Marshall was beaten 26-0 by the Hargrave team, which plays and practices for a full slate of games against other prep schools like FUMA and sub-varsity teams at MU and Virginia Tech. The young Thundering Herd players, however, do not practice together and many of these players are used mostly to run the scout team plays of opponents like West Virginia, Hofstra, Kansas State, Tennessee and, up next for MU, the Golden Knights of Central Florida (UCF).
Hargrave, who has sent four players to Marshall (Cody Slate, Blake Merritt, Dennis Thornton and Chubb Small), sent 21 players to Division I-A teams in 2006. Marshall signed Mario Harvey and Slate back in the winter out of Hargrave, but Harvey is in community college and is expected to join the Herd in January. There were quite a number of players in the Orange Hargrave uniforms in this game who observers in the press box would also look good in Thundering Herd Green and White.
H.B. Banjoman, a 5-foot-10, 220 pound running back out of Front Royal, Virginia for Hargrave, ran just six times for 104 yards, while Randell Bell (5-9, 190, College Park, Ga.) had nine carries for 36 yards and the third quarter touchdown. Also kicking two field goals for Tigers was Kyle Hughes (6-1, 190, Columbia, S.C.), good from 26 and 32 yards. Hughes also had an extra-point blocked by the Herd's Danile Wells, and a field goal blocked by Jeff Bush. Quarterback Emanuel Francis (6-3, 190, Tallahassee, Fla.) hit on 10-of-13 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing two times for 18 yards. The first scoring pass went to Chris Slaughter (6-3, 190, Fort Valley, Ga.) for 32 yards, with MU blocking the extra-point. The second was to Ben Finney (6-4, 215, Portsmouth, Va.) for 13 yards, giving Hargrave the 23-0 lead and the eventual 26-0 win.
Head coach Mark Snyder told the Marshall Quarterback Club on Tuesday this is a real chance for some young Marshall players to get some real scrimmage action, as well as bring in some outstanding players from one of the Herd's recruiting hot-beds. "We want Hargrave to enjoy their time in Huntington, have a great visit and hope some of them will return to play at Marshall." Some of Marshall's players had a good day, with many out of position. Tight end Joe Bragg played both offensive tackle and defensive end and was hardly out of the game. Bush played both defensive line, his usual position, as well as offensive line.
Marshall quarterback Wesley Beardain was sharp with a strong rush by Hargrave throughout the game. He hit on 10-of-16 for 63 yards as the only QB for MU in the contest. He was not sacked, but threw under-the-gun quite a bit. Former Huntington High School running back Antoine Cabarrus rushed for 65 yards on 23 carries, while fullback Cody Tominack had 3 rushes for 17 yards, including a long of 15 yards late in the game. Tominack lost two fumbles. Marty Biagi, who hurt his foot in the pre-season and has not punted this year for Marshall, punted three times for 131 yards, averaging 43.7 yards per punt, and had a long of 56 yards to end the contest.
At receiver, Kyle Echols had six catches for 32 yards at receiver, while sophomore William Barber caught two for 16 yards. Darryl Jones had two catches for 15 yards in the game. Terick Thomas retunred two kickoffs for 37 yards. Cabarrus returned two kicks for 41 yards
Hargrave out-gained the Herd 385 to 140 yard in total offense, with 172 yards rushing on the ground and passed for for 213 yards. Hargrave's three quarterbacks, including Andre Canantone (6-3, 230, Shreveport, La.), who hit 4-of-8 for 40 yards, and Jamie Childers (6-5, 220, Mount Pleasant, S.C.) hit for 2-of-2 for eight yards. Slaughter ended the game with four catchesw for 84 yards and the touchdown. Brent Vinson (6-2, 180, Hampton, Va.) had four catches for 42 yards and an 18 yard rush. Finney had two catches for 24, including the 13 yard touchdown. Jake Fields, a 6-foot-2, 235 pound punter from nearby Hurricane, W.Va., hit for two kicks for 86 yards, a long of 46 yards and placed a 40 yard kick inside the Herd 20-yard line.
Defensively, the Herd was led by T. Thomas with eight tackles, five solo, and three passes broken up. Wells added six tackles and one tackle-for-loss to his kick block, and Mahala Wiggins had five tackles for Marshall. For Hargrave, linebacker Almondo Sewell (6-2, 235, Trenton, N.J.) had six tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss and recovered a fumble for the Tigers, who recorded six tackles in the backfield. Free Safety Brett Orr (6-0, 196, Deerfield Beach, Fla.) had five tackles, as did cornerback Gerald Price (5-9, 190, Hagerstown, Md.), along with 0.5 tackle-for-loss. Defensive lineman Jon Hollins (6-3, 265, Baton Rouge, La.) had four tackles and forced a fumble, while middle linebacker Drake Daniel (6-foot-1, 235 pounds from Fayetteville, N.C.) had four tackles and a tackle-for-loss. DT Ladi Ajiboyi (6-4, 290, Riverside, Cal.) chipped in with three tackles, a tackle-for-loss and forced a fumble.