Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

College Sports

September 8, 2012

Thundering Herd stampedes Western Carolina

HUNTINGTON — There’s a difference of one letter in the spellings of “Marshall” and “Mars Hill.”

On the football field, Western Carolina found the two to be worlds apart.

Quarterback Rakeem Cato turned in his second strong performance in as many games as the Thundering Herd defeated the Catamounts 52-24 Saturday in front of 25,317 fans at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

The teams were meeting for the first time since 1996, when Marshall went 15-0 and won the Division I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision) national championship. The Herd won that game 49-7, and they were every bit as dominant this time around.

Marshall (1-1) shook off a slow first quarter and rolled the rest of the way. The Herd’s first drive stalled at the Catamounts’ 7-yard line, ending on Justin Haig’s 24-yard field goal, and they punted on their second series. Haig was wide right on a 37-yard attempt on Marshall’s third possession.

It all turned in the second quarter.

Cato threw three touchdown passes in the quarter, each to a different receiver. He connected with tight end Gator Hoskins on a 1-yard score, Aaron Dobson for two yards and Demetrius Evans for 12 yards.

Cato, who threw for a career-high 413 yards in the loss at West Virginia Sept. 1, finished 32 of 42 for 377 yards.

Marshall finished with 615 yards of offense. The Herd has gone for over 500 yards in consecutive games for the first time since doing it against Western Michigan and Akron in 2003.

The mystery surrounding how much Catamounts quarterback Eddie Sullivan would play was answered resoundingly. The Marshall transfer who was suspended for last week’s 42-14 win over Mars Hill started and played the whole game.

Despite his familiarity with the Herd, Sullivan had trouble moving the Catamounts (1-1) most of the night. Western Carolina didn’t have a first down until the 13:27 mark of the second quarter, and finished with 335 yards of offense.

Still, Sullivan had an overall good day in his most extensive action in Huntington, going 19 of 40 for 191 yards. He had a 5-yard touchdown to Jacoby Mitchell in the third quarter, and had 50 yards rushing, scoring on runs of 1 and 8 yards.

He threw an interception that Devin Arrington returned 17 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.

The game turned into a memorable moment for Marshall twin brothers Blake and Eric Frohnapfel. Blake, who took over for Cato, hit Eric for a 29-yard touchdown pass with 6:57 left to play.

Redshirt freshman running backs Steward Butler and Remi Watson scored their first collegiate touchdowns for Marshall in the third quarter.

Marshall is now 10-9-2 all-time versus Western Carolina, but has won the last five meetings.

The Herd will host rival Ohio in the Battle for the Bell at 6:30 p.m. next Saturday. The Bobcats won last year’s game 44-7 in Athens, Ohio.

Ohio is 2-0 after wins at Penn State and home over New Mexico State.

— E-mail: gfauber@

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