The Citadel 23, #3 Georgia Southern 21
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Senior kicker Thomas Warren knocked home a 37-yard field goal with 35.5 seconds left in the game to lift The Citadel to a 23-21 Southern Conference football victory over No. 3 Georgia Southern in the league opener for both teams at Johnson Hagood Stadium Saturday night.
The Eagles (1-1, 0-1 SoCon) had a chance to win the game as time ran off the clock, but after a high snap, Ryan Nowicki's 31-yard field goal try went wide left. The play was set up thanks to a 53-yard kickoff return by J.J. Wilcox.
Warren hit three field goals in the game for the Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 SoCon). GSU's missed try was its second of the game as it had one blocked before halftime, and the Eagles had five fumbles in the contest, losing two. After rushing for 211 yards in the first half, GSU was held to 96 in the second frame by The Citadel.
Dominique Swope rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown to lead the Eagles, his fifth career game with 100-plus yards, and Ezayi Youyoute ran for 101 yards and a score.
Ben Dupree led The Citadel with 92 rushing yards and threw for 26 and a touchdown. Aaron Miller threw for 59 yards, including 28 on the game-winning drive.
The game had a number of twists and turns, with many coming inside the final five minutes.
Youyoute gave Georgia Southern a 21-20 lead, its first of the game, on a 1-yard run with 3:13 left in the game. That scoring drive was keyed by a 7-yard pickup by Jerick McKinnon on 4th-and-6 inside Bulldog territory on a crazy play.
McKinnon took the handoff and went to pitch to Jonathan Bryant, but a Citadel defender batted the ball in the air and McKinnon got it back. The junior pivoted, went left and was able to pick up the first down to keep the drive alive.
The Citadel had to convert two fourth downs on their ensuing drive to set up what would become the game-winning field goal. The Eagles were flagged for pass interference on 4th-and-3 early in the drive. Then facing 4th-and-15 after two tackles for loss by Eagle defensive lineman Brent Russell , Miller hit Greg Adams for a 20-yard completion down to the GSU 28-yard line.
A pair of early Georgia Southern fumbles gave the Bulldogs a short field, and The Citadel took advantage of the miscues by scoring touchdowns on both possessions to take a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
The first score came on 4th-and-2 from the GSU 19-yard line, when Rickey Anderson took the handoff and went around the right side for a touchdown. The second score came on 3rd-and-7, as Dupree avoided a good pass rush and hit Domonic Jones on the right side line. The receiver shrugged off a tackle and went down the sideline for a 26-yard touchdown.
The Eagles got their offense going on their next possession with a methodical 11 play, 65-yard scoring drive that ate up most of the rest of the first quarter. Youyoute keyed the drive with 23-yard run, and McKinnon capped it with an 8-yard touchdown run. Nowicki kicked the extra point, trimming the lead to 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Swope capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive that took 6:51 with a 2-yard touchdown run, and Nowicki added the point after to tie the score 14-14 midway through the second quarter. Swope logged 46 yards on the ground during the drive.
Warren dropped in a 42-yard field goal to put the Bulldogs back on top 17-14 with 2:39 left in the first half. Miller hit Van Dyke Jones with a 26-yard pass over the middle to the GSU 43-yard line to key the drive.
Georgia Southern drove down into Bulldog territory to set up a 31-yard field goal try for Nowicki late in the second quarter, but Jones jumped up and got his paws on it near the line of scrimmage for the block, leaving the margin at 17-14 at halftime.
Dupree carried five times for 38 yards on the Bulldogs' second possession of the second half, and Warren nailed a 39-yard field goal to tack on another three points and open a 20-14 lead with 2:22 left in the third.
#8 Appalachian State 35, #9 Montana 27
BOONE, N.C. - Following a back-and-forth first half that saw the score knotted at 21-21 at the half, Appalachian State University football scored a late touchdown and then fended off several Montana drives in the fourth quarter to claim a 35-27 win in the highly-anticipated home opener.
