HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – It wasn’t pretty, but the Thundering Herd got the job done.
Marshall defeated Gardner-Webb 28-7 Saturday in their first home game at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in nearly a month. The defense dominated the Runnin’ Bulldogs, forcing four turnovers and three interceptions including two from Steven Gilmore. The Herd have not allowed a defensive touchdown in two-straight games.
“You look at last year and having a new scheme on defense it’s kind of tricky at first but give it a year to turnaround, everyone’s clicking,” defensive end Koby Cumberlander said. “When you click your defense plays lights out and that’s what we’ve been able to do for the last two games.”
Henry Colombi connected with freshman tailback A.J. Turner on a screen pass for a 24-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter to give Marshall the 7-0 lead. Gardner-Webb countered on a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown by freshman Ty Anderson to tie the game.
From there, the Thundering Herd were in control. The offense continued to struggle, passing for under 200 yards, but allowed only that one turnover. Colombi finished the day completing 13 of 20 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with Corey Gammage in the second quarter to give Marshall a 14-7 lead at the half.
Colombi was injured late in the second quarter and did not return. Cam Fancher, in relief of Colombi, finished 8-13 with 47 yards. The sixth-year senior said after the game that he is fine, but Head Coach Charles Huff did not let him return out of an abundance of caution.
Khalan Laborn had another great rushing performance, adding 191 yards on 35 carries and two touchdowns, including a 78-yard score in the fourth quarter. Laborn has recorded more than 100 yards on the ground in all five games this season.
“I’m glad our team experienced this because we may need it down the road,” Huff said. “I think it’s a great learning experience. But it was really good the defense stayed really consistent and the offense found a way. A really good day for everybody, special teams did a really good job of flipping the field making it really difficult for Gardner-Webb to go down and move the ball so a great team win, great team win.”
Marshall improves to 3-2 on the season, and will face Louisiana Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m.