Marshall rolls 59-0 in dazzling debut for QB Wells


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Grant Wells threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns to set and tie school records for a debut quarterback and Marshall rolled past Eastern Kentucky 59-0 on Saturday in both teams’ season opener.

Wells, a redshirt freshman, was 16-of-23 passing with his 307 yards besting Stan Hill’s 202-yard game in 2002, and his four touchdowns tying another mark.

Marshall scored on every possession — eight touchdowns and a field goal — except those cut short the half and the game’s end.

Wells threw touchdown passes in the first half ranging from 2 to 42 yards to Xavier Gaines, Talik Keaton, Garet Morrell and Jaron Woodyard. Brenden Knox ran for another TD and Shane Ciucci added a field goal for a 38-0 halftime lead.

Wells completed his day in the third quarter by leading another touchdown drive. The Herd added two more touchdowns and finished with eight different players scoring TDs.

The Herd piled up 627 yards offense, 345 in the air and 282 on the ground. The shutout was the first for Marshall since beating Kent State 21-0 in 2017.

Marshall made 12,000 tickets available for the game in 38,000-seat Joan C. Edwards Stadium. The school’s plan was to have fans seated in every other row with no more than six in a group allowed and two seats empty on either side of groups. Masks were mandated and tailgating wasn’t permitted.

The Colonels, under first-year head coach Walt Wells, opted out of the Ohio Valley Conference’s move to possibly play in the spring, and stuck to a fall slate of games.

Box Score

E. Kentucky 0 0 0 0 0
Marshall 21 17 14 7 59

First Quarter

MSH_Gaines 22 pass from Wells (Ciucci kick), 12:19.

MSH_Knox 8 run (Ciucci kick), 8:04.

MSH_Keaton 21 pass from Wells (Ciucci kick), 2:01.

Second Quarter

MSH_Morrell 2 pass from Wells (Ciucci kick), 10:02.

MSH_FG Ciucci 23, 6:07.

MSH_Woodyard 42 pass from Wells (Ciucci kick), 3:07.

Third Quarter

MSH_S.Evans 6 run (Ciucci kick), 7:04.

MSH_Papillon 13 run (Ciucci kick), :43.

Fourth Quarter

MSH_Richardson 3 pass from Zban (Ciucci kick), 4:02.

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EKY MSH
First downs 7 34
Rushes-yards 31-86 54-282
Passing 80 345
Comp-Att-Int 10-16-1 22-29-0
Return Yards 65 36
Punts-Avg. 6-41.3 0-null
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 6-40 2-15
Time of Possession 25:37 34:23

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INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING_E. Kentucky, Pringle 6-39, Booth 15-33, D.Allen 3-15, M.Wilcox 1-5, Magloire 2-4, Dixon 1-1, Pa.McKinney 3-(minus 11). Marshall, McDaniel 14-93, Knox 18-85, S.Evans 8-32, Wells 6-30, Papillon 4-22, Zban 2-17, Gaines 1-9, W.Johnson 1-(minus 6).

PASSING_E. Kentucky, Jones 0-1-0-0, Pa.McKinney 7-10-1-71, D.Allen 3-5-0-9. Marshall, Wells 16-23-0-307, Zban 6-6-0-38.

RECEIVING_E. Kentucky, Jones 4-9, Dixon 3-34, Beerman 1-28, Manning 1-5, M.Wilcox 1-4. Marshall, Thompson 5-67, Gaines 3-49, Keaton 2-68, Morrell 2-47, Ahmed 2-14, Woodyard 1-42, D.Miller 1-21, W.Johnson 1-9, McMillan 1-8, Scarcelle 1-8, Hagler 1-5, Gammage 1-4, Richardson 1-3.

MISSED FIELD GOALS_E. Kentucky, Woznick 54.

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