A raucous crowd of 30,856, the third-largest in Kidd Brewer Stadium history, saw the winningest FCS programs of the millennium combine for 900 yards of offense and 19 third- and fourth-down conversions in a contest that, like the two Appalachian State-Montana matchups before it, came down to the wire.
Appalachian (1-1) forced two of Montana's three turnovers in the first quarter and turned both miscues into touchdowns to jump out to a 21-7 lead after just one period. The Griz roared back with 14 points in the second quarter to send the game to halftime tied at 21-21 and the score remained deadlocked until a heart-stopping fourth quarter.
The Mountaineers regained a 28-21 advantage early in the final period when it marched 67 yards in just 1:44. A 32-yard pass from Jamal Jackson to Sean Price on the drive's first play and a 25-yard touchdown strike from Jackson to Andrew Peacock accounted for 57 of the 67 yards but the biggest play of the possession when Jackson scrambled for a first down on fourth-and-one to keep the series alive and set up the go-ahead touchdown pass to Peacock.
After the teams traded punts, Montana's Dan Moore highlighted one of the best performances in recent history by a visiting player at Kidd Brewer Stadium when he caught a short pass from Tyler McKinney, broke several tackles, eluded several more and outran the Mountaineer defense for an 87-yard touchdown the would seemingly knot the score at 28-28. However, Griz kicker Chris Lider missed the extra point wide right and Appalachian maintained a 28-27 lead with 8:54 to go in the game.
On the ensuing possession, Appalachian put together a vintage 11-play, 78-yard touchdown drive and stretched its lead to 35-27 on two-yard touchdown run by Steven Miller. Facing third-and-16 from the UM 46 midway through the series, Jackson found true freshman Malachi Jones for a 17-yard first-down pass to keep the drive alive. Miller picked up the final 29 yards from there, capped by his second touchdown of the game with 5:05 to play.
The Mountaineers appeared to put the game away three plays later when Patrick Blalock intercepted McKinney to give the Apps the ball back on the Montana 43 with 4:24 to go. However, Blalock's first-career interception was followed by Appalachian's only three-and-out in five fourth-quarter possessions and the Griz took back over on their own 11 with 2:53 remaining in the ballgame.
Thanks to a third-down conversion and two fourth-down conversions, Montana (1-1) marched into Appalachian territory on its final possession. With less than 30 seconds left to play, McKinney went for broke, throwing deep down the left sideline but all-American Demetrius McCray had perfect coverage on the play and made his second interception of the day on the goal line with 18 seconds remaining. Jackson kneeled on the final play of the day to seal the Apps' first win in three attempts against its cross-country rival.
Thanks to 238 all-purpose yards from Moore (145 receiving, 93 rushing), Montana outgained Appalachian, 483-417. However, the Mountaineers forced four turnovers while not committing any of their own and ran 82 plays to the Grizzlies' 74, despite the fact that the Griz held a 41:50-33:10 advantage in time of possession.
Jackson led the Mountaineers with 260 yards and two touchdowns on 24-of-34 passing and 65 yards on 16 rushes while accounting for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). Price became the second Appalachian receiver in as many games to hit the 100-yard mark, catching eight balls for 103 yards and a score. Miller ran 27 times for 91 yards and a pair of scores.
Defensively, senior linebackers Jeremy Kimbrough and Brandon Grier led Appalachian with 14 and 13 tackles, respectively. Grier also had a career high two sacks and three of the Mountaineers' eight tackles for loss.
Montana's McKinney threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns but was picked off three times in the loss. Safety Matt Hermanson led the Griz with 12 tackles.
Elon 34, N.C. Central 14
ELON, N.C. - The Elon University football won its 2012 home opener on Saturday night, Sept. 10 at Rhodes Stadium, as the Phoenix claimed a 34-14 victory over the visiting North Carolina Central Eagles on Hall of Fame Weekend.
