HUNTINGTON, W.Va.— On a sun soaked Saturday afternoon 9,163 fans including Marshall legends such as Chad Pennington, Randy Moss, Byron Leftwich, Troy Brown and others turned out to watch the final football game of the spring.
The outcome of the annual Green/White game is the only game of the year in which Doc Holliday does not care what the final score says. With players divided up between teams “coached” by Marshall legends Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich, several starters sitting and a limited playbook the game is more about the culmination of individual work.
For the record, Team Leftwich beat Team Pennington 30-13.
Saturday was a chance for Holliday to evaluate the depth of his roster. The list of starters who did not play included Corey Tindal, Keither Baxter, Evan McKelvey James Rouse, Neville Hewitt, Tommy Shuler, Kevin Grooms, Darryl Roberts, RaShawde Meyers, and even Rakeem Cato’s snaps were limited.
Cato finished the day just 3-for-11 passing with 102 yards.
Meanwhile backup quarterbacks Gunnar Holcombe and Cole Garvin shed the red jerseys and went full contact for the first time and responded. Holcombe completed 11-for-18 for 220 yards and three touchdowns.
“I haven’t been hit since high school and I think it was good for me,” said Holcombe. “After the first play its done. I can’t see I was nervous but I can’t say I wasn’t.”
Holcombe hit outside receiver Justin Hunt for a pair of long touchdowns in the first half. The first was a 60-yard bomb and the second scoring pass went for 65 yards.
“Our progress has been pretty good,” said Hunt who finished the day three catches for 153 yards. “The spring game was better than my week.”
Holcombe’s third touchdown was a 35-yard strike to freshman Angelo Jean-Louis.
“I’ve come along way in know what’s going on and what to do when certain things happen,” assessed Holcombe.
Cole Garvin settled in to the pocket sans red jersey and momentarily forgot he was free game for the defense.
“In the first drive I did. I got sacked. I saw the guy in front of me and just did nothing and I got sacked and I was like oh yeah, I’m live,” joked Garvin.
After he collected himself he completed 10-for-17 for 109 yards and a touchdown. Garvin’s 6-yard scoring toss to Deon-tay McManus capped off a 12-play 65-yard drive.
Steward Butler showed off his speed in the first quarter when he broke loose for a 75 yard touchdown run to cap off the scoring on the day.
Both teams combined for 101 plays for 655 total yards, 431 yards rushing and 224 passing.
Defensively, The Herd was wearing thin especially in the secondary but still had a good showing. Cortez Carter registered a pair of sacks as did Ricardo Williams. Mark Shaver came up with a pair of interceptions.