"I'm really tickled," said Marshall coach Bob Pruett after the game. "I think that we've made a few strides. And I think that right now, we're a better football team on both sides of the ball that we were at any point last year."
But it should be noted that the White team (the #2 offense and defense units) put up one heckuva' fight. Quarterback Byron Leftwich found his Green squad down 26-0 just a few minutes into the game, courtesy of a safety when defensive end Marcus Hairston sacked Leftwich for a safety.
However, in true Leftwich style, the senior quarterback led the Green team on multiple scoring drives to give his team a 28-26 lead. Marshall coach Bob Pruett laid on another 10 point deficit (36-28) midway through the scrimmage, only to watch as Leftwich and backup Stan Hill erased that deficit again. Hill's scoring toss to Darius Watts proved the game-winner.
Leftwich finished the scrimmage throwing 17-for-27, 267 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception. Backup Stan Hill was impressive, going 8-for-16, 76 yards, 1 TD, but 3 interceptions. Andrew English also saw considerable action, and finished going 3-for-10, 31 yards, and one interception.
"I got in there on that last play and scored a touchdown," said Stan Hill. "You've got Darius Watts and JD (Josh Davis) and Denero Marriott to throw to. You know, you can't ask for much more than that."
Quarterback Byron Leftwich threw for 267 yards, 1 TD, and signed a bazillion autographs at the Green-White scrimmage.
Leftwich was pulled midway through the third (of three total) quarters, and spent the remainder of the evening ensconced in a group of fans, signing autographs.
"I think I missed two or three passes I should have hit," Byron Leftwich said after the scrimmage. "But that's the spring. I think overall, we did okay. Our defense did a heckuva' job. Those guys are fast out there."
Receiver Denero Marriott stole the show, grabbing 8 catches for 157 yards and one touchdown for the Green team. Josh Davis hauled in 4 passes for 74 yards, while Darius Watts overcame a bum ankle for 3 catches, 45 yards, and the game-winning TD.
For the White team, Brad Bates hauled in 3 catches for 21 yards, while Curtis Jones (2-for-25 yards), Joe Deifel (2-for-8 yards) and Demetrius Doss (1-for-10 yards) also contributed.
The Marshall running game featured double-digit attempts on both squads. Franklin Wallace carried the ball 14 times for 74 yards and three TDs for the Green, while Brandon Carey had 13 carries for 44 yards for the White squad.
"They gave the White team 10 points later in the game," said Franklin Wallace afterward. "I think that put us in a postion we're used to."
Kicker Curtis Head nailed a 20-yard FG while missing a 26-yarder. Head also attempted a fake, but was quickly gang-tackled by the White defense.
And speaking of defense, Charlie Tynes made a statement for the Green team, making 8 tackles and blocking one punt. Jamus Martin was close behind with 5 tackles including 3 for loss, while Chris Crocker (6 tackles) and Yancey Satterwhite (6 as well) also made statements.
"I was just having fun out here today," said Yancey Satterwhite. "We're trying to utilize our speed this year. We're just focused on the run. I think we've improved a lot on the D line."
The White defense was led by Gladstone Coke with 6 tackles. Defensive end Marcus Hairston stepped into the spotlight, recording two quarterback sacks including one of Leftwich for a safety.
The Green-White game effectively wrapped up Marshall's spring practices, which began five weeks ago. The team now has the summer off and will return to practice in early August, in preparation for the opener against Appalachian State, and the short road trip to Virginia Tech.