Senior quarterback Thomas Wilson completed 13-of-18 passes for 178 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win, as the Phoenix offense went for 229 yards.
The maroon and gold defense stifled the Eagles all night long, limiting Central to just 110 total yards, including just 39 in the first half. The maroon and gold also picked off three passes and recovered a fumble.
The Phoenix marched 80 yards in 5:25 on its opening drive before Wilson hit Aaron Mellette for a nine-yard touchdown strike to give the maroon and gold an early lead. Adam Shreiner's extra point put Elon on top 7-0 with 8:22 showing on the first-quarter clock. The Phoenix faced third-and-six at its own 24 when Wilson drilled Jeremy Peterson over the middle for a 35-yard gain to sustain that drive.
The Elon offense kept the pressure on during its next drive, building a 14-0 lead after Tracey Coppedge burst through the line for a 10-yard dash, the first touchdown of the freshman's career. The drive covered 62 yards on 11 plays. The Phoenix faced two third downs during the possession and converted both a third-and-six with a 21-yard pass from Wilson to Mellette and a third-and-11 with a 13-yard completion to Andre Davis that moved the Phoenix to the Central 10.
On the final play of the first quarter, Elon's David Wood snared the first interception of his career and returned the ball 29 yards to the Central nine. Elon would tack on three points with a Shreiner field goal from 28 yards out to go up 17-0.
With the Phoenix up 24-0 after a Karl Bostick TD run, the Eagles got on the board with 1:47 left to go in the second quarter when Andre Clarke punched it in from the one.
A 35-yard strike from Wilson to Kierre Brown with just 10 seconds left in the first half gave Elon a 31-7 edge at the break.
Elon's final points came on a 21-yard Shreiner field goal in the third quarter while Central tacked on a touchdown when Geovonie Irvine hauled in a pass from Jordan Reid in the fourth.
The Phoenix returns to Rhodes Stadium next Saturday to take on West Virginia State in a 3 p.m. contest.
Samford 34, West Alabama 6
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Samford offense rolled up 452 yards, and the Bulldog defense forced four turnovers in a 34-6 non-conference football victory over West Alabama Saturday night at Seibert Stadium.
Samford was led offensively by Fabian Truss, rushing 16 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Jeremiaha Gates rushed 14 times for 50 yards and a touchdown. Andy Summerlin completed 21-of-27 passes for 190 yards and an interception. Chris Cephus had six receptions for 65 yards, while Kelsey Pope caught six passes for 54 yards.
Defensively for Samford, Jaquiski Tartt had two interceptions and a fumble recovery to go along with his five tackles. Alvin Hines II also had an interception and five tackles. Darion Sutton and Brandon Nettles shared the team lead in tackles with seven each. The Bulldog defense had a combined five sacks and nine tackles for a loss.
West Alabama was led offensively by Kyle Caldwell, completing 16-of-29 passes for 207 yards and two interceptions. Marcus Brown caught five passes for 61 yards. Malcolm Butler led the Tigers' defense with 10 tackles and an interception.
Samford scored on its opening drive of the game. Truss scored on a two-yard run to put Samford ahead. Cameron Yaw added the extra point to give Samford a 7-0 lead with 10:30 to go in the first quarter.
West Alabama answered on its opening drive. Ryne Smith kicked a 22-yard field goal to cut the Samford lead to 7-3 with 4:04 left in the opening quarter.
The Bulldogs added to their lead on the ensuing drive. Truss scored his second two-yard touchdown of the game with 2:44 to go in the first quarter. Yaw's extra point pushed Samford's lead to 14-3.
Samford added another touchdown on a two-yard run by Gates, and Yaw's PAT gave Samford a 21-3 lead with 6:57 left in the second quarter. The drive was set up when Tartt recovered a UWA fumble on a punt return, giving Samford the ball at the Tigers' 35-yard line.
