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Herald-Dispatch photo archive -

At the Sept. 25, 1971, game against Xavier University, Marshall University's live buffalo mascot, Marco, broke loose before the second half kickoff at Fairfield Stadium. Young Thundering Herd coach Jack Lengyel led the buffalo off the field. The Young Thundering Herd of Marshall University beat Xavier University, 15-13. It was the first win since the Nov. 14, 1970, plane crash that killed 75 Marshall University football players, coaches and fans upon returning to Huntington from East Carolina University, where the team had just suffered a heartbreaking 17-14 loss.

Gallery: Marshall's Young Thundering Herd victory against Xavier, Sept. 25, 1971

Sep. 01, 2014 @ 02:04 PM

The Young Thundering Herd of Marshall University (dark jerseys) beat Xavier University (white jerseys) 15-13 on Sept. 25, 1971, at Fairfield Stadium.

More Marshall Football Photos







It was the first win since the Nov. 14, 1970, plane crash that killed 75 Marshall University football players, coaches and fans upon returning to Huntington from East Carolina University, where the team had just suffered a heartbreaking 17-14 loss.

The 1971 team had a 2-8 record under coach Jack Lengyel. Team captain was Nate Ruffin.

A site here at www.Herald-Dispatch.com titled "1970 Marshall Plane Crash: The Real Story" is full of information:

- original game stories and rosters of the 1970 and '71 teams.

- photo galleries of the teams, Fairfield Stadium and more.

- biographical information about the victims.

- stories about Jack Lengyel, Nate Ruffin and Red Dawson.

- a history of Marshall football.

- coverage of the filming of the 2006 movie "We Are Marshall."

- and more.

Click here to access "1970 Marshall Plane Crash: The Real Story".

From 1966 to 1983, Marshall's football program suffered a dismal streak of losing seasons. In 1984, Marshall won its two final games on the road against Illinois State and East Tennessee State to finish with a 6-5 record for its first winning season in 20 years.

Note: The gentleman sitting with his cane in three of these photos was Patsy Jefferson, who owned the Riviera Golf Club with his wife, Thelma, according to Jack Dennis.

1971 Marshall University football roster

(Information from the 1971 Marshall media guide. Numbers might not match the photos.)

10, Dave Walsh, QB, Suffolk, Va.

12, Reggie Oliver, QB, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

13, Mark Miller, QB, Prestonsburg, Ky.

14, Steve Cooper, DB, Winfield, W.Va.

15, Rick Coleman, QB, Fayetteville, N.C.

15, Jim Pry, QB, Altoona, Pa.

16, Blake Smith, K, Downsville, N.Y.

19, Sidney Bell, DB, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

21, Felix Jordan, DB, Cincinnati, Ohio

22, Blandon Prater, TB, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

23, George Jackson, DB, Lynchburg, Va.

24, John Johnstonbaugh, TB, North Plainfield, N.J.

25, Nate Ruffin, DB, Quincy, Fla.

26, Terry Gardner, FB, West Portsmouth, Ohio

27, Gary Johnson, FB, West Hamlin, W.Va.

28, Randy Johnson, WR, South Plainfield, N.J.

29, Steve Johnson, DB, Hamburg, N.Y.

30, Gary Morgan, DB, Richmond, Va.

31, Chuck Bucek, DB, McKees Rock, Pa.

32, Bill Ralston, TB, St. Clairsville, Ohio

34, Randy Kerr, TE, St. Petersburg, Fla.

35, Bob Crawford, TB, Baltimore, Md.

36, Sam Botek, FB, Toledo, Ohio

37, Jim Cvelbar, DB, Euclid, Ohio

37, Bob Eshbaugh, K, Toronto, Ohio

38, Tim Collins, LB, Barboursville, W.Va.

39, Howie Carroll, FB, Shoals, W.Va.

40, Ned Burks, FB, Martinsburg, W.Va.

40, Jerry Arrasmith, WR, Elsmere, Ky.

41, Jim Gordon, SE, Toledo, Ohio

42, Gene Nance, DB, Indiana, Pa.

46, Kelly Sherwood, WR, Bellaire, Ohio

47, Roy Tabb, WR, Hayes, Va.

48, Lanny Steed, WR, Montgomery, W.Va.

49, Richard Washington, WR, York, Pa.

50, Keith Karl , C, East Patterson, N.J.

51, Dave Homa, LB, New York Mills, N.Y.

52, Gary Pfieger, C, Buffalo, N.Y.

52, Mike Swartley, C, Steelton, Pa.

53, Bart Taruill, MG, Rochelle Park, N.J.

54, John Shimp, C, Arlington, Va.

55, Ron Reddock, OG, Huntington Station, N.Y.

56, Bruce Jenks, MG, Louisa, Ky.

57, Dave McCoy, OG, Matewan, W.Va.

58, Sam Stefanidis, OG, Steubenville, Ohio

59, Odell Graves, MG, Erie, Pa.

60, Charles Henry, LB, Conway, S.C.

61, Bill Wright, OG, Troy, Ohio

62, Bob Miller, C, Washington, Pa.

62, Bob Bronger, OG, Louisville, Ky.

63, Rick Meckstroth, LB, Batavia, Ohio

63, Dan Norrell, OG, Hartsdale, N.Y.

64, Roy Kinnison, LB, Bellaire, Ohio

65, Eric Gessler, LB, West Union, W.Va.

66, Jesse Smith, OT, Barrackville, W.Va.

67, Roger Hillis, OT, Pleuna, Ala.

68, Bob Petras, C, Toronto, Ohio

69, Mike Sparks, DT, Wayne, N.J.

70, Jack Crabtree, OT, Tazewell, Va.

71, Rick Fedders, OT, Fort Mitchell, Ky.

72, Dan Polcyn, DT, Gallipolis, Ohio

73, Allen Meadows, DT, Madison, W.Va.

74, Ace Loding, DT, Yorktown, Va.

76, Chuck Wright, DT, Charleston, W.Va.

77, Ed Carter, OG, Wichita Falls, Texas

79, Jim Bundick, OT, Newport News, Va.

80, Jon Rothgeb, DE, Cheshire, Ohio

81, Tom Smyth, TE, Cincinnati, Ohio

82, Dave Smith, LB, Dayton, Ohio

83, Tom Bossie, TE, Charleston, W.Va.

85, Gary Dorsey, DE, Beckley, W.Va.

85, John Durkin, TE, Huntington, W.Va.

86, Fred Payne, DE, Bradshaw, W.Va.

87, Bernie Buttrey, DE, St. Mary's, W.Va.

88, Pete Diabo, DE, Buffalo, N.Y.

89, Frank Brinkmoeller, LB, Cincinnati, Ohio

89, Carey Moore, FL, Riveria Beach, Fla.

90, Ray Spangler, DT, Wayne, W.Va.

92, Floyd Thomas, DT, Flint, Mich.

93, Dan Canada, OG, Pikeville, Ky.

94, Ed Parker, DE, Beaver Falls, Pa.

95, Al Early, TE, Huntington, W.Va.

99, Bob Compton, DE, West Portsmouth, Ohio