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.