HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Coach Charles Huff said earlier in the week not to overlook Norfolk State ahead of next week’s Notre Dame clash. His team listened to him.

Marshall dominated the Spartans from start to finish Saturday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, winning 55-3.

The Thundering Herd offense rushed for 395 yards. In place of Rasheen Ali, both Ethan Payne and Khalan Laborn eclipsed 100 yards. Payne added two touchdowns, finishing with 113 yards off 10 carries. His first carry of the game went 45 yards for the first Marshall touchdown.

Henry Colombi was efficient in his Herd debut. The Texas Tech transfer completed 24-of-26 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown connection with Corey Gammage.

On the defensive side, Marshall dominated early. Micah Abraham intercepted NSU’s Otto Kuhn’s on the Spartan’s first possession. Owen Porter added a 21-yard fumble return for a touchdown to give the Herd a 24-0 lead.

Marshall allowed just 114 yards of offense, adding two sacks.

“I think it’s a great organizational win,” Huff said. “Really proud of the players. I challenged them all week to play 60 minutes of dominate football and not look at the scoreboard, not look at the opponents logo but actually show up and compete and set the foundation for how we want to compete throughout the rest of the season.”

Younger players had the opportunity to see the field for the first time. Freshman running back AJ Turner wowed the Huntington crowd in the fourth quarter, leaping over a Norfolk defender.

Another Poca grad Toby Payne scored his first career touchdown from Cam Fancher in the third quarter.

The schedule drastically gets harder. Marshall will travel to South Bend, Ind. Sept. 10 to take on Notre Dame at 2:30 p.m.