Marshall Falls to New Hampshire 48-35
Morris leads Herd in frantic comeback attempt, throws for 417 yards.
Sept. 15, 2007
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Despite a career game from Marshall quarterback Bernard Morris the Thundering Herd football team was unable to overcome a 24 point first half deficit and suffered a tough loss Saturday as it fell to New Hampshire 48-35 at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
Morris, who battled a nagging case of turf toe during the week, sat out nearly the entire first half, but still managed to record a career high 417 passing yards and three touchdowns. Morris completed 31 of 42 passes in the losing effort.
Tight end Cody Slate was Morris' favorite target. The sophomore caught 10 passes for 164 yards, including an 80 yard highlight reel catch in which he split two defenders and ran outran the defense for a touchdown.
The Wildcats built a 24-0 half time lead behind the arm of quarterback Ricky Santos, who showed why he was the 2006 Walter Peyton Award winner. The senior spread the ball all over the field, completing 23-33 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns.
Momentum seemed to swing Marshall's way early when the Wildcats fumbled the opening kickoff at their own 41-yard line. C.J. Spillman forced the fumble that put Marshall in UNH territory to start the game. However, Marshall could not capitalize and was forced to punt.
For the rest of the half the New Hampshire was able to cut through the Herd defense at will. The Wildcats' first two scores came courtesy of running back Robert Simpson, who rushed for a 10-yard score before hooking up with Santos on a 27-yard touchdown catch.
UNH extended their lead to 24-0 in the second quarter as kicker Tom Manning knocked though a 47-yard field goal and Santos completed a 29-yard touchdown throw to Mike Boyle.
As the first half came to a close, Morris came off the bench and led Marshall all the way to the New Hampshire seven before a fourth down pass into the end zone fell incomplete.
Marshall set the tone for the second half on its opening drive. Chubb Small ripped off a 26 yard run and Morris again marched the herd down the field, connecting on multiple passes with tight end Cody Slate. Kelvin Turner punched in the ball from one yard out and gave the Herd its first score of the game.
After another scoring drive by UNH, Marshall once again drove the field, going 12 yards in 64 plays. Turner picked up his second touchdown run of the day on a two-yard carry.
After a tough stop by the Marshall defense the Herd took over on its own 20-yardline and truly seized control of the game when Morris hit Slate for the 80-yard catch and run. New Hampshire knocked through another field goal, but Morris took Marshall on another scoring drive ending with a seven-yard pass to Turner.
New Hampshire stretched lead back to two touchdowns after a Keith LeVan kickoff to the Marshall nine. Santos then found LeVan on a four-yard fade pass for his third touchdown pass of the day.
Freshman Darius Marshall returned the ensuing Wildcat kickoff to the New Hampshire 45 and on a must have fourth and 17 at the 25-yardline Morris hit Darius Passmore in the back of the end zone to cut the deficit back to six.
Unfortunately, UNH was able to put together a 13 play 70-yard drive that took 5:38 off the clock. Chris Ward ended the march with a two-yard touchdown run to give the Wildcats the final margin of victory.
Marshall will be in action again next week as hits the road to take the Cincinnati Bearcats on Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m.