ATHENS, Ohio (Sports Network) – Kevin Kerr missed a 47-yard field goal attempt with 30 seconds remaining in the game as the Ohio Bobcats were upended by the Marshall Thundering Herd, 24-21, in a Mid-American Conference battle from Peden Stadium.
Marshall (8-2, 6-1 MAC) was led to victory by Franklin Wallace, who rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. The always-dangerous Byron Leftwich finished with 219 passing yards on 19-of-29 accuracy with one touchdown and an interception.
Ohio (4-7, 4-3) was paced in the loss by Chad Brinker and Freddie Ray. Brinker rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, and also threw for a 58-yard score. Ray completed 7-of-17 passes for 66 yards and carried the ball 11 times for 44 yards and a touchdown.
Brinker opened the scoring late in the first quarter on a 48-yard run with under a minute left. The second quarter featured little scoring as well, with Curtis Head's 34-yard field goal serving as the final points of the half.
The Herd reached the end zone for the first time in the third quarter, taking a 10-7 lead on Leftwich’s 40-yard pass to Denero Marriott. Marshall then extended its lead to 10 points on Wallace’s two-yard run with 4:50 left in the stanza. Less than a minute later, Ohio cut the lead to 17-13 on a 58-yard touchdown pass from Brinker to Joe Mohler.
Marshall regained control in the fourth quarter when Stan Hill scampered in from six yards out to give the Herd a 24-13 edge with 8:58 to play in the game. Ray narrowed the gap for Ohio with an eight-yard touchdown run, then Brinker added a two-point conversion to pull within 24-21. The Bobcats, however, came up just short – or wide left, rather – on their final possession.