On a cool and rainy Saturday afternoon at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Marshall football closed out its spring camp with the annual Green/White game in front of 2.635 eager Marshall fans wanting a sneak peak of what awaits in 2016.
For the most part, fans saw an offensive unit that moved the ball in spurts, while finding the endzone six times in an 66-34 win by the Green team (offense) under a modified scoring system. Both teams could earn points based on their performance in the series without actually scoring the ball.
As a team, the Herd ran 101 total plays for 462 yards. Chase Litton connected on 15-of-28 pass attempts for 168 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Michael Birdsong finished 9-for-16 with 101 yards and a score.
"I thought for the most part we put the ball in the endzone at times and moved the ball well," Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said. "We threw some situations at them and we ran and threw the ball well."
Ellis Cain carried the rushing load, gaining 76 yards on 24 carries with a 14-yard touchdown. Projected starting tailback Hyleck Foster had 32 yards on nine touches and a 2-yard score. Keion Davis also added a rushing touchdown.
Fans in attendance got a chance to see the first flashes of 6-foot-7 receiver Michael Clark in action as he hauled in a 21-yard touchdown reception from Litton on the opening drive of the game. Litton went 4-for-4 in the series.
"Offensively we started fast, but we just have to finish," Litton said. "He's [Clark] a football player. I put it back shoulder and he made a play. You don't coach that. He saw the ball was low and outside and he adjusted perfectly and made a play."
Clark finished with three grabs for 33 yards with Raylon Elzy leading the unit with five receptions for 54 yards. Tight end Kaleb Harris caught the only other score by a receiver, snagging a 6-yard strike from Birdsong in the back corner of the endzone.
Litton's lone miscue came on an interception in the redzone after linebacker Shawn Petty undercut the route of Emanuel Byrd in the back of the endzone. It was the only turnover of the afternoon.
Damien Dozier and Melvin Stubbs recorded the games only two sacks with newcomer Chris Jackson's stellar play continuing on the final day with a pass breakup in the endzone that narrowly missed becoming a turnover.
At the conclusion of the game, Marshall awarded the championship belts to team's best performers in the spring. Linebacker Frankie Hernandez earned the defensive honors, with tight end Emanuel Byrd taking the offensive award. Cody Carter took the special team's belt and Ty Tyler was named ‘Beast of the Spring' for being the most consistent in the weight room.
The Herd pauses for the summer before returning to fall camp in early August to begin preparation for its season opener with Morgan State Sept. 10 at the Joan.