Herald-Advertiser, Nov. 6, 1971.
KENT, Ohio -- It was a bitter, disappointing "homecoming" for Marshall coach Jack Lengyel here Saturday as his Thundering Herd sputtered time after time and lost to Kent State 21-0.
Lengyel is a native of Akron, 15 miles to the west, and many old friends braved the cold rain that fell throughout much of the game to see the MU team, which last week pulled the shocker of shockers with a 12-10 victory over Bowling Green in Huntington.
Saturday, however, the Herd "just wasn't ready to play football," said Lengyel as he met newsmen in the MU locker room. "We had all kinds of chances. We just didn't do the job. And, on defense, we weren't locking the tackle ..."
Kent State turned back Marshall scoring chances three times in the first quarter as fumbles and interceptions plagued the Golden Flashes in the early going. But, quarterback Larry Hayes rallied his quick-striking Flashes for two second-quarter touchdowns, and tacked on another score in the third to salt away Kent's third victory of the season against six losses, and to send the Herd down to its sixth loss. Marshall has won twice.
Sophomore speedster Renard Harmon scored Kent's first touchdown on a 13-yard burst over right guard on the third play of the second stanza to cap an eight-play, 54-yard Kent march, and Gordon Ober kicked his first of three extra points.
Flanker Jeff Murray got their other two KSU touchdowns, going 14 yards untouched on a counter right with 6:02 to play in the first half, and taking a two-yard pass from Hayes with 27 seconds left in the third period.
Kent rolled up 311 yards on the ground, tacked on 64 yards passing for 375 yards total offense, and had 20 first downs to Marshall's 14.
The Herd, after 330 yards last week against Bowling Green, rushed for 97 and passed for 96 for 193 total.
Hayes and Harmon spearheaded the KSU attack. The shifty Kent quarterback gained 103 yards on 18 carries, and hit three of seven passes for 25 more, while Harmon, a sophomore tailback, gained 77 yards on 12 tries. Second unit fullback John Matsko pulled his way for 68 more yards, carrying 11 times.
The Marshall quarterbacks, starter David Walsh and Reggie Oliver, threw 35 times, completing but nine, and Walsh, who went most of the way, was intercepted three times. Marshall also lost five of six fumbles, but got a little help from Kent which lost three.
Terry Gardner was the Herd's leading ground gainer with 57 yards on 1 rush. John Johnstonbaugh, who had 98 yards against BeeGee, was held to 25.
The poor Marshall showing enabled Kent to log its first shutout victory since 1967 -- 47 games.
Marshall fell behind 14-0 in the second quarter despite four golden scoring opportunities -- three in the first quarter and one in the second.
The Herd took the opening kickoff and failed to pick up a first down. Bob Eshbaugh's punt was fielded by Harmon at his 32 and he fumbled to tackle Roger Hillis. But the Kent defense proved as tough in its own territory as it was at the MU 20 as four plays -- two runs, a pass and an attempt to throw -- netted the Herd one yard.
Taking over on its 31, Kent went to fullback Rich Oden who fumbled to MU linebacker Charles Henry. The Herd freshman picked off the loose ball in flight at the KSU 33 and ran it to the 26.
Oliver took over quarterback for the Herd and promptly hit tight end Randy Kerr for 21 yards and a first down at the Kent six. Oliver kept for no gain, Johnstonbaugh gained two, but Oliver lost one. On fourth-and-goal at the five, Oliver overthrew Jim Gordon in the end zone.
From its own 10, Kent's third play from scrimmage backfired as Hayes' pass was intercepted by Flip Jordan at the KSU 26. Two Marshall plays netted nine as Oliver kept for four and Terry Gardner picked up five. But Johnstonbaugh, on third-and-one, was stopped for no gain, and a pitch to Gardner on fourth rolled away to the KSU 27 where linebacker Tim Kouski fell on it.
In the second quarter, with just over three minutes to play, Harmon lost another Eshbaugh punt, this time at his 45. Jack Crabtree took the ball away from Harmon who was falling as he tried to field it.