HUNTINGTON — Marshall University wide receiver Broc Thompson looked in the stands and saw his brother, Trevor, watching him on the field for the first time in two years.

At that point, Thompson knew he had to do something special during Saturday's scrimmage.

Thompson hauled in a pair of touchdown passes from backup quarterback Alex Thomson to highlight a day in which the offense had several big plays to its credit.

"I think it's just getting into a game atmosphere," Thompson said. "When you've got eyes on you, you want to make sure that everything looks good and you give your best effort."

The Thomson-to-Thompson connection struck twice with each featuring timing and chemistry that has been forged in the preseason camp. On the first touchdown, Thomson's touch and location were on target as he lofted a pass to the back pylon where only Thompson could get it for an 11-yard score that opened the day.

The second score was a bit higher on the difficulty scale as Thompson executed a double move then high-pointed the football for a 31-yard score that sent the sidelines into a celebration.

Despite the score, Marshall head coach Doc Holliday was quick to point out that Thompson, who was flagged for spinning the football following the score, still has a ways to go.

"He'd better learn what to do when he scores a touchdown or he won't play," Holliday said. "That being said, other than that, he's a young kid that's got to learn, but he's a skilled guy. ... He's going to be a good player for us."

Big plays from the offense did not stop with Thompson.

Perhaps the top play of the day came from tight end Xavier Gaines, who found himself in one-on-one coverage on the outside and went over top of a defender for a 20-yard score from starting quarterback Isaiah Green that had the entire team — defense included — congratulating him on the highlight-reel catch.

Green said it is the continuation of Gaines showcasing his ability to be a major playmaker at tight end for the Herd.

"He's come a long way," Green said. "It's always hard to go from quarterback to any other position because it's such a unique spot, and last year, I feel like he was just learning last year. Right now, I'm fully confident in what he can do. He might be one of the fastest guys we have on offense and he can go up and get it. He can do a lot for this offense."

Running backs Tyler King and Brenden Knox saw limited action in Holliday's "we know what they can do" philosophy of resting experienced players during scrimmages to decrease risk of injury, but a pair of young running backs showed their talent on Saturday.

Lawrence Papillon broke a pair of runs early, and Knowledge McDaniel showcased his strength and ability to gain yards after contact with a pair of runs late in the session.

Defensively, the biggest mark was made from graduate transfer safety Quinton Jordan, who had five tackles in the first eight plays of the scrimmage, including a run-stuff on third-and-1 that ended the first drive.

J'Coryan Anderson, a freshman linebacker, also got the session's lone turnover when he dove to haul in a pass from Grant Wells that had bounded off the hands of a wide receiver.

Following the scrimmage, Marshall coach Doc Holliday said he was pleased with the work that the team got in on Saturday — especially in situational play.

"We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish," Holliday said. "Our two-minute drill went for about 37 plays, so that was good. It was officiated and we worked the clock and timeouts the way they are supposed to be work. The fundamentals of it were good."

Saturday's session, which took place in front of almost 100 fans, was the last true scrimmage that Marshall will get in prior to its Aug. 31 opener against VMI.

Next week, focus shifts from camp mode to more of game preparation for the Keydets.


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