Herd's First Teams Dominate Final Scrimmage

The Marshall first team offense was back to full strength for Wednesday's scrimmage, with Butchie Wallace, Earl Charles, Josh Davis and Darius Watts returning to action. The second team defense was down seven players from their depth chart, due to injuries to both the first and second team defense. It was a rout waiting to happen and it did in the final hitting practice for the Herd before the opener against Hofstra in nine days.

Wallace and Charles, who held the "first down markers" in Saturday's scrimmage, came back with a vengence on Wednesday. Wallace had 73 yards on seven carries (8.6 yards per carry) and three touchdowns, including an inside handoff he turned into a 60-yard touchdown. Greg Perry of the HERD Insider said, "Butchie is really back. He took a little inside handoff and, boom, he was gone and ran away from the defenders chasing him." Charles also showed the speed and tough running Herd fans saw the junior college All- American show in the spring by adding seven carries for 54 yards (7.71 ypc).

Running backs coach Ernie Purnsley was quoted in The Charleston Gazette Thursday edition as saying, "They are healthy, and they are both starting to peak for next week's (opener with Hofstra)." Charles added for herdzone.com, "I just can not wait to play in my first Division I-A football game. We have many great options in our backfield."

Stan Hill had another great day, passing 20 times and completing 11 for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He had one interception to stop a scoring drive at the one-yard line, on a diving catch by defensive back Fernado Durdan who cut in front of Josh Davis. One touchdown toss went to Watts, as "Spiderman" caught four balls for 104 yards, including burning corner Terrick Thomas on a 60-yard bomb. Tight end Jason Rader had a 12-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion from Hill among his four catches for 39 yards.

The first team offense rolled to 302 yards in total offense and 10 first downs against the second team defense. Their gun was not fully loaded, with Curtis Keyes, Dennis Thorton, Renaldo Williams and Ivan Clark out with injuries. Also missing were two linebackers Carlos Morgan and Damarcus Thomas, who played with the first team while Kevin Atkins and J.T. Rembert rested injuries. Likewise, Jamus Martin was held out of contact with his hyper-extended elbow so the second team was also without Marcus Hairston, who had one and one-half sacks with the first defense.

The second team offense could generate only one first down verses the ones, but there were some good performances. Jimmy Skinner, playing for a sick with the flu Graham Gochnneaur, hit five of ten passes for 29 yards and no interceptions. Jason Schroeder caught three of those for 27 yards. Tank Tunstalle had six rushes for 12 yards and caught one pass for six yards. On the third team, Bernard Morris was 2-2 for 10 yards, both passes caught by Renard Stevens. Tim Besselo hit his only pass for 10 yards to Brian Shope, and Besselo added a three-yard rush.

On the special teams front, Tremel Guillory had a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown among his four returns for 107 yards (26.7 yards per return). Hiram Moore had a 21 yard punt return, Geremy Rodamer added a 15 yard return (and broke up a pass at safety). Charles had one kickoff return marked officially at 19 yards, but he came out from five yards in the endzone.

Ian O'Conner was 3-3 on extra points and Nick Kelly was 1-2. Ben Lewis is still healing from an abscess, but may return Saturday.

The team comes back to practice on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The Women's Football Clinic will be held at 7:00 p.m. tonight in the stadium's Big Green Room. Friday will be the last double practice day, with school starting on Monday. Bob Pruett and his coaches will caravan Friday night, starting at 6:00 p.m. at Kelly's Tavern in Barboursville, sponsored by Nitro Dodge and Kindred Communications. Other stops include Tascali's (7 pm), Lucky Draw (8pm) and R.T. Champs in Huntington's West End (9pm).

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