East Carolina 65, Marshall 59, OT

Shane Carden’s 1-yard touchdown run in the second overtime
Friday lifted East Carolina over Marshall 65-59 and kept the
Pirates’ Conference USA title hopes alive.

The Pirates (8-4, 7-1) will advance to play Tulsa for the league
championship if Alabama-Birmingham beats Central Florida on

Carden scored after three straight runs by Vintavious Cooper
took the ball down to the Marshall 1.

East Carolina had stopped a Marshall possession earlier in the
overtime when Chrishon Rose forced a fumble at the 11 by Essray
Taliaferro and Derrell Johnson recovered it.

A 25-yard touchdown pass from Carden to Andrew Bodenheimer gave
East Carolina a lead on the first play of overtime, but the
Thundering Herd (5-7, 4-4) answered with a 4-yard Blake Frohnapfel
scoring pass to Antavious Wilson after Taliaferro converted a
fourth-and-1 with a 4-yard run.

Frohnapfel took over at quarterback for Marshall after Rakeem
Cato suffered an injury to his lower left leg midway through the
third quarter. He completed 12 of 15 passes for 101 yards and raced
51 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, the longest run allowed by
East Carolina this season.

Carden drove the Pirates 76 yards in 11 plays to tie the game
with 4 seconds left in regulation on a 6-yard pass to Danny
Webster. The drive, which started with 1:55 left, included three
completions to Justin Hardy, who caught a school-record 16 passes
for 171 yards, fourth-best in East Carolina history. His 1,046
receiving yards for the season is also fourth-best in school

The 124 combined points were the most ever in a Conference USA
game, although the two schools combined for 125 in the 2001 GMAC
Bowl, when Marshall played in the Mid-America Conference. The
Thundering Herd won that one 64-61 in two overtimes.

East Carolina’s 65 points were its fourth-highest total ever and
the most it has scored since a 66-23 victory over East Tennessee
State in 1981.

Marshall’s 59 points were the most it has ever scored in a

Carden completed 38 of 47 passes for 439 yards and three
touchdowns and ran for three more, including the deciding score in
overtime. His first two touchdown runs helped stake the Pirates to
a 28-7 second-quarter lead.

The Thundering Herd rallied to trail 35-28 at halftime after
three second-quarter touchdown passes by Cato. He threw five in the
game, tying his career high, and his 318 passing yards before being
injured gave the sophomore 4,201 for the season. It was the fourth
time a Marshall quarterback has surpassed 4,000 yards.

Tommy Shuler caught 14 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns
for Marshall, giving the sophomore a school-record 110 for the

Taliaferro, in his first start this season, rushed for 130 yards
on 27 carries for the Thundering Herd.