Herd Pulls Out Senior Day Shootout, 46-39


Bernard Morris

Bernard Morris

Nov. 24, 2007

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HUNTINGTON - Quarterback Bernard Morris delivered once again in his final collegiate contest, completing six-of-seven passes on the Herd's game-winning drive and plunging over the goal line for a one-yard touchdown to lift Marshall to a 46-39 victory over UAB on Senior Day in Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

In a season the where the Herd has struggled to produce first quarter points, head coach Mark Snyder could not have hoped for a more perfect opening 10 minutes as Marshall scored on its first two possessions to take a 14-0 lead. UAB refused to go away and clawed its way back to a 39-38 lead with just 5:22 remaining.

Morris was 26-of-36 for the game for 309 yards and a touchdown and added an additional 55 rushing yards. The senior triggerman spread the ball to a number of targets, finding nine different receivers on his way to breaking 3000 yards passing for the season. Cody Slate led all Marshall receivers with six catches for 72 yards. Senior Shawn Lauzon had four catches for 58 yards and a touchdown in his final game for the Herd.

Freshman Darius Marshall led the Herd with 60 rushing yards and finished the day with 254 all-purpose yards, including a 91-yard touchdown return on a kickoff. Kelvin Turner and Chubb Small combined to rush for 60 yards and three touchdowns.

Joseph Webb and Sam Hunt split time at quarterback for UAB and combined to complete 27-of-50 passes for 389 yards. The duo also led the Blazers in rushing carrying the ball 20 times for 116 yards.

The Herd took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards in 10 plays, punctuated by Turner's first touchdown rush of the game from four yards out.

After a quick three-play stop by the Marshall defense, the Herd took over at midfield and took just four plays to score again on a five-yard plunge by Chubb Small.

UAB was able to slow the Herd's momentum with an eight-play, 81-yard touchdown drive of its own. Blazer fullback David Sigler got the march going with a 31-yard grab down the middle despite being drilled by Marshall defensive back Ashton Hall. UAB cut the deficit to 14-7 as Webb connected with Wright on eight yard scoring pass.

Marshall was forced to punt for the first time on the ensuing possession and UAB drove to the Marshall 22-yard line before Swayze Waters' field goal went wide.

The Herd took advantage with a methodical 13-play, 78-yard possession. Morris connected on four passes, including a nine-yard completion to Lauzon at the UAB four-yard line that set up Turner's second rushing score of the game.

The Blazers were forced to punt from their own 19-yard line on the next series and Marshall took over at its 45. This time it took the Herd only two plays to reach the end zone as Morris found Darius Marshall on a screen play for 45 yards and then connected with Lauzon on a 23 fade to put Marshall ahead 28-7.

The Herd took that score into the locker room when defensive linemen Byron Tinker and Ryland Wilson stopped Hunt on a quarterback sneak at the Marshall one-yard line as time expired in the half.

UAB cut the deficit to 18 points on a Waters field goal with 11:04 remaining in the third quarter and after Marshall gave the ball back via punt, the Blazers drove went 72-yards to cut the score to 28-18.

The game entered full shootout mode when Darius Marshall fielded Winters kickoff at the nine-yard line and bolted straight down the middle of the field for the first return touchdown of his career, giving the Herd a three-score lead.

The Blazers refused to go away and drove 64 yards for a touchdown on a sneak by Webb. After the UAB defense forced a Herd punt, the Blazers Kevin Sanders returned the ball 58 yards for a score and pulled his team to within three points.

Marshall stretched the lead to six with a 21-yard Anthony Binswanger field goal, but UAB took the lead with on its next possession on a four-yard run by Rashaud Slaughter to give the Blazers their only lead of the game.

Morris then took over and moved the Herd offense 78 yards in 11 plays, scoring the game-winner with 1:07 remaining.

The Herd finished the season 3-9 (3-5 C-USA) while UAB slipped to 2-10 (1-7 C-USA).