Herd wraps up spring
HUNTINGTON — The scoring was modified, the drives were situational, but Marshall University got what it wanted out of Saturday's Green and White Game.
The players displayed their skills in front of 5,115 fans in Joan C. Edwards Stadium while putting the finishing touches on a productive spring football practice.
The game took on more of a live practice feel with drives starting at different places on the field and no live special teams being used, but fans got to see some of the strides of the team up close and personal while getting some autographs with players on the field following the game, which the Green (offense) won 55-38.
"The sun was shining and we got out there and played some ball and it was a good thing," Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said. "To be honest with you, I don't like spring games. I thought we've had an excellent spring and I thought those guys came out and did some good things today."
The offense won the game by dominating the final portion of the live periods, which was two quarters long.
Quarterbacks Rakeem Cato and Blake Frohnapel alternated drives in the first quarter before Cato essentially watched the final quarter while taking part in fun promotions and other things with fans.
Cato finished 7-of-10 passing for 74 yards in his limited action, but led two scoring drives to end his day.
His 8-yard touchdown opened the scoring and his final throw was his best -- a 20-yard laser to Craig Wilkins between two defenders for a score.
"As far as offensive side of the ball, everyone did what they had to (this spring)," Cato said. "Some days we had our bad days, but for the most part, we had great days. Today was a good day."
Blake Frohnapfel got the most work on the day, running with the second unit early then moving to the first unit during the second quarter.
Frohnapfel continued to show why Holliday is speaking of incorporating a package for him in the fall. He finished 10-of-17 for 155 yards with two touchdown passes.
His highlight pass of the day came to brother Eric Frohnapfel, a tight end, during the situation portion late in the day.
Running with the ones, Blake saw Eric open behind the defense and lofted a beautifully-thrown pass for the score over top of Billy Mitchell in double coverage.
Normally, brothers give each other as much grief as possible, but this time, brother Eric was singing Blake's praise following the throw.
"Usually, we are just a distraction guy but it just worked out with the way the defense was playing me," Eric Frohnapfel said. "They were sitting on me and flat-footing me, so I broke open and I was hoping Blake would see me. He made a great read to look over and make the throw. He really put it in a great spot."
While the offense continued to make plays as it did in 2012, the fans finally got to see the new-look defense under coordinator Chuck Heater for the first time live.
One of the most impressive statistics seen was that the defense had nine pass break-ups in 84 plays as the corners got used to playing tighter coverage.
Chris Yamoah has a stellar day defensively, doing a bit of everything.
Yamoah finished with five tackles, including one for loss, two pass break-ups and a fumble recovery -- the lone turnover on the day.
Stefan Houston finished as the leading tackler with seven while Jermaine Holmes added six tackles, including two for loss.
On the ground, Marshall finished with 116 yards on 38 carries. The running backs were led by Stew Butler's 60 yards with 20 coming on a touchdown run to end the live periods.
Dameon Garrett had 72 yards receiving on four catches to lead the receivers.
Now, the Herd puts the pads away and heads back to the weight room where speed, agility and technique will become the focal point until returning to fall camp at the beginning of August.
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