November 14, 1970 ... Remembered
Memorial of the 1970 Marshall University Football Team Plane Crash
MU Put In Orbit, 52-3
By Lowell Cade, Herald-Advertiser Sports Writer
Huntington Herald-Advertiser, September 27, 1970.
(Used with permission)
Toledo. It was a miserable night here Saturday for the Marshall football team. Toledo's unbeaten Rockets erupted for 19 points in the second quarter, and 20 in the final stanza to extend their winning streaks - 14 in a row and three this year - with a 52-3 romp over the Thundering Herd.
Ted Shoebridge, Marshall's fine junior quarterback, had one of the worst fights in his short career. He was plagued by a hard-charging Toledo line; and some butter-fingered receivers. And, on top of everything else, it rained.
The two things the Marshall coaching staff feared the most - Chuck Ealey, the Rockets brilliant junior quarterback, and the big play - all haunted the Herd, which went down to its first defeat of the season. The Herd's record evened at 1-1.
Ealey, a guy who can throw the football from all positions, and who can run it when he wants to, completed 19 of 30 passes for 255 yards. He helped make it possible for Don Fair, a junior wide receiver, to set a Toledo school record with 11 catches in a single game.
Ealey threw four touchdown passes - two to tight end Al Baker, and one each to tailback Joe Schwartz and Fair.
Marshall was able to escape a shutout in the final quarter when sophomore kicker Marcelo Lajterman drilled a 37-yard field goal. The Herd had other scoring chances, but the tough Rocket defense seemed determined that Marshall should not get a six-pointer.
The Rockets' other touchdowns came on a 21-yard run with a blocked punt by defensive end Ron Roberts; a nine yard by No. 2 quarterback Bruce; a 44 yard run with an interception by defensive back Steve Banks; and a 38-yard pass by backup split end Mike Kochkowsky from Arthur.
Marshall was held to just eight first downs, three in the first half, while Toledo piled up 24. The much-heralded MU passing attack gained but 145 yards while Earley and Arthur combined for 323. And, the Herd's new promising running game gained but 56 yards, while the Rockets totaled 540 total offense with 217 on the ground. It was the worst licking suffered by a Marshall team since Western Michigan blanked the Herd, 51-0 back in 1957.
Shoebridge attempted a MU record 43 passes for a single game, and completed but nine for 137 yards. Bob Harris was 1-for-6. Shoe threw four interceptions, and Harris two.
The Rockets scored on the first series of downs of the game as Ealey teamed up with Baker on a 60-yard bomb on a third-and-10 situation, and the thing the Marshall coaches feared the most - the "home run" was hit early.
Marshall settled down, however, for the remainder of the quarter although the fleet Toledo quarterback continued to pepper the Herd secondary. Ealey directed his team to the Herd 24 on the next series of downs, hitting four of five passes during the march from the Toledo 43. Tom Duncan attempted a 41 yard field goal that was short.
Marshall got its initial first down of the game on the next series, with Shoebridge hitting Repasy on a 12-yard pickup to the MU 37. But, two incompletions and a draw play that went for just two yards by Dick Carter forced a second punting situation.
The Rockets moved from their 34 to the Marshall 27 on seven plays as a steady rain began to fall. The drive bogged down as a Toledo reverse was stopped by Dave Griffith and Larry Sanders for a two yard loss, and Ealey overthrew Glyn Smith at the five. Duncan attempted another field goal, this time a 44 yarder which was short.
The Herd got a break as Steve Banks fumbled a Marcello Lajterman punt at the Toledo 34 and Ed Carter recovered. However, three Shoebridge passes went incomplete and Lajtereman was short on a 51-yard field goal try.
The Rockets struck for their second touchdowns early in the second quarter. Ealey threw a big third-and-long pass to Baker from his 24 to the MU 24 to set it up. Charlie Cole bulled 13 yards on a slant to the 11, and after an illegal procedure penalty moved the ball back to the 16. Ealey hit Baker for the score. The clock showed 13:3 in the half.
The Rockets made it 20-0 after the Herd couldn't get a first down. Lajterman took a little too long trying to punt. Mel Long blocked the ball and defensive end Ron Roberts scooped up the bounding football at the MU 21 and dashed untouched for the touchdown.
Toledo added another TD just before the half ended. Ealey drove his club 71 yards, and passed to tailback Joe Schwartz for the final three yards. Only 17 seconds remained in the half. Marshall had a scoring chance early in the third quarter when linebacker Art Shannon intercepted an Ealey pass at the Rocket' 46 yard line and returned it to the TU 14. But, on second-and-10 Shoebridge was intercepted by defensive end Bob Rose after tackle Mel Long batted the ball into the air at the 16.
The Herd also had the ball at the TU 36 in the third when Bob Vanhorn recovered an Ealey fumble at the 38. But, with Bobby Harris at quarterback the Herd netted minus nine yards in four plays and turned the ball over on downs.
The Rockets took over at their 45-and drove the distance for a score in 11 plays with Ealey hitting Fair for the score. Jeff Calabrese, a reserve flanker, was also there and had the first shot at the ball, along with MU defender Larry Sanders. Fair caught the ball off Sanders' tip.
Arthur took over leadership of the Rockets in the final stanza. He marched them 40 yards for a score on four plays after short Lajterman punt; and went the final nine yards himself. Fourteen seconds later Banks picked off a Harris pass at the TU 44 and returned it for a score.
The Herd suffered three injuries. Defensive guard Larry Brown has a badly damaged elbow, halfback Nat Ruffin suffered rib injuries, and receiver Jack Repasy has a shoulder injury.
TU - Baker 60 pass from Ealey (Duncan kick)
TU - Baker 16 pass from Ealey (kick failed)
TU - Roberts 2 run with blocked punt (Duncan kick)
TU - Schwartz 3 pass from Ealey (kick failed)
TU - Fiar 7 pass from Ealey (kick failed)
TU - Arthur 9 run (Duncan kick)
TU - Banks 44 pass interception (Duncan kick)
MU - Lajterman FG 37 yards
TU - Kockowsky 39 pass from Arthur (kick failed)
Marshall: A Harris 12-26; Hood 6-11.
TU: Ealey 11-78; Cole 11-30; Schwartz 12-26; Arthur 8-26.
Marshall: Shoebridge 9-43-4, 137 yards; B. Harris 1-6-2, 8 yards.
TU: Ealey 19-30-2, 255 yards; Arthur 4-8-0, 68 yards.
Marshall: Repasy 4-66; A. Harris 2-3; Hood 1-30; Gilmore 1-20.
TU: Baker 5-137; Fair 11-102; Smith 2-13.