Sullivan manages some memorable moments in his return to Marshall
HUNTINGTON — Quarterback Eddie Sullivan finally scored a touchdown at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Three, in fact.
Granted, it was in a 52-24 losing effort, and Sullivan was wearing the uniform of the Western Carolina Catamounts, not the kelly green of the Marshall Thundering Herd that the transfer wore last year.
It was Sullivan’s first start for the Catamounts, after sitting out a 42-17 victory last week against Mars Hill in a one-game suspension for violating team rules.
“I thought Eddie played well,” said WCU head coach Mike Speir. “Eddie’s a competitor, and he plays hard, and he wanted to win tonight obviously for a lot of reasons.”
That competitive nature could be seen as the Catamounts quarterback more than once lobbyied his coaches to try and convert on several fourth-and-short situations, only to have the punting team sent out.
“Nothing against the coaches,” Sullivan said with a grin. ”Every player wants to go for those fourth downs. You always think you can get them.”
Sullivan said it was special to come back and play at Marshall after transferring at mid-season last year when it was apparent he wasn’t going to be the team’s starter and his redshirt was jeopardized by a lack of depth at quarterback.
“I was riding down (Interstate) 64 when we were coming in, and I started to get excited,” he said. “It was a good feeling.”
The Football Championship Subdivision Catamounts were not as deep or talented as their Football Bowl Subdivision foe, but Sullivan did manage to engineer three scoring drives, finishing the game 19 of 40 passing for 191 yards passing with one touchdown. He also scampered into the end zone for two touchdown runs.
The glaring error was an interception thrown right to MU linebacker Devin Arrington on a broken screen play in the waning minutes of the third quarter. Arrington took the ball 18 yards the other way for a Thundering Herd touchdown.
Speir also mentioned several dropped passes that plagued the Catamounts throughout the game.
“We hurt ourselves big time today,” Sullivan said. “We just need to play better football and get things right. We need to get everybody on the same page.”
The former Marshall player had high praise for the defense he went against Saturday night.
“I think Marshall is a great team,” he said. “They’re made mega-improvements from last year. They’re a way better team, they’re way more advanced and they’re playing good football.”
WCU next travels to Wofford, where the Catamounts have not won since 1981.
“I think we just need to keep playing ball and fixing our mistakes and we’ll be fine,” Sullivan said.