November 14, 1970 ... Remembered
Memorial of the 1970 Marshall University Football Team Plane Crash
Fighting Herd Falls To Miami
By Mike Brown, Herald-Advertiser Sports Writer
Huntington Herald-Advertiser, October 11, 1970.
(Used with permission)
Redskins Pressed in 19-12 Triumph On Wet Fairfield
Close football games are usually decided on which team can best take advantage of the breaks which it is presented.
That was the case at wet Fairfield Stadium Saturday afternoon when unbeaten Miami ground out a hardearned 19-12 victory over Marshall University.
The Redskins were presented with three golden opportunities and managed to take advantage of all three for touchdowns.
The third one, especially, was a real heartbreaker.
The battling Thundering Herd, down 13-0 at the end of three quarters, had cut the Redskins' lead to 13-6 only to have Dick Adams return a punt 47-yards for the touchdown which proved to be the margin of victory.
Adams scoring jaunt down the right sideline came on a second chance presented to him when Marshall was called for illegal procedure on the previous play.
Swarmed by Herd
On that play, MU punter Marcello Lajterman punted to Adams on the Miami 43 where he was swarmed under by Herd defenders.
However, given another chance by the penalty, Miami and Adams took advantage. The Redskin defensive half-back broke down the right side and all but ran over Lajterman, the last man between him and the goal, at the 30.
Miami's two other scores were set up by Marshall offensive mistakes.
The Redskins, who entered the game as the nation's number one defensive team, took a 7-0 lead in the second period when linebacker Marc Smith covered an Art Harris fumble on the Marshall 11-yard line.
Miami scored from there on two carries by fullback Time Fortney, the second covering two-yards. Archie Strimel's only successful conversion of the day made it 7-0 with 12:01 left in the half. That was the way things stood at intermission.
Another Big Break
In the third quarter Miami got another big break when a Ted Shoebridge pass skipped through Bob Patterson's hands and Adams picked it off at the MU 35 and returned it to the seven.
Joe Booker got three up the middle and Fortney skirted left end with 1:24 left in the period to make it 13-0.
Other than that, it was a day in which the Marshall defense covered itself with glory, holding the Redskins to only 251 yards on 88 plays - an average of 2.8 yards per attempt. Miami entered the game with an offensive average of 430 per game.
"Our defense did a helluva job," said Tolley. "It made a lot of big plays."
"If we'd had any offense at all, I think we could have won the game," he added. "Of course, we had a couple of big plays Ted's (Shoebridge) call and (Joe) Hood's great catch."
The two big plays Tolley was referring to were Marshall's two touchdown plays.
Marshall got its first score with 01:43 remaining in the game when Shoebridge hit Hood from 22-yards out the Jersey Jet's first scoring heave of the season and one which enabled him to set a school career mark of 14.
Hood made the catch in the left front of the end zone with defenders Tom VanHeusen and Tim Raybuck hanging all over him.
The defense presented the Herd with field position when Art Shannon covered Fortney's fumble on the Miami 21. The touchdown pass came on the third play of the series.
The fumble recovery was one of five for the Herd defense. Willie Bluford recovered two. John Young one and Bon VanHorn one.
Shannon, who was in on 15 tackles, also picked off Jim Bengala's pass as did Larry Sanders.
Marshall's second touchdown came on a brilliant run and brilliant call by Shoebridge who set a school career record for total offense as he had 82 yards passing and 35 rushing to run his total to 2,330. The old mark was 2,222 held by Howie Miller.
On a second-and-10 situation at the Redskin 29, Miami changed defenses and Shoebridge alertly checked off. He called for a quarterback sneak and he simply bolted right up the middle for the touchdown which made it 19-12 with 4:23 left in the game.
The run climaxed a 53-yard drive which required only five plays. The Herd had gotten field position when Hood had taken the kickoff following Adams' punt return score on his own 11 and returned it to the MU 47.
Despite the Thundering Herd's general overall inability to move the ball, it did dent the proud Miami defense for 166 yards, 125 of them coming in the second half.
However, the Marshall offense turned the ball over nine times as it lost the ball four times on fumbles and five times on pass interceptions.
Marshall pressured Bengala all day and the talented Miami quarterback completed only eight of 20 passes, none in the second half, for 54 yards.
Miami Fortney 2 run (Strimel kick)
Miami Fortney 4 run (Kick failed)
Marshall Hood 22 pass from Shoebridge (Kick blocked)
Miami Adams 47 punt return (Kick failed)
Marshall Shoebridge 29 run (Pass failed)
Attendance 7,000 (Estimated).
Marshall Shoebridge 16-35; Hood 11-13; A. Harris 7-9; Gilmore 2-4; B. Harris 1 for minus 2.
Miami Fortney 36-132; Richards 13-36; Booker 12-31; Bennett 3-9; Bengala 7-4 for minus 21.
Marshall Shoebridge 11-29-5 for 82 yards; B. Harris 2-4 for 15 yards; Hood 1-2 for 10 yards.
Miami Bengala 8-20-2 for 64 yards.
Marshall Blevins 3-27; Hood 4-44; Young 1-3; A. Harris 5-23; Howard 1-10.
Miami Paltia 4-43; Bennett 1-14; Fortney 1-8; Richards 2 for minus one.