HUNTINGTON, W.Va — Much like the C-130 that buzzed the stadium at the end of the national anthem, the Herd flew high Saturday.
The Marshall University football team opened its home season with a 44-10 victory over the North Central Eagles of the Football Championship Subdivision Saturday evening.
The Thundering Herd (2-0) took a couple of drives to get the scoring going, but quarterback Grant Wells kept the ball on a 10-yard run to put the home team on the board nearly six minutes into the first quarter.
The Green and White didn’t find the endzone again until the second quarter.
However, the second was the most productive for the Herd offense.
The scoring started when Wells found Talik Keaton on a 14-yard pass a minute into the quarter, followed by a three-yard throw to Rasheen Ali six minutes later.
As time ticked towards halftime, the Eagles got on the scoreboard, capitailizing on a Marshall turnover in their own redzone to get a four-yard pass into the endzone.
Facing a possible 14-point swing with the Eagles getting first possession in the second half, the Thundering Herd needed their passes to start connecting.
Wells had been trying the deep ball all game with little success, but Wells connected with Keaton with a 46-yard bomb with two minutes to go to give the Herd their fourth touchdown of the game.
Add in a 27-yard field goal from kicker Andrew Sanders and Marshall headed into the locker rooms up 30-7.
The Herd offense let up in the second half, scoring only seven points each in the third and fourth quarters.
The third quarter’s touchdown came with four minutes to go, when Knowledge McDaniel rushed the ball three yards into the endzone.
In the fourth quarter, Ethan Payne hit an eight-yard run to give the Herd their final touchdown of the game.
Knowledge McDaniel led the Herd on the ground, netting 67 yards on seven carries.
He is followed by backup quarterback Luke Zban, who gained 43 yards on six carries.
Under center, the Herd was led by Grant Wells, who went 34-48-1 for 344 yards and three touchdowns.
In receiving, Rasheen Ali led the way with nine receptions on 10 targets for 55 yards and one touchdown, followed by Corey Gammage (7-8-79) and Talik Keaton (3-4-73 and two touchdowns).
While first-year head coach Charles Huff is glad have gotten the win, he believed his team could have done more.
“Yes, we won the game, but when you’re trying to close the gap, it’s not about who you play, but how you play,” he said.
Huff also said the work will work on their discipline in prepartion of hosting East Carolina next Saturday.
“We have to be a lot better,” he said. “Our discipline is way off.”
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Colton Jeffries can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.