The Bulldogs scored one final touchdown before halftime, with Stanley Robinson scoring on an eight-yard run with 4:18 left before halftime. Yaw's PAT made the score 28-3. The drive was set up when Hines intercepted a Gary Johnston pass, giving Samford the ball at the 50-yard line.
West Alabama opened the scoring in the second half when Smith kicked a 25-yard field goal with 8:54 left in the third quarter to cut the Samford lead to 28-6. Yaw added two third-quarter field goals, one from 19-yards out and one from 20-yards out, to make the score 34-6.
Samford will play again on Saturday, Sept. 15, when the Bulldogs play at Gardner-Webb.
#13 Wofford 82, Lincoln (Pa.) 0
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - On Saturday night at Gibbs Stadium, the Wofford football team defeated Lincoln 82-0. Eight different Terriers accounted for touchdowns as Wofford scored the second most points in school history on the way to the largest margin of victory ever.
The Terriers open the season 2-0 and Lincoln is 0-2. For Wofford, the offense had 602 total yards and the defense limited the Lions to 179 total yards. The Terriers were led by Ray Smith with rushing 88 yards and Nick Crocker with 66 rushing yards, with both scoring touchdowns. Brody Hingst and Eric Breitenstein had two rushing touchdowns each, while Michael Harpe caught two touchdown passes.
The Lions had the ball first, but were forced three-and-out. Wofford was able to go 60-yards in just six plays as Michael Harpe caught a 24-yard pass from Brian Kass for a touchdown. After another three-and-out by the Lions, Wofford put together a five play, 58 yard drive that was capped by Eric Breitenstein scoring from nine yards out. The Terriers had a 14-0 lead with 7:53 left in the first quarter.
The Wofford defense forced another three-and-out. Wofford then added a touchdown on a seven-yard reception by Jeff Ashley from Brian Kass to take a 21-0 lead at 3:41 in the first quarter. Another three-and-out gave the Terriers a short field to work with and Brian Kass found Michael Harpe for a 22-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 28-0 with 1:45 left in the first quarter.
On the next punt by Lincoln, Jeremy Holt blocked the punt and it was recovered inside the ten-yard line by Tarek Odom. Cam Flowers scored from three-yards out to give Wofford a 35-0 lead with six seconds left in the first quarter. On the next drive by Lincoln, they picked up five first downs, but the drive ended on a 33-yard field goal attempt by Kyle Jaski that was wide left.
Michael Weimer entered the game for Terriers. After three big first downs by Will Gay, Eric Breitenstein capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown as Wofford took a 42-0 lead with 6:47 left in the second quarter. The Lions gained two first downs, then failed to convert a fourth-and-three and turned the ball over on downs. Wofford used a 43-yard run by Ray Smith to set up a 24-yard field goal by Christian Reed for a 45-0 lead at the half.
Wofford had the ball to open the second half with James Lawson in at quarterback. After gaining three first downs, Christian Reed kicked a 23-yard field goal to give the Terriers a 48-0 lead. The Lions failed to convert a fourth down conversion and turned the ball over on downs. Wofford answered with a three-yard touchdown run by Brody Hingst to push the lead to 55-0 with 5:52 on the clock in the third quarter.
The teams then traded punts. Lincoln had the ball when Brion Anderson picked off a pass for his first career interception. The Terriers converted the turnover into points when Ray Smith scored from 21 yards out to take a 62-0 lead at the end of the third quarter. Lincoln punted on their next possession. Wofford used a 65-yard run by Nick Crocker to get inside the five-yard line and Crocker punched it in from a yard out to take a 69-0 lead with 11:29 left in the game.
On the next possession by Lincoln, the Lions punted and Octavius Harden returned the punt 60 yards for a touchdown. Wofford had a 76-0 lead with 9:03 left in the game. The teams traded punts, then Lincoln had a pass intercepted by Philemon Permis, the first of his career. Wofford ran the ball up the middle five straight times, with Brody Hingst scoring from four-yards out with 2:00 left on the clock. The extra point was missed, giving the Terriers an 82-0 lead. The Lions held the ball for the final two minutes of the game.
