Ground Game Pushes Marshall Past Jacksonville, 35-28
[By Larry Krantz, Special to ETSN.fm]
MARSHALL -- Marshall running back Jacque Kuykendall scored twice on long runs as the Mavericks broke open a close game in the second half, then held off a late Jacksonville scoring opportunity to pick up their first win of the season, 35-28, Friday on homecoming at Maverick Stadium.
The win marked the first for first-year head coach Clint Harper, a Marshall native, and pushed the Mavs to 1-4 on the season.
Kuykendall, who rushed for a game-high 171 yards on 17 carries, scored on runs of 42 and 20 yards, respectively, as the Mavericks built a 14-point lead with 44 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Marshall running back Deondre Osborne later scored what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown when he capped a six-play, 75-yard drive with a two-yard run. The touchdown completed a 17-carry, 155-yard performance for Osborne.
Jacksonville fell to 0-5 for the first time since the 2003 season and is idle this week before opening District 16-4A play at home against Nacogdoches (3-1) on Oct. 11. The 2003 Indians, then under first-year head coach Randy Copeland, rallied to go undefeated in district play and make the playoffs.
Jacksonville junior quarterback Carter McCown led the team in rushing for the second consecutive week, finishing with 123 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. McCown also threw a pair of touchdowns to receiver Claude Franklin, including a five-yarder with 4:28 remaining that cut the Jacksonville deficit to seven points.
The Indians' defense, which struggled against the run most of the night, responded by forcing a Marshall punt after a holding call erased a 67-yard touchdown run by Marek Reyes on the ensuing possession.
Jacksonville drove 41 yards in 10 plays to the Marshall 20, but McCown threw incomplete twice on third and fourth downs as the clock ticked with less than 10 seconds to play.
Indians running back Braylon Parish scored on a career-high 81-yard run in the first quarter.