HUNTINGTON — As Matthew Beardall went through Senior Day festivities, he was surrounded by his entire family.
Considering they have a football family, that isn’t a surprise. What was a surprise is that his brother, Andrew, was also on-hand at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
Andrew Beardall is a longsnapper at South Florida and played at UCF on Friday night. Yet, there he was on Saturday to walk with his older brother.
The journey it took to attend his brother’s Senior Day is quite impressive.
If keeping track at home, it was Tampa-to-Orlando-to-Tampa-to-Charlotte-to-Huntington in a 21-hour span.
“It was awesome,” Andrew Beardall said. “It made it all worth it, making it and being able to walk with him on the field.”
Adding to the fun was that South Florida bused to UCF at 2:30 p.m. Friday, arriving to Bright House Networks Stadium around 6 p.m. after going to the team hotel.
Matters were complicated a bit following the Bulls’ loss to UCF when one of USF’s buses broke down heading back to Tampa. That meant the younger Beardall brother didn’t roll into his house until the wee hours.
“I got home around 2:30 in the morning, showered really quick and left my apartment at 2:50,” Beardall said.
That exit gave him plenty of time before his 5 a.m. flight to head toward Huntington, right? Well, except for one detail.
“I got to the airport before the tram system was even open, so I had to sit there for 15 minutes and wait for it to open,” Beardall said. “When I got there, I was the first one to walk through security.”
Beardall’s parents — Jay and Cheryl — had also gameplanned for Andrew’s trip, leaving Matthew’s car at Tri-State Airport so he could come straight to the stadium.
“I jumped in, rushed over, changed in the CVS parking lot and made it just in time for his Senior Day,” Andrew Beardall said.
Andrew said making it for Matt’s Senior Day was integral, given how close the two have been as they’ve gone through the journey as college longsnappers together.
“He’s put his heart into this place,” Andrew said of his brother. “Absolutely, I wouldn’t want to miss it. He’s been huge for me. On game days, I’ll text him and he’ll text me just some things of motivation.
“Especially with our position being such a big mental thing, it’s a huge reminder of how much we’ve done this. He’s been a really big help for me to get comfortable with my situation.”
TWO QUICK TDS: After struggling to find any rhythm through three quarters, FIU scored two touchdowns in the first 18 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Anthony Jones scored on a 9-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to pull FIU within 17-14.
Then, after Marshall fumbled on its first snap of the next possession, FIU again found the end zone one play later when James Morgan hit Tony Gaiter IV for a 22-yard score.
After trailing 17-7 going into the fourth quarter, FIU led 21-17 just 18 seconds later.
MAKING GAINES: Xavier Gaines moved back into the quarterback spot with success in the Bison formation Saturday, but it was a wrinkle as an H-back that led him to the end zone.
After Brenden Knox had methodically moved Marshall into the red zone, Gaines lined up to his outside and took a Statue of Liberty handoff for a 20-yard touchdown.
It was Marshall’s first touchdown in six quarters — since the fourth quarter of the Louisiana Tech win.
CROSSING ENEMY LINES: As Marshall defensive end Fermin Silva went through Senior Day festivities, the emotions were high.
That’s because not only was it Senior Day with the Herd, but Silva was also getting ready to line up against his former team.
Silva came to Marshall as a graduate transfer from FIU where he stood out as a defensive end and linebacker prior to an injury that ended his 2018 season.
WHITE GOES THROUGH SENIOR DAY: Quarterback Jackson White — a redshirt junior — went through Saturday’s Senior Day festivities with the Herd.
That means the Herd’s entire placekicking operation — Beardall, White and placekicker Justin Rohrwasser — will have to be replaced in 2020.