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>>caption: WARD RUNNING FOR HIS FIRST
OF TWO TOUCHDOWNS<<
@ FORD FIELD:
Marshall took a 21-0 lead by midway through
the 2nd-Qtr, then had to hold on for a 21-17 win
over Ohio at the Little Caesars Pizza (formerly
Motor City) Bowl Saturday afternoon.
Marshall played in the first four Motor City
Bowls from 1997--2000, losing the inaugural
game and winning the next three.
Ohio fell to 0-4 all-time in bowl games.
Penalties plagued the Bobcats in the opening
half and the Thundering Herd after intermission.
Ohio U managed to get back in the ballgame
even though the B'Cats had just 12 rushing yards,
only 123 total offensive yards and were a poor
3-for-15 on third and fourth down conversions.
An interception by Marshall's DeQuan Bembry with 40-sec to play squashed Ohio's
last comeback bid.
Martin Ward broke four tackles as he rushed for Marshall's first touchdown
on a 12-yard run with 1:17 left in the 1st-Qtr. After Ohio's quick 3-&-out, Andre
Booker's career-longest 58-yard punt return was good for the Herd's second TD
on the final play of the first frame. Ward then scored his second touchdown (his
single game career-high) on his second up-the-middle rush of 2-yards to make
it 21-Zip with 7:21 remaining in the 2nd-Qtr.
The ball bounced into the arms of Ohio's Shannon Ballard for a 75-yard fumble
return touchdown which got Ohio back in the ballgame 21-7 with 5:25 to go in the
2nd-Qtr. The Bobcats then scored twice in the 3rd-Qtr on an 8-yard Theo Scott to
Terrance McCrae TD pass with 7:11 left and via a 46-yard Matt Weller field goal
with 4:38 on the clock for the 21-17 final.
Marshall earned the win for interim coach Rick Minter, a Herd assistant who
served as boss between the resignation of Mark Snyder and the start of the tenure
of hiree Doc Holliday, a West Virginia and a former Florida Gators assistant.
Martin rushed nine times for 72-yards and his two TDs and caught one, 1-yard
pass to be named the game's MVP.
The announced attendance of 30,311 was the smallest in the 13 year history of
the Motor City/Little Caesars Pizza Bowls.
MARSHALL INT-COACH RICK MINTER: "We got out to the jump-start, then had
to hold on. We put the hammer down when it counted the most. Our guys are
conditioned to win the fourth quarter...Our guys were really flying around [on
defense], having fun. I'm usually in the press box [calling plays]. I loved being
on the field...Probably, not many guys from our [coaching] staff will be asked
back. That’s part of the business. We’re not shedding tears...To do this, after
what we’ve been through in the last month, that shows you what this program is
MARSHALL RB MARTIN WARD: "My offensive line did a great job and I just ran
hard. I just want to thank the coaches for calling my number."
MARSHALL DB DeQUAN BEMBRY: "I thought I'd catch up to it [on his interception],
but I was happy 23 [Ohio's Taylor Price] didn't catch it...I knew the game was on
the line. We had to win it for the seniors."
OHIO H-COACH FRANK SOLICH: "Our players played hard throughout the course
of the second half. But for whatever reason, we were not ready to go at the
beginning of the game."
Ohio and Marshall are just 82 miles apart and met 52 times between 1905 and
2004 in the "Battle for the Bell."
Ohio fell shy of getting its first 10 win season since 1968.
Marshall finished 7-6 for its first winning season since 2005. Ohio ended 9-5,
closing with a pair of Ford Field losses in the MAC title game to Central Michigan
and in the L-Caesars Pizza Bowl.
The Mid-American Conference has now lost 11 consecutive bowl games. The
last MAC post-season win was Central Michigan's victory vs Middle Tennessee in
the 2006 Motor City Bowl.
Line judge Sarah Thomas, an official from Conference USA, became the first
woman to ever officiate in a college football bowl game.
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