Late Touchdown Gives Marshall Win over Louisville

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Late Touchdown Gives Marshall Win over Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky .- A touchdown pass with less than two minutes remaining gave the Marshall football team a 17-13 come-from-behind victory over Louisville in front of 53,267 fans Saturday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky.

With the Thundering Herd trailing 13-10, freshman quarterback Rakeem Cato threw a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end C.J. Crawford to give Marshall its first road win of the season and improve the Herd to 2-3 overall. It was Marshall’s first win over a BSC opponent since 2003 (Kansas State). With the loss, Louisville fell to 2-2.
In a battle of true freshman quarterbacks, it was MU’s Cato that shined. The Miami, Fla. native completed 18-of-30 pass attempts for 236 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Cato completed passes with 10 different receivers. Junior wideout Andre Booker led all receivers with three catches for 66 yards.


Offensively, Marshall outgained Louisville 353-281 including a 117-60 advantage on the ground.  Freshman Travon Van carried the ball 15 times for 54 yards and sophomore Tron Martinez had 19 rushes for 49 yards.


Defensively, the Herd produced five sacks, two interceptions and made several key plays late down the stretch.  Senior Tyson Gale led the team with seven tackles (five solo) and one interception.


Marshall scored first as it opened the game with a 12-play, 79-yard drive that ended with a two-yard pass from Cato to redshirt freshman Jazz King. It was King’s first catch in his young career and gave the Herd a 7-0 lead. The first quarter touchdown was the first time Marshall had scored on its opening drive this season as well as the first time Louisville had allowed a touchdown during an opponents’ opening possession.


The Herd defense held Louisville scoreless until late in the second quarter when Cardinal quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, facing third down and goal from the nine-yard line, scrambled into the end zone to tie the game 7-7 with 5:51 remaining in the half.


With 33 seconds to go in the half, Bridgewater found running back Vic Anderson open and scored a 41-yard touchdown. However, Marshall’s special team unit blocked the extra point attempt and the Herd went into halftime trailing 13-7.


The third quarter went nearly scoreless until redshirt freshman Justin Haig attempted his first-career field goal and nailed the 24-yarder to bring the Herd within three points, 13-10 with 1:00 remaining in the period.


With the ball in the Cardinals’ possession on their own 20-yard line, Bridgewater’s third down pass was intercepted by Gale. The Herd took over with 4:32 remaining at the Louisville 30-yard line.


It took Marshall just under three minutes to score the go-ahead touchdown as Cato connected with Crawford for a three-yard touchdown pass. It was the sophomore’s first score of the season and gave the Herd a 17-13 lead.


The ensuing kickoff went out-of-bounds which placed the ball at the 40-yard line with 1:49 remaining.  On the first play of the drive, Bridgewater threw his second interception of the game. The ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage by sophomore Trevor Black and went into the arms of a diving Omar Brown to seal the Marshall win.


Bridgewater finished the game 20-for-29, 221 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in his first collegiate start.


Marshall will look to improve on its 1-0 Conference USA record as it plays at UCF on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.

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