By Kathy Kuhn
The Lion fans were finally able to enjoy a rain-free Friday night for the football game on senior night. Marshall played
host to Oblong Panthers.
Despite the Panther quarterback Anthony Johnson having a huge night (231 passing yards and 132 rushing yards in 18 carries)
the Lions were able to keep the game close. The score see-sawed back and forth between the two teams.
Oblong scored just before the third quarter ended to take the 21-22 lead. The game ended with neither team scoring
in the final quarter.
Marshall fell to 1-7 on the season. “We played four quarters. We made a lot of little mistakes at inopportune times,”
said head coach Todd Evers. “They didn’t give up. This team has great character.”
Coach Evers continued by expressing what his team means to him, “We’re used to winning, but they’ve
stuck it out. They didn’t jump ship and that shows great character. These are trying times, but we’ve learned
a lot. These guys mean a lot to me.”
After honoring all of the seniors from the football team, cheerleaders, Marshallettes, mascot, and band members the Marshall
Lions received the opening kick-off.
The Lions did a pretty good job moving the ball up the field until Austin Osborn’s pass was intercepted by Collin
Meese. Jon Newbold was there to bring Meese down.
With about seven and half minutes left in the first quarter, the Lions defensive line kept Oblong’s Johnson scrambling
out of the pocket. A huge penalty was acquired by the Panthers when Johnson was called for intentional grounding while being
pursued by Wyatt Taylor, Zach Tharp and others. That brought up fourth down and 30 yards to go. Oblong went for it, but had
an incomplete pass and Marshall took over on downs at Oblong’s 34 yard line.
With just over four minutes in the first quarter remaining, the Lions had to punt the ball on fourth down. Oblong took
advantage of the possession and put the first six points on the board on a complete pass and run by Chase Mendenhall from
the 37 yard line. The extra point was no good and the Panthers led 0-6.
Marshall’s offensive line gave Osborn good protection and allowed him to continue to move the ball up the field.
The last play of the first quarter was a quarterback sneak for a Lion first down.
The second quarter started with Osborn finding his primary target for the night, Brock Hook. On third down, Osborn was
flushed out of the pocket. He rolled to his left, threw across his body and found Brock Hook open in the end zone. Hook had
to make a diving catch for the tie. Daniel Littlejohn’s extra point was good and Marshall took the lead 7-6.
It only took a couple of minutes for Oblong to find the end zone again. This time it was a Johnson-Meese connection.
The two-point attempt was foiled by the Lions. The Panthers led 7-12.
The next Lion possession was primarily all Hook. Cole Rice had a nice reception, but it was Hook who took it in from
the six-yard line. Littlejohn was successful on the extra point again and Marshall regained the lead, 14-12.
Marshall’s defense turned up the heat on the next possession of the Panther’s eventually causing them to
punt the ball. Cotey Thompson, Chad Leitch, Tanner Liffick, Derick Davidson, and Rice continued to pressure Johnson forcing
The Lions were marching down the field on the skills of Rice, Hook and Austin Mattingly until Marshall was called for
holding. Osborn was sacked on the next snap for a big loss. Littlejohn punted on fourth and 22.
The Panthers got the ball back with just 36 seconds leftin the first half. Oblong settled for a field goal by Gerald
Richardson giving them the 14-15 lead going into half time.
Oblong received the kick-off to begin the second half. They were unable to move the ball and Marshall got the ball back.
On a third down play, Brock Hook ran the ball in from six yards out for another touchdown. The extra point went through the
uprights and Marshall once again led 21-15.
Defensively Adam Kendall and Mitch Royer denied the Panther’s passes by getting a hand on two separate attempts.
Oblong was forced to punt the ball.
On their next series, Hook racked up some good yardage rushing, but Marshall was forced to punt back to Oblong with about
five minutes left in the third quarter.
The Panthers successfully moved the ball up the field behind the rushing efforts of quarterback Johnson. Taylor Maurer,
Rice, Kendall, Tharp, Davidson, Hook and other Lions put in great effort to try to keep the Panthers out of the end zone.
On a second down play, Johnson found Richardson in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. With the extra point, Oblong
took a slim lead over the Lions by a score of 21-22.
The final quarter began with Marshall needing one yard for a first down. Osborn kept the ball and got the first down
behind Newbold. After a series of plays, Marshall was stopped on fourth down needing only one yard. Oblong took over on downs
at their own 49 yard line.
The Panthers moved the ball down to the seven yard line. Brett Hook broke up a pass that would have been a sure touchdown
for Oblong. On third down, Tharp, Kendall and Thompson kept Johnson out of the end zone on a quarterback keeper.
Oblong turned the ball back over to the Lions following an incomplete pass on fourth and goal. With just under eight
minutes, Marshall got the ball back.
Hook carried the ball for another Marshall first down. The Lions started going backwards, losing yards on the next three
downs. Littlejohn punted to the Panthers.
The Lions held Oblong but ran out of time and the Panthers won by a heartbreaking 21-22 score.
Senior Brock Hook had a big game on senior night rushing for 112 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns. He also had
three receptions for 48 yards.
Senior Cole Rice rushed for 46 yards on 10 carries. He had two receptions for 25 yards. Brett Hook had one catch for
30 yards and Austin Mattingly had one catch for 12 yards.
Senior Austin Osborn was 8/14 and passed for 111 yards and one touchdown.
Marshall will be at Casey for their final game. Fans need to go and support the Lions as they try to upset the undefeated