Saturday, December 01, 2001

Toledo upsets Marshall

Tops No. 20 Herd for MAC title

By The Associated Press

        TOLEDO, Ohio — Chester Taylor ran for 188 yards and two touchdowns as Toledo overcame an early 23-point deficit to beat No.20 Marshall 41-36 Friday night in the Mid-American Conference championship.

        Taylor, who had 36 yards in the first half, scored on an 8-yard run with 6:34 left to put the Rockets ahead for good.

        It was Toledo's first win in the MAC title game in three tries, and it ended Marshall's streak of four straight conference titles.

        Both teams still have one game left because, for the first time, the MAC championship didn't determine who received the conference's automatic bowl bid.

        Marshall (10-2) will play in the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Dec.19; Toledo (9-3) will play in the Motor City Bowl in Pontiac, Mich. on Dec.29. It's the first time two MAC schools have made the postseason.

        Neither offense could be stopped in the second half as the lead changed hands three times in the fourth quarter.

        After falling behind 23-0 in the first quarter and finishing the half at 23-10, Toledo scored on its first four possessions of the second half to take a 35-29 lead.

        The way they did it was surprising.

        Place-kicker Todd France set up for a field goal, but instead took a handoff from holder Tavares Bolden, and ran untouched 16 yards into the end zone, banging into the goal post to celebrate his first career touchdown.

        But Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich led an 87-drive capped by an 18-yard touchdown pass to Denero Marriott. It was Marriott's fourth touchdown catch and gave the Thundering Herd a 36-35 lead with 11:56 to play.

        After Toledo regained the lead on Taylor's run, Leftwich had one more chance put the Herd ahead. But his final pass sailed through the end zone on a fourth down with 2:43 remaining.

        Marshall ....... 20 3 6 7—36 Toledo ....... 0 10 25 6—41 First Quarter

        Mar—Marriott 14 pass from Leftwich (Head kick), 11:03

        Mar—Marriott 15 pass from Leftwich (kick failed), 8:26

        Mar—Wallace 62 run (Head kick), 6:30
       Second Quarter

        Mar—FG Head 28, 14:57

        Tol—Ford 26 pass from Bolden (France kick), 5:35

        Tol—FG France 23, 1:44
       Third Quarter

        Tol—Taylor 17 run (France kick), 11:19

        Mar—Marriott 68 pass from Leftwich (pass failed), 11:05

        Tol—McCray 5 run (France kick), 9:38

        Tol—France 16 run (Bolden run), 4:28

        Tol—FG France 28, 1:09
       Fourth Quarter

        Mar—Marriott 18 pass from Leftwich (Head kick), 4:03

        Tol—Taylor 8 run (pass failed), 6:34


        RUSHING—Marshall, Wallace 12-99, Carey 4-22, Leftwich 5-(minus 1). Toledo, Taylor 32-188, McCray 14-80, France 1-16, Greene 1-7, Bolden 5-21, team 3-0.

        PASSING—Marshall, Leftwich 32-52-1-420. Toledo, Bolden 16-25-0-175.

        RECEIVING—Marshall, Marriott 10-179, Watts 9-101, Davis 5-74, Wallace 4-15, Kellett 3-42, Sciullo 1-10. Toledo, Greene 7-45, Taylor 4-64, Ford 3-43, McCray 1-12, Johnson 1-11.


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