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Herald-Dispatch photo archive - Marshall University (white jerseys) lost to Morehead State (dark jerseys) 6-29 in the season opener Sept. 18, 1971, at Morehead. The 1971 team had a 2-8 record under coach Jack Lengyel. Team captain was Nate Ruffin.

Herald-Advertiser, Sept. 18, 1971.

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Marshall University's Young Thundering Herd started that long trail back Saturday night and the biggest disappointment was the score.

The Young Herd, playing for the first time since last November's air tragedy, acquitted themselves well Saturday night despite dropping a 29-6 decision to Morehead State University's Eagles at Breathitt Sports Center.

A record Morehead crowd of 11,000, an estimated 4,000 of them from Marshall, did not see the rout which many no doubt visualized.

A rugged Marshall defense made the Eagles earn every yard they gained. Morehead led 16-0 at the half and scored its last touchdown with 33 seconds to play.

The Young Thundering Herd, unable to mount the offensive consistency which Coach Jack Lengyel knew it had to have, jolted the Morehead fans and gave Marshall fans hope when it scored with 9:31 left in the third period.

The Young Herd drove 47 yards in seven plays with tight end Tom Smyth scoring the touchdown on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Reggie Oliver.

Oliver hit Smyth on the five and the big 205-pound sophomore literally flattened two Morehead defenders as he crashed into the end zone.

The Herd had gained possession on the 47 when it recovered an Eagle fumble.

After Dave Hamilton picked up one yard, Oliver hit wide receiver Lanny Steed over the middle for 20 years to the 28.

Oliver then lost five yards before hitting Steed again for 17 yards and when Morehead's Harry "Sugar Bear" Lyles was called for a personal foul, the ball was placed on the nine. Hamilton then lost two yards on two consecutive plays before Oliver hit Smyth for the score.

Oliver rolled to the right and just lofted the ball to Smyth who then bulled his way into the end zone.

Morehead had a total offense of 443 yards, 304 on the ground, but the Herd made the Eagles cough up the football four times on fumbles.

Middle guard Odell Graves and linebacker Rick Meckstroth were the defensive leaders for the Herd, each being in on 14 tackles. Graves, a freshman from Erie, Pa., made 12 individual tackles and Meckstroth 10.

Graves also recovered one fumble while Gene Nance covered two and sophomore defensive end Gary Dorsey one.

After the Marshall touchdown, the Eagles drove to the Herd 14 where the defense held as the third period ended.

The Eagles made it 23-6 on their first series of the fourth quarter with quarterback Dave Schaetzke scampering around left end from seven yards out for the touchdown. Kirk Andrews then booted the extra point.

The Herd was unable to mount another offensive threat after its score as the Morehead defense tightened.

Coach Jake Hallum began sprinkling his lineup with reserves with about seven minutes remaining and reserve quarterback Lou Mains took Morehead in for its final score.

Frank Jones, who was not listed on the Eagles' three-deep depth chart, scored it on a one-yard run.

Schaetzke, as expected, was the show for the Eagles. The Toledo, Ohio, sophomore picked up 87 yards rushing in 15 attempts and completed 13 of 23 passes for 109 yards.

John Coning added 66 yards rushing on 13 attempts while Marshall's top ground gainer was tailback John Johnstonbaugh with 57 yards on nine carries, all in the first half. Oliver completed seven of 14 passes for 78 yards with Smyth catching three for 33 yards.

Marshall managed one serious scoring threat in the first half when, thanks to a 39-yard scamper by John Johnstonbaugh, it drove to the Morehead seven-yard line.

However, the veteran Eagle defense stiffened and on fourth and goal from the eight, Tom Feely's 25-yard field goal attempt was wide to the left.

Johnstonbaugh's sprint stunned the Eagles who had taken a 9-0 lead on the previous series on Kirk Andrews' 27-yard field goal with 9:39 left in the half.

Dave Hamilton returned the ensuing kickoff 18 yards to the Marshall 24. The Young Herd, aided by a 15-yard personal foul call on Harry Lyles, moved to the Morehead 47 in four plays with Oliver picking up three yards for a first down.

After Terry Gardner picked up one yard to the 46, Johnstonbaugh hit off left tackle and broke to the sideline and needed only one block to have gone all the way.

The Eagles, who did not get their first down of the game until the 5:18 mark in the first period, scored with 13 seconds left in the first half when Cason scored on a 23-yard run over left tackle.

The stocky 5-8, 190-pound Cason, Morehead's leading ground gainer the last two seasons, was hit hard at the 13 but spun and continued into the end zone. It capped a drive which started on the Morehead 29 following a 44-yard punt by Ron Eshbaugh.

It took the Eagles only six plays to score with the big gainer coming when Schaetzke hit split end Mo Hollingsworth for 23 yards. Morehead missed the extra point when the center snap was low.

Andrews' field goal was set up on a 33-yard punt return by Hollingsworth which carried to the Marshall 27.

McCray carried two straight times for a first down at the 15. However, the Herd defense stiffened and on third-and-four, Schaetzke was thrown for a three-yard loss. Andrews, who missed two field goals from close range in MSU's 7-7 tie with Marshall in 1968, booted it through the uprights with 9:39 left in the half.

The Eagles made it 16-0 with 34 seconds left in the half when Schaetzke, surrounded by three Herd defenders, rifled a five-yard pass to John High in the end zone on third down.

The score climaxed an 80-yard drive following Fooly's abortive field goal attempt. The drive required 13 plays with Schaetzke picking up 43 on the ground and passing for another 13.

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