The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

April 27, 2013

Green tops White in MU spring game

HUNTINGTON — The football coach in Doc Holliday always looks to the last Saturday in April with dread.

“To be honest with you, I don’t like spring games,” said Holliday, who completed his fourth spring session as Marshall’s head coach with Saturday’s Green and White Game.

The risk of injury to any player that comes with the 15th and final spring practice causes Holliday to cringe. That’s why Saturday’s game was somewhat devoid of star power.

Quarterback Rakeem Cato played in four series before calling it a day. He spent most of the game wearing a cap and coaching up backups Gunnar Holcombe and Kevin Anderson.

Receiver Tommy Shuler, Cato’s teammate since their senior season at Miami Central High School, didn’t play at all.

“We didn’t play some of those guys for a reason,” Holliday said after the Green team (offense) defeated the White (defense) 55-38 in front of 5,115 fans at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. “We know what Cato can do, to a certain extent. We know what (running back) Steward (Butler) can do, (defensive lineman) Jeremiah Taylor and a couple of those guys. We wanted to take a look at some of the younger guys. I thought they did a good job.”

Marshall was known last fall for its rapid approach on offense, often running more than 100 plays in a game. That approach did not change for the spring game, but everything was crammed into two quarters.

“You don’t want that in a spring game,” Holliday said.

Cato, last season’s Conference USA Most Valuable Player after passing for 4,201 yards and 37 touchdowns, seemed to add a new dimension to his game. The first touchdown of the day came on an 8-yard keeper by Cato, who ran three times for 15 yards among his 19 snaps.

Cato anticipates defenses adjusting to Marshall’s pass-happy attack in 2013, creating the need for a more effective running game.

“We’re going to do whatever it takes to win,” Cato said. “Knowing we had a great passing season last year, teams are going to start dropping eight (defenders) and blitzing more, so all the quarterbacks know we have to use our legs more to be two-dimensional.”

Cato completed 7 of 10 passes for 74 yards and had a 20-yard touchdown pass to Craig Wilkins.

Sophomore Jack Gammon caught six passes for 31 yards, while junior Dameon Garrett (72 yards) and junior tight end Eric Frohnapfel (61) both had four receptions.

Frohnapfel caught a 32-yard touchdown from his brother, Blake Frohnapfel, who was 10-of-17 for 155 yards and two TDs. He also threw 19 yards to Essray Taliaferro for a score.

Butler wasn’t held out completely and showed the same ability as he did last season. He ran 11 times for 60 yards and was followed by Taliaferro with 48 yards on 11 carries.

While the offense scored points with traditional touchdowns, as well as first downs and plays of 20 yards or more, the defense scored via a number of ways, including sacks and tackles for loss.

Defense, of course, was the area of most concern going into spring. There were some missed tackles and some long plays allowed, but first-year defensive coordinator Chuck Heater was encouraged by the defense’s progression over the last 32 days.

“I’m really proud of how far they have come. I told them that today,” Heater said. “They’ve been taking the coaching; it’s been hard coaching. The (position) coaches have done a good job with them. I think they have confidence now that they can get something done.”

Heater mentioned sophomore lineman Steve Dillon, freshman linebacker Stefan Houston and cornerback Corey Tindal as players who stood out this spring.

The defense had 11 tackles for loss and five sacks Saturday. Houston had seven tackles, linebacker Jermaine Holmes six tackles (two for loss) and Cortez Carter six stops as well. Sophomore safety Chris Yamoah had five tackles (one for loss), two pass-breakups and a fumble recovery. The fumble was forced by lineman Armonze Daniel and was the only turnover of the game.

The team will be on its own for summer drills before reporting for the preseason the first week of August. The 2013 season will begin Aug. 31 at home against Miami (Ohio).

— E-mail: gfauber

@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Hamrick deserves praise for pursuit of D’Antoni

    Sometimes gambles don’t pay off, but some risks simply have to be taken.

    April 23, 2014

  • WVU post-spring depth chart filled with few surprises

    Although the contents brought about as much of a surprise as a over the hill balloon at a 40th birthday party, there were a few interesting nuggets in the post-spring depth chart that West Virginia University sent out Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • Clutch hitting leads WVU over Marshall

    Junior catcher Cam O’Brien finished  a home run away from the cycle and scored three runs as the WVU baseball team defeated Marshall, 10-3, on Wednesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 23, 2014

  • Gardner improving with broken neck

    Joedy Gardner, a well-known former West Virginia basketball player and coach, is much improved after having broken his neck in Phoenix, Ariz., several months ago.

    April 23, 2014

  • 042314 trickett Mountaineers have benefited from incoming football transfers

    Recruiting in college football seems to get more and more attention every season. Websites like Scout.com and Rivals.com stalk the high school sidelines and blow up potential recruits’ cell phones in search of the latest information. But there’s one important aspect that often goes ignored — transfers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU baseball pounds Terps

    The offense had 16 hits and sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out six as the West Virginia University baseball team routed Maryland 14-2 on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 22, 2014

  • Crutchfield not interested in Division I job

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coach’s job at an NCAA Division I university.
    But the Clarksburg native keeps saying that he’s perfectly content in that role at West Liberty, a Division II powerhouse. His 10-year record there is an absolutely amazing 272-49. Significantly, 10 of those defeats came in his first year at the West Liberty helm.

    April 22, 2014

  • Stepping up: Kelly racking up wins for Lions

    Sundays have become red-letter days for Chris Kelly.

    April 22, 2014

  • Paul Popovich, now 73, wishes he were playing baseball today

    If you’re a longtime baseball fan, you may recall Morgantown’s Paul Popovich.

    April 22, 2014

  • Hiring an interim while waiting on D’Antoni would be an injustice

    The search for Marshall’s new men’s basketball coach remained in a holding pattern over the Easter weekend while the Los Angeles Lakers put off their decision on coach Mike D’Antoni’s future until this week.

    April 21, 2014

AP Video