Wofford had 602 total yards, with 449 on the ground. Lincoln had 179 total yards, 141 of which were passing. The Terriers had 30 first downs to just eight for the Lions. Wofford was 5-of-9 on third downs. Lincoln was 2-of-15 on third down. Wofford had two penalties, while Lincoln was flagged eight times. Wofford had the time of possession by a 30:15 to 29:45 margin.
Next week the Terriers will host Western Carolina at Gibbs Stadium in a 7:00 p.m. Southern Conference contest.
Coastal Carolina 47, Furman 45 (3OT)
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- DeMario Bennett hauled in a 26-yard touchdown strike in triple overtime and then tallied a two-point conversion on a reverse to help Coastal Carolina hold off Furman, 47-45, at rain-soaked Paladin Stadium Saturday evening.
After Bennett's tallies put Coastal Carolina up, 47-39, Furman's Hank McCloud scored on a 3-yard run to cut the lead to 47-45, but Furman true freshman quarterback Reese Hannon's game-tying, two-point pass attempt failed on the game's final play.
The contest marked Furman's first overtime game since 2007 and seventh in program history.
Nobody in attendance was even thinking overtime after Coastal Carolina's Alex Catron connected on a 35-yard field goal to give the Chanticleers a 22-12 lead with 4:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. But Hannon, who entered the game late in the second quarter after starting quarterback Dakota Derrick was sidelined with an injured shoulder, rallied the Paladins in the waning minutes with a 21-yard touchdown strike to Jordan Snellings to cut it to 22-18 with 1:59 to go.
The Paladins then recovered the onside kick, and Hannon engineered a nine-play, 50-yard drive to put Furman ahead, 25-22, on a 22-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Culbreath with 40 seconds remaining.
Coastal Carolina answered with a pair of 20-yard pass completions to the Furman 28, where with five seconds to go Catron booted a 45-yard game tying field goal to send the game into overtime.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the first two periods before the decisive third frame, when Coastal quarterback Aramis Hillary connected with Bennett for the touchdown, and Bennett followed with a reverse run around right end for the eventual game winning two-point play.
Hillary, who completed 20-of-27 passes, finished the game with 292 yards passing, two touchdowns, and one interception.
Hannon, from nearby Greer, S.C., threw for 255 yards and four touchdowns in his collegiate debut, completing 22-of-35 passes in the contest, with 34 attempts coming in the second half in overtime frames. Three of his four scoring strikes came in the fourth quarter.
Miscues in special teams again proved costly to Furman as the Paladins fumbled a punt at their own 12 that led to a Coastal Carolina touchdown and 17-6 third quarter deficit. Then, in the fourth quarter after slicing the lead to 17-12, the Paladins yielded a 100-yard return for defensive extra point and 63-yard return on the subsequent kickoff return, which led to 35-yard Chanticleer field goal and 22-12 advantage. The Paladins' woes continued with a blocked PAT after cutting the lead to 22-18 with two minutes to go.
Its start delayed 14 minutes to a pre-game storm, the contest hardly had the makings of a 92-point affair. Coastal Carolina grabbed a 10-0 first quarter lead with a Hillary 1-yard run and Catron 38-yard field goal, his first of three in the contest.
Furman used a pair of Ray Early field goals from 37 and 41 yards to cut the lead to 10-6, but Furman's offense managed just 103 total yards in the first half, which saw Derrick exit the game with a brusied shoulder with approximately two minutes before intermission.
Coastal Carolina's Quinn Backus pounced on a fumbled punt at the Furman 12 in the third quarter, and six plays later Lorenzo Taliaferro bulled into the end zone from a yard out to stretch the Chanticleers' lead to 17-6.
