MARSHALL 28 14 14 0 56
Old Dominion Monarchs 7 0 0 7 14
Date of game: 10/4/2014

Recap: Old Dominion vs. Marshall

Norfolk, VA ( - Devon Johnson and Remi Watson combined for five rushing touchdowns as the Marshall Thundering Herd coasted to a 56-14 victory over the Old Dominion Monarchs in their Conference USA opener at Foreman Field.

Johnson surpassed the century mark for the fourth time this season, as he tallied 198 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries for Marshall (5-0, 1-0 C- USA), which finished the contest with 354 yards on the ground. Watson picked up 102 yards on 13 carries, while Rakeem Cato hit on 18-of-23 pass attempts for 198 yards and two touchdowns with the same number of interceptions. Tommy Shuler reeled in a team-best nine receptions for 81 yards and a score for the Thundering Herd.

Taylor Heinicke, who had recorded a total of 762 yards through the air over his past two games, struggled under center for Old Dominion (3-3, 1-2), finishing with a 10-of-25 passing efficiency for just 85 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Freshman tailback Ray Lawry was a bright spot for the Monarchs, as he amassed a career-high 131 yards on 16 carries. Christian Byrum picked off both of Cato's interceptions and added five total tackles.

The Thundering Herd exploded out of the gate with 27 unanswered points to start the contest. The first score came at the 11:50 mark of the first frame, when Johnson rushed two yards across the goal line. Watson scored on a 10-yard run four minutes later to make it 14-0.

As ODU's offense took the field, hoping to rally back from the two-touchdown deficit, Heinicke was picked off by Darryl Roberts on the opening play of the drive by Darryl Roberts, who returned the interception to the Monarchs' 8-yard line. Johnson managed to rush into the end zone on the ensuing play.

Marshall's special teams unit added onto the lead, as Raheim Huskey blocked an ODU punt before Brandon Byrd secured possession of the ball in the end zone for another Thundering Herd touchdown.

The Monarchs finally ended the run as time winded down in the first quarter, Heinicke connected with Zach Pascal on a 21-yard touchdown pass.

Marshall extended its lead to 35-7 at the 6:25 point of the second period, as Cato threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Shuler. The senior quarterback then recorded his second touchdown pass just before halftime with a six-yard strike to Deon-Tay McManus.

The Thundering Herd continued their momentum into the third stanza with an eight-play, 75-yard opening drive which was capped off by a seven-yard touchdown run by Johnson.

Marshall went ahead, 56-7, with 5:32 left in the third quarter as Watson scored on a 13-yard rush.

The Monarchs managed to hold the Herd scoreless the rest of the way, while Lawry capped off his impressive individual outing with a 37-yard touchdown run near the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter.

Marshall out-gained ODU, 591-286, in total yards of offense despite committing three turnovers. The Monarchs had trouble getting stops on key plays, as they allowed the visitors to move the chains on eight of their 11 third down opportunities.

Thanks to the Herd's early outburst, they have still not trailed on the scoreboard at any point this season. Marshall has won six games in a row dating back to the 2013 Military Bowl.

Game Notes

Illinois State rallies into FCS title game

If ever there was doubt about the Missouri Valley Football Conference being the top conference in the FCS, Illinois State provided a reminder on Saturday.

Lions clinch playoff spot

Landover, MD (Sports Network) - The Detroit Lions clinched a playoff spot on Saturday due to the Philadelphia Eagles' loss to the Washington Redskins.

Giants acquire McGehee from Marlins

The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Casey McGehee from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league pitchers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo.

Anthony to play in Knicks-Suns tilt

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony will play in Saturday's game against the Phoenix Suns after sitting out the team's previous outing due to soreness in his left knee.

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