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Marshall Falls in 27-24 Battle to Ohio

Rakeem Cato finished 44-of-65 for 432 yards and three touchdowns.

Sept. 15, 2012

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - An interception thrown in Marshall's final drive secured a 27-24 win for the Ohio Bobcats in the 56th meeting between the two teams at Joan C. Edwards Stadium Saturday evening.

The 11th annual "Battle of the Bell" rivalry brought in the sixth largest crowd in stadium history as 33,436 fans attended the event.

Marshall fell to 1-2 with the loss, while the Bobcats improved to 3-0.

"I thought our kids played extremely hard," said head coach Doc Holliday. "I thought the fans were great. Unfortunately we couldn't find a way to get it done at the end. It's the same ole story that you can't turn the ball over and win the football game."

"We have to learn how to take care of the ball and there's a lot of hurting guys in that locker room right now. I'm proud of the way we played. We have to come out next week and get better."

Quarterback Rakeem Cato finished 44-of-65 for 432 yards, all of which were career highs, and threw for three touchdowns. His 44 completions broke Byron Leftwich's school record. His 65 pass attempts was a stadium record, beating the previous mark by one.

Wide receiver Tommy Shuler received 13 looks from Cato and earned 121 receiving yards, giving the sophomore wide out a career-high in receptions and receiving yards. Only four players have caught more passes in a game in Marshall's football history.

The Herd offense combined for 491 yards of total offense, with 432 yards coming through the air. Eleven players caught a pass for Marshall, marking the third-straight game that at least 10 players have caught the ball for the Herd.

On defense, linebacker Devin Arrington had a career-high 14 tackles, while safety Dominick LeGrande totaled 14 tackles as well. Linebacker D.J. Hunter followed with 12 tackles and forced an Ohio fumble.

Marshall opened up the first drive with an authoritative passing attack as Cato went 7-for-9 for 68 yards and a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jazz King, giving the Herd an early 7-0 lead.

Cato mirrored the first drive by going 7-for-8 on the Herd's second possession to give Marshall a 14-0 lead. The 10-play, 85-yard drive that included a 40-yard dump to Travon Van was topped off with a 5-yard pass from Cato to Aaron Dobson.

Shuler compiled five receptions and 63 yards in the first two drives, giving the wide receiver a career high in just the first eight minutes of play.

After seeing Marshall control the first quarter, Ohio responded by putting up 17 unanswered points in the second.

The Bobcats got on the board with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Tettleton to receiver Troy Hill and a 22-yard field goal from Matt Weller cut the Marshall lead to 14-10.

Ohio continued to be active on offense and took its first lead of the game, 17-14, by finishing a 13-play, 96-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Tettleton to Tyler Futrell with 49 seconds left in the half.

Marshall regained the lead in the third quarter with a spectacular catch from tight end Gator Hoskins in traffic to put the score at 21-17.

Marshall followed with a drive that put Shuler over 100 receiving yards and showcased a 17-yard catch from tight end Eric Frohnapfel on 4th and 2 that set up a 37-yard field goal from Justin Haig.

With Marshall leading 24-17, Ohio got the ball back with 10:43 left in the game and went on a drive that had three different third down situations and was finished with a 27-yard touchdown reception from Ryan Clark on a 4th and 5, tying the game 24-24.

A fumble by the Herd with nearly five minutes left in the game was turned into three points for Ohio. A 38-yard field goal from Matt Weller following the Marshall turnover gave the Bobcats a 27-24 lead with just over a minute and a half left in the game.

Marshall started the potential winning-drive on its own 25 and marched 48 yards down the field before a pass from Cato was intercepted by linebacker Jelani Woseley.

"We had to do whatever we had to do to win the game," said Holliday. "The kid [Cato] is going to be a good player. At the end of the deal we can't turn the ball over. He hurts. He's a hurting guy right now. He played his tail off, he's a young guy and he'll learn from it as well will our entire team."

The pick secured the 27-24 win for Ohio as the Bobcats took a knee for the victory.

Marshall will go on the road for its next game as the Herd faces Rice in Houston, Texas on Saturday, September 22. The game is set for 3:30 p.m. ET and will be featured on CSS and WCHS.