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(Saturday, August 31)
Final Score: Marshall 52, Miami-Ohio 14
Huntington, WV (Sports Network) - Rakeem Cato tied a career-high with five touchdown passes, as the Marshall Thundering Herd used a dominating second half to dismantle the Miami-Ohio RedHawks, 52-14, in non-conference action to start the season at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
Cato completed 22-of-34 pass attempts for 253 yards for Marshall (1-0), finding nine different receivers on the night. Tommy Shuler hauled in nine receptions for 67 yards and a touchdowns, while Gator Hoskins was on the receiving end of two touchdown passes. The Herd was also strong on the ground, rushing for 304 yards, led by Steward Butler's 107-yard performance. Essray Taliaferro (89 yards, TD) was also effective.
Austin Boucher failed to impress under center for Miami-Ohio (0-1), completing just 10-of-22 passes for 165 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Unlike Marshall, the RedHawks were ineffective on the ground, rushing for 74 yards on 34 attempts (2.2 ypc).
The RedHawks got the scoring started midway through the first quarter when Boucher connected with Steve Marck on an eight-yard touchdown strike.
After being shut out in the opening frame, Marshall came alive in the second quarter. First, Taliaferro rushed in a one-yard touchdown to tie the game up, then Cato delivered a four-yard touchdown pass to Shuler to give the Herd a 14-7 lead.
Miami-Ohio responded less than two minutes later when Spencer Treadwell ran in a two-yard touchdown, and the teams went into the halftime locker room tied up, 14-14.
Marshall regained a seven-point advantage early in the third quarter following 20-yard touchdown pass from Cato to Hoskins. Cato struck again less than four minutes later, finding Craig Wilkins for a 16-yard touchdown to give the Herd a 28-14 lead.
The Herd's run continued later in the third quarter when Cato hooked up with Hoskins for yet another touchdown, this time from 14 yards out.
Justin Haig chipped in a 35-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter for the Herd. They added to the blowout minutes later with a 54-yard touchdown pass from Cato to Devon Smith.
Austin Boucher intercepted a pass seconds later and returned it for a touchdown, giving Marshall 38 unanswered points to end the game.
Marshall more than doubled Miami-Ohio's total yardage output (591 to 239) and had nearly four times as many first downs (34 to 9).
08/31 23:50:50 ET