Marshall Tops Kent State, 34-12

Updated 10/21/2000

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    Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich threw for two touchdowns against Kent State.
    (AP Photo/The Herald-Dispatch, Randy Snyder)

    RANDY COLEMAN
    Associated Press Writer

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - Byron Leftwich threw two touchdown passes and reserve running back Franklin Wallace ran for two scores on Oct. 21 to lead Marshall to a 34-12 victory over Kent State.

    Marshall is the three-time defending Mid-American Conference champion _ but had been soundly beaten by Western Michigan and Toledo in its two previous games.

    The Thundering Herd also struggled against Kent State, leading by only 17-12 at the end of three quarters.

    Coming off the two blowout losses, Marshall coach Bob Pruett was looking for ways to bolster his unproductive running game, which had averaged just 66 yards a game since starter Brandon Carey injured his knee on Sept. 30.

    Wallace may have provided an answer, scoring on fourth-quarter runs of 3 and 62 yards and finishing the game with 116 yards on 9 carries.

    Leftwich completed 31 of 41 passes for 312 yards, with no interceptions.

    Marshall (3-4, 2-2 Mid-American Conference) opened the scoring with 8:26 left in the first quarter when Leftwich hit wide receiver Darius Watts with a 5-yard scoring toss to the corner of the end zone.

    The scoring play capped a 57-yard drive.

    Four minutes later, Leftwich connected with Watts for a 21-yard touchdown pass.

    After falling behind 14-0, Kent State (1-7, 1-4) fought back.

    Dave Pavich hit a 33-yard field goal late in the first quarter after the Golden Flashes recovered a muffed punt reception by Lanier Washington at the Marshall 19.

    In the second quarter, Kent State marched 75 yards in 13 plays, scoring on an 8-yard pass from Zach Williams to Shawn Shoemaker to cut the lead to 14-9. The point after touchdown was blocked.

    Marshall's kicker J.R. Jenkins booted a 44-yard field goal with 36 seconds left in the half to give the Herd a 17-9 halftime lead.

    Pavich converted a 34-yard field goal in the third quarter to cut Marshall's lead to 17-12.

    Jenkins increased the lead to 20-12 when he hit a 26-yard field goal. He missed three field goals.

    Senior receiver David Foye set a Marshall school record with 15 receptions.