Grant Traylor: Lots of firsts for Herd in win
Saturday’s 52-24 win over Western Carolina provided several Marshall players with some memorable moments on the field.
Senior linebacker Devin Arrington celebrated his first career interception, which he took back 18 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Arrington, who spent last season playing safety, had waited a long time for that interception and it came against former teammate Eddie Sullivan, who transferred to Western Carolina last year.
“It felt good to fly around as a defense and do what we are used to doing,” Arrington said.
A pair of running backs also got their first taste of the end zone during the third quarter of Saturday’s win.
Steward Butler scored on an 8-yard run with 6:59 left in the quarter and Remi Watson followed with a 3-yard plunge for his first score with 2:12 left in the stanza.
“Some of these young kids are starting to grow up,” Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. “We had two freshmen score their first touchdowns — Remi and Stew.”
Earlier in the contest, wide receiver Demetrius Evans caught the first scoring pass of his career on a 12-yard connection with quarterback Rakeem Cato.
Marshall’s scoring in the contest ended with one more first — quarterback Blake Frohnapfel’s first touchdown pass.
Fittingly, the score went to his brother, tight end Eric Frohnapfel, on a 29-yard strike with 6:57 left in the game.
“It was a lot of fun to see Fro get his first touchdown to his brother,” Holliday said. “There were a lot of positives out there.”
HUNTER MOVES TO LINEBACKER: D.J. Hunter became the latest safety to make the switch to linebacker on Saturday. Hunter, a 5-foot-10, 193-pound nickelback previously, got the start at outside linebacker and finished with six tackles.
AIKEN RETURNS AS STARTER: Defensive tackle Marques Aiken returned to the starting lineup after missing last week’s first half because of a Conference USA suspension. The suspension came down after Aiken was involved in an altercation at the end of the Herd’s 20-10 win over FIU in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl.
Aiken’s absence last week forced the Herd to practice a three-man front with Alex Bazzie and Ra’Shawde Myers at ends and Jeremiah Taylor — normally a defensive end — at defensive tackle.
SCOTT, LOVELL DON’T DRESS: As expected, Marshall offensive tackle Garrett Scott did not dress for Saturday’s contest. Scott injured his leg in last week’s loss to West Virginia and was carted off the field. Earlier in the week, Holliday said Scott wasn’t nearly as hurt as originally thought, but he would be a wait-and-see decision for the game.
Gage Niemeyer started in Scott’s place at right tackle.
Offensive guard Josh Lovell also did not dress for the contest and Alex Schooler took his spot in the starting lineup. Lovell was seen at practice earlier this week with a brace on his left knee.
LEGGETT DONE FOR YEAR: Holliday announced following the game that freshman cornerback A.J. Leggett had shoulder surgery Thursday and will miss the remainder of the season.
Leggett, who was penciled in as a backup cornerback on the two-deep, injured his shoulder in the preseason.
He traveled with the Herd to West Virginia last week, but did not see any action. Leggett will redshirt this season.
Grant Traylor is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter (@GrantTraylor).