Huntington Herald-Advertiser, September 20, 1970.
It was a glorious day of first for Marshall's oft-battered football team Saturday as it played the role of opportunist in a 17-7 victory over old nemesis Morehead.
It was the first game on Fairfield Stadium's new synthetic AstroTurf . . . and, the first opening game victory since 1966, which was also the last time the Thunder Herd defeated the Eagles.
It was the first full house (11,000 estimate) for an opener in many years, and the throng included the governor of west Virginia, Arch A. Moore, Jr., the governor delivered a short "pep talk" to the thundering Herd prior to the game. In return the Marshall players, after the victory, voted to send the game ball to the governor's mansion in Charleston.
The chief executive now has a 102 football record on visits here.
Ted Shoebridge, Marshall's fine junior quarterback, scored both touchdowns, and sophomore Marcelo Lajterman, a soccer-style place kicker who followed Shoebridge from Lyndhurst, N. J., slammed home a 29-yard field goal.
But, it was Marshall's opportunistic defense that cloaked itself in glory. The alert MU defenders picked off three Morehead passes, recovered two fumbles, and stopped the Eagles once inside the Herd 10 yard line.
The game wasn't a minute old before Marshall and Shoebridge had rung up the first touchdown.
Dennis Blevins kicked off for Marshall and Mo Hollingsworth fumbled the ball to Capt. David Griffith at the Eagles 12 yard line. Hollingsworth, a speedster and a usually sure-handed wide receiver, could not get a firm grip on the squirming pigskin which was booted short to near the 10 yard line.
Griffith first tried to scoop up the bouncing ball, then finally fell on it.
On the first play from scrimmage Shoebridge rolled to his left and skirted the Eagles' flank for the six points. Lajterman drilled the point after and the Herd was off and winging.
The run for the score set the Marshall offensive trend for the day. Shoebridge, who virtually rewrote the Marshall passing record book as a sophomore, suffered through his worst varsity game.
The Jersey Jet connected on but six of 15 passes for 105 yards and was intercepted twice. However, the Shoe wasn't totally at fault.
Shoebridge wasn't getting the best protection from the offensive line, one completion was called back on a holding penalty, and flanker Jack Repasy couldn't h hang on to what appeared to be a touchdown "bomb" in the fourth quarter. The ball was on Repasy's finger tips, but he was trying t make the catch while looking straight into the sun.
Hood and Harris sparked a ground attack that netted 151 yards. Hood, the day's individual leading gainer, averaged just over four yards a try by picking up 75 yards on 18 carries. Harris carried 15 times for 71 yards and caught two passes for 31 yards.
Harris almost threw for a touchdown in the second quarter. From the third and 10 at the Morehead 14 he faked a run to the right, then threw to Repasy in the end zone corner. Jack jumped to make the catch but came down with both feet out of bounds.
On the next play Lajterman attempted a 32-yard field goal but was wide to the left.
His 29-yarder came in the first quarter after sophomore Felix Jordan turned in his first of two interceptions off Morehead staring quarter back Buck Donley.
The Marshall front four put a hard rush on Donley and the hurried pass was thrown high. Jordan picked it off at the Eagles' 43 and returned 16 yards to the 27.
Hood, got 16 on a quick pitch to the left, but Shoebridge lost 12 on the next play when he momentarily bobbled the center snap and ran backward, juggling the ball. A Shoe-to-Repasy pass regained 11 yards, but a throw to Blevins for the score went incomplete. That set up a fourth-and-11 situation and Lajterman responded with the field goal.
Morehead took the ensuing kickoff and made its strongest scoring bid of the first half. The Eagles marched 39 yards in 12 plays and had a fourth-and-third situation at the MU seven. But Dennis Crowley in the big play was met by Griffith and Larry (The Governor) Brown and dropped for a two-yard loss.
The brightest spot in the MU offense were the thrusts of the sophomore running backs Joe Hood and Art Harris.
Marshall got its final score off the opening drive of the second half. Art Harris returned Tom Byrant's boot 22 yards to the MU 45. Shoebridge then engineered the Herd 55 yards in six plays and threw a crucial 42-yard pass to hood to put the ball on the Eagles' 12. It came on a third-and-9 situation from the Marshall 45.
Art Harris carried to the eight. Shoebridge missed on a pass, then Teddie skirted right end for six points. Lajterman split the goal posts for the point after.
Marshall, however, flittered away some other scoring chances. Jordan's second interception gave the Herd the ball in the Morehead nine as he picked off a Donley pass at the eagle 42 and raced it back 33 yards.
Art Harris carried to the seven. Hood was stopped for no gain, then lost five. And, Shoe on a fourth-and-goal from the even fumbled a center snap and lost three more.
Morehead ran one play and Crowley fumbled to Marshall's Bob VanHorn, a defensive ... Morehead's secondary. However, teamed up to stop this Herd threat. Ron Gathright got a hand on a pass intended for Repasy and tipped it to teammate Larry Baldridge.
Morehead's lone score came on a Dave Schaetzke to Gary Shirk fourth-quarter pass that covered 49 yards. Twice MU defenders, the last Bobby Hill at the five, and shots at Shirk but he shook them off. Kirk Andrews booted the extra point.
Marshall was on the Morehead 12 yards line when the game ended.
Toledo 0, 0, 0, 3, 3
Marshall 17, 196, 20, 52
MU- Shoebridge 12 run (Lajterman kick)
MU- Lajterman 29 FG
MU- Shoebridge 4 run (Lajterman kick)
MSU Shirk 49 pass from Schaetzke (Andrews kick)
STATISTICS -- MSU & Marshall
First downs 9 14
Rushing yardage 52 151
Passing yardage 1 01 105
Passes 1-24-3 4-16-2
Return yardage 92 92
Punts 7-40-7 6-41-1
Fumbles lost 2 0
Yards penalized 45 54
Marshall: Hood 18-75; A Harris 15-71; Carter 4-11; Shoebridge 6-6
Morehead: Moore 5-25; Donley 4-15; Crowley 5-8; Coning 5-7.
Marshall: Shoebridge 6-15-2, 105 yards; Donley 3-7-2, 24 yards; A Harris 0-1-0.
Morehead: Donley 3-7-2; 24 yards; Schaetzke 4-15-0, 77 yards; Mains 0-2-1.
Marshall: A Harris, 2-31; Hood 1-42; Carter 1-20; Repasy 1-11; Wilson 1-1.
Morehead: Shirk 3-81; Perkins 2-13; Moore 2-27.