By Grant Traylor
TULSA, Okla. —
Marshall University’s football team was in a tailspin in the second half Thursday night and Thundering Herd players looked to the heavens in search of what they needed to do.
Playing on the anniversary of the Nov. 14, 1970 plane crash and with 75 victims of the tragedy as motivation, the Herd got on the right path and pulled out a victory.
Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato hit Tommy Shuler with an 18-yard touchdown pass to give Marshall the lead and Ra’Shawde Myers sacked Tulsa’s Dane Evans on a 4th-and-11 late in a 45-34 victory in front of 16,723 spectators at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Myers’ sack led to an Essray Taliaferro 1-yard touchdown run that capped the scoring before true freshman Tiquan Lang intercepted Evans on the next drive to give the Herd its first-ever win over the Golden Hurricane.
The Herd scored the final 14 points, which changed momentum like the teams changed fields.
It was Cato who provided the calming force late, spreading the ball around well to receivers and pushing the team downfield through the passing game for scores. The junior finished 33 of 58 passing with a career-high 456 yards and five touchdowns.
After Marshall took a 17-point lead into the locker room at halftime, the Herd fumbled the football four times in the second half and Tulsa scored 20 consecutive points to take a 34-31 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard field goal by Carl Salazar.
Tulsa linebacker Shawn Jackson led the Golden Hurricane defensive charge with two fumble recoveries in the third quarter that led to 10 points.