Marshall thunders past Navy


Marshall running back Rasheen Ali (22) is greeted by teammates after scoring his second touchdown of the first half against Navy during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Marshall running back Rasheen Ali (22) is greeted by teammates after scoring his second touchdown of the first half against Navy during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)


Marshall quarterback Grant Wells (8) throws the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)


Marshall wide receiver Talik Keaton (9) runs the ball after a reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Freshman Rasheen Ali scored the first four touchdowns of his collegiate career as Marshall dominated Navy 49-7 in Charles Huff’s debut as head coach on Saturday.

Huff was introduced as the Thundering Herd’s coach nearly a year ago. While Marshall won a ninth-straight season opener, Huff broke a specific type of losing streak: the previous five first-year coaches had all lost season-opening road games.

Ali scored his first TD from the 2, capping the game-opening drive. He added two more scoring runs — from the 3 and the 4 — staking Marshall to a 21-0 halftime lead. Ali scored a final touchdown with a plunge from the 1 midway through the fourth quarter.

Sheldon Evans scored Marshall’s other two touchdowns with runs of 9 and 1 yards.

Xavier Arline scored early in the fourth, crashing over from the 1, as Navy avoided the shutout thanks to 337 yards rushing. Marshall’s defense recorded 126 total tackles — including 13 for a loss — to 66 by Navy’s defense.

Marshall held a 464-398 edge in total yards, largely thanks to Grant Wells completing 20 of 30 passes for 333 yards before being replaced by backup Luke Zban late in the game. Zban fired a 30-yard touchdown pass to E.J. Horton with 2:01 remaining.

Four Midshipmen combined to complete 5 of 16 passes for 61 yards.

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Marshall running back Rasheen Ali (22) is greeted by teammates after scoring his second touchdown of the first half against Navy during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/09/web1_127199941-ea2eabbf2f8f431d9fc5bb3e773b5ab7.jpgMarshall running back Rasheen Ali (22) is greeted by teammates after scoring his second touchdown of the first half against Navy during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Marshall quarterback Grant Wells (8) throws the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/09/web1_127199941-c0f4349b290c43f984509a476554b6fd.jpgMarshall quarterback Grant Wells (8) throws the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Marshall wide receiver Talik Keaton (9) runs the ball after a reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/09/web1_127199941-2195b96ba890430dbfd73f7778423b7b.jpgMarshall wide receiver Talik Keaton (9) runs the ball after a reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)