The fourth quarter outburst help Furman post a 439-404 margin in total offense. Jerodis Williams led all rushers with 15 carries 85 yards and a touchdown. Will King caught a career high nine passes for 116 yard and a score, and Ryan Culbreath claimed a new career high with six catches for 78 yard and two touchdowns.
Senior linebacker Matt Solomon's game high 15 stops also marked a career high.
The Paladins tallied four sacks in the contest.
Jacksonville State 27, Chattanooga 24
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. --- The Chattanooga Mocs (0-2) dropped a 27-24 decision at Jacksonville State (1-1) Saturday evening on Burgess-Snow Field. UTC tied the game at 24 with 39 seconds left, only to see the Gamecocks kick a 37-yard field goal to win as time expired.
The Mocs trailed 24-16 with 2:52 to go in the game. They got a big play on the second snap of the drive as Jacob Huesman found Faysal Shafaat for a 28-yard catch-and-run across midfield to the JSU 49.
Seven plays later, UTC faced a do-or-die, fourth-and-five on the JSU 34, with 1:01 to play. Huesman found Ron Moore streaking across the middle for 16 yards and a first down. On the very next snap, Huesman and Moore continued their fourth quarter symmetry with an 18-yard touchdown hookup.
That made it 24-22 Gamecocks. Despite a high snap, Huesman made a quick handoff to Keon Williams who bulled into the end zone for the two-point conversion.
Chattanooga squibbed the ensuing kickoff with Gabriel Chambers taking the ball at the JSU 11. He almost broke it going 34 yards before getting tackled by kicker Nick Pollard at the JSU 45.
Four plays later, the Gamecocks faced second and 10 at the Mocs' 33 with six ticks left on the clock. They decided to run one more play, a run up the middle.
DaMarcus James broke loose for 13 yards, breaking tackles down to the UTC 20 as time seemed to expire. One second was put back on the clock, setting up a 37-yard field goal attempt that Griffin Thomas drilled through the uprights for the 27-24 win.
Huesman racked up 347 yards of total offense in his first collegiate start. He ran for 166 yards on 21 carries and completed 18 of 30 for 181 yards in the air. He accounted for all three Mocs touchdowns - one with his feet and two with his arm.
His 166 rushing yards are the second-most by a quarterback in school history and the second-most by a freshman in the UTC record books.
Chattanooga rushed for 241 yards on 50 rushes. Williams ran 19 times for 51 yards. Tommy Hudson had a game-high seven catches (34 yards), while Moore added four receptions for 55 yards, all in the fourth quarter.
The Gamecocks were equal to the task in the running game with 216 yards on 37 totes. After just 33 yards in the first quarter, JSU had 183 in the final three averaging a touch more than seven yards per carry.
James carried the ball 16 times for 120 yards. Troymaine Pope had four less touches for 100 yards. James had both offensive touchdowns, while Pierre Warren had the other with a 75-yard fumble return in the opening quarter.
It was all Jacksonville State early. The Gamecocks scored the first 17 points of the game with James' 43-yard dart with 4:48 to go in the first half capping that scoring run.
Huesman directed a 12-play, 53-yard drive on the ensuing possession. Chaz Moore set the Mocs up in excellent field position as his 42-yard kickoff return put the ball on the UTC 47.
Marquis Green started it off with a four-yard rush across midfield. Huesman ran it four consecutive times for 31 yards to get inside the JSU 20. Williams got within an eyelash of scoring with just six seconds left on the clock. After a UTC timeout, Huesman bulled in on fourth and inches to get the Mocs on the scoreboard trailing 17-7 at the break.
Pollard hit a 30-yard field goal on Chattanooga's first possession of the second half to draw within a touchdown, 17-10. The score was set up by linebacker Gunner Miller's second career interception.
James got his second score with a 30-yard catch-and-run from Coty Blanchard. That was a quick answer to the Mocs field goal extending the lead to 14, 24-10.
