The Marshall University football team sent its 17 seniors out of the Joan C. Edwards Stadium for the final time Saturday afternoon against the Florida International Panthers in an overtime win, 30-27.
Herd head football coach Doc Holliday collected his 71st win over FBS opponents, passing former head coach Bob Pruett who had 70 wins.
“I thought our guys kept fighting,” Holliday said. “In a game like that you win it or you lose it, and you just hope at the end of the day you step up and find a way to win the game.”
“It was the offensive line not taking no for an answer in any situation we faced,” Knox said. “And that’s really what it all came down to. Everybody else just had to match their mentality. That’s really it.”
Rhirt senior kicker Justin Rohrwasser gave the Herd an early 3-0 lead with a successful 38-yard field goal. Then, FIU’s Maxwell Napoleon ran a one-yard touchdown (Jose Borregales kick) to put the Panthers on top 7-3. Rhirt junior Xavier Gaines completed a 20-yard run (Rohrwasser kick) for another Herd touchdown and regained the lead, 10-7, going into halftime.
Twelve seconds later, the Panthers responded again as the defense forced Marshall’s Isaiah Green to fumble, regaining possession of the ball. Wide receiver Tony Gaiter IV caught a 22-yard pass from quarterback James Morgan (Borregales kick) to give FIU its first lead of the game, 21-17.
Marshall reacted when Gaines received an 18-yard pass from Green (Rohrwasser kick) to take the lead 24-21.With 21 seconds left in the game, FIU’s Borregales nailed a 41-yard field goal to tie the game 24-24 and head into overtime.
After the Herd won the overtime toss, they decided to play defense first in overtime. Marshall’s defense held the Panther’s offense to scoring on a 35-yard field goal made by Borregales to give FIU the lead 27-24.
Senior linebacker Omari Cobb led the Herd in tackles with 10. Sophomore defensive back Steven Gilmore and rhirt junior linebacker Tavante Beckett each had eight apiece. Rhirt junior safety Nazeeh Johnson had six.
Now, the Herd awaits its destiny as the team prepares for a post-season bowl game.
Taylor Huddleston can be contacted at [email protected]