yards. Ethan Payne started due to the absence of Ali and amounted 62 yards on 20 rush attempts.

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Quarterback Cam Fancher finished the game with negative 66 rush yards after the Herd’s offensive line could not contain the Dukes’ pass rush. Fancher had 173 passing yards on 17 completions out of 30 attempts and an interception.

Going into halftime, the Dukes led the Herd 3-0 after 30 minutes of defensive battling. On seven occasions throughout the game, James Madison forced the Herd to start its drives inside its own 10-yard line.

Marshall scored its first points of the game in the third quarter after defensive lineman TyQaze Leggs tackled a JMU player in the endzone to give the Herd a safety.

Wide receiver Jayden Harrison would be the only Marshall player to find the endzone; Harrison bobbed and weaved between the James Madison kickoff defenders and returned the ball 94 yards to score and cut the Dukes’ lead to 20-9. 

The Herd’s special teams unit was a bright spot in Thursday’s game, after struggling against Georgia State in the team’s last contest. Punter John McConnell averaged 48.9 yards on eight punts including a 74-yard punt in the first quarter and Harrison’s 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

“I thought John battled his tail off to give us as much as he could from a punting perspective,” Huff said. “I thought our defense battled. I thought our special teams, this week, showed up. Last week, we were all over their tails, but they made plays this week. It just wasn’t enough to beat a good team.”

The Herd will look to get back on track against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on Saturday, Oct. 29, in Conway, South Carolina, after dropping three straight games. 

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