UTC scored on the very next possession as well. Moore again put his squad in great field position with a 48-yard return to the 50. Eight plays later, Pollard nailed a 26-yard field goal but a JSU personal foul penalty gave the Mocs the ball inside the five.
Huesman found Tray James on a fade route for a four-yard touchdown, the first in the air for either player in their college careers. Pollard's point after attempt hit the crossbar to make it 24-16.
It is a quick turnaround this week for the Mocs as they host Glenville State in the home opener Thursday night. Kickoff is at 7 p.m., at Finley Stadium.
Marshall 52, Western Carolina 24
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Eddie Sullivan rushed for two touchdowns and threw for a third on Saturday evening as Western Carolina dropped a 52-24 decision to Marshall at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. The Thundering Herd scored 21 points in both the second and third quarters to post their fifth-straight victory in the all-time series, the first since 1996.
Making his first start for the purple & gold, Sullivan completed 19-of-40 passes for 191 yards while also pacing five backs with 10 carries for 50 yards, twice finding the end zone against his former team. A native of Boca Raton, Fla., Sullivan found seven different receivers with senior Jacoby Mitchell pulling down a career-best nine catches for 84 yards and a five-yard scoring strike to lead the way.
Western Carolina (1-1) slowed the Thundering Herd in the first quarter, limiting the potent Marshall offense to two field goal attempts, only one of which was successful. The Thundering Herd chewed up 10 minutes of the first quarter clock with 186 yards of offense including 145 through the air, but led by just three points midway through the first half.
However, the Herd rumbled for three second quarter touchdowns to extend its lead to 24-0 with just under three minutes to play before halftime. Marshall quarterback Rakeen Cato capped scoring drives of 11 and two of nine plays apiece with touchdown passes of one, two and 12 yards, respectively.
Cato completed 32-of-42 passes for 377 yards and those three touchdowns before giving way to reserve signal caller Blake Frohnapfel who was 4-for-4 with a TD pass to his brother, Eric, in the fourth quarter. The duo of Cato and Frohnapfel spread the ball around to 12 different receivers with Aaron Dobson leading the Herd with nine catches for 81 yards and a touchdown with Demetrius Evans and Gator Hoskins also hauling in TD passes.
WCU was able to light the scoreboard as time expired in the first half as sophomore kicker Richard Sigmon polished off a nine-play, 52-yard drive for the Catamounts with a career-long 40-yard field goal, splitting the uprights and sending the teams to the break at 24-3.
On its second possession of the third quarter, Western Carolina was able to find pay-dirt. The Catamounts moved 53 yards in seven plays, spurred by a 36-yard reception by senior Conner Orr for his first career catch. The drive was capped by a five-yard strike from Sullivan to Mitchell, closing the margin back to 14 at 24-10.
The momentum swing was short-lived, though, as Marshall responded with 21-straight points following the Catamount score to claim a 35-point cushion, 45-10. The Thundering Herd went to the ground with Steward Butler rushing in from eight yards out and Remi Watson scoring on a three-yard run to make it 38-10.
The 21-point swing was capped by Devin Arrington who corralled an overthrown screen pass attempt by Sullivan, picking off the errant throw and bouncing into the end zone from 18 yards out. It was the first turnover for the Catamounts on the season.
WCU outscored Marshall 14-7 in the fourth quarter as Sullivan recorded scoring runs of one and eight yards, capping WCU scoring drives of 16 and 11 plays, respectively.
Junior linebacker Courtland Carson led the Catamount defensive attack with a career-high 14 tackles while freshman Sertonuse Harris - making his first collegiate start - tallied a career-best 11 stops including three solo tackles. Freshman Caleb Hawkins posted four tackles including his first career quarterback sack. Marshall's Evan McKelvey led the Herd with 10 tackles including 1.5 for loss.
Western Carolina opens Southern Conference play next Saturday, Sept. 15 as it travels to Spartanburg, S.C., to face the No. 113 Wofford Terriers. Kickoff from Gibbs Stadium is scheduled for 7:00 pm.