Devon Smith

Rakeem Cato throws 5 TDs as Marshall overcomes Tulsa

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Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato tossed three touchdowns in the first quarter to get the Thundering Herd off to a great start against a struggling Tulsa program. Then, after Tulsa had taken advantage of Marshall’s mistakes to storm back for a 34-31 lead in the fourth quarter, Cato once again helped save the day with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Shuler to put Marshall back on top for good. Cato threw five touchdowns and Marshall overcame five turnovers to pick up a key win in Conference USA play, 45-34.

Cato completed 33 of 58 pass attempts for 456 yards and five touchdowns and Marshall needed it. The Herd lost four fumbles and Cato was intercepted once but Tulsa was not able to finish off the rally in the second half. Marshall led 31-14 at halftime but Tulsa tied the game at 31-31 with a 17-point third quarter. The Golden Hurricane then took their first lead of the game with a Carl Salazar field goal but Cato led Marshall down field and regained the lead that had slipped away. Devon Smith and Shuler each had 100-yard receiving games and combined for three touchdowns.

The victory for Marshall keeps them in a good position in the Conference USA East Division. With the win Marshall is tied for first place in the division with East Carolina with identical 5-1 Conference USA records. The two will play in the regular season finale in Huntington, West Virginia on Friday, November 29.

Marshall pays tribute to 1970 crash victims, Cato lights up Tulsa early

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Marshall honored a tragic moment in school history today by honoring the victims of Southern Airways Flight 932, which crashed en route from North carolina to West Virginia on November 14, 1970. On that flight were 37 members of the Marshall football team including players and coaches as well as a number of prominent boosters for the program. The crash decimated the football program at the time and put the entire program in danger of folding. But the football program, university and community rallied and today was a time to pay tribute to the victims of the crash. Marshall’s football team, on the road for a Thursday night game at Tulsa, took time out of their day to watch the campus ceremonies as a team.

Head coach Doc Hollliday joined his team in watching the Marshall memorial service from Tulsa.

Tonight the football team is wearing a special memorial helmet with the number “75” on one side of the helmet. That number represents the 75 passengers and crew of the flight killed in the crash.

Marshall is off to a fast start in the game tonight. The Thundering Herd are up 14-0 midway through the first quarter. Rakeem Cato has already gone over 140 passing yards and has three touchdown passes. Former Penn State wide receiver Devon Smith, who once ran in to Joe Paterno during practice to fracture the coach’s hip, has one touchdown and 65 receiving yards thus far. A win for Marshall tonight would put the Thundering Herd in a first-place tie in the division with East Carolina.

Ex-Penn State WR now an ex-Herd WR

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As one of a handful of players who took advantage of relaxed transfer standards as part of Penn State’s NCAA sanctions, Shawney Kersey was hoping to make an immediate at Marshall in 2013.

Instead, the wide receiver is on the hunt for his third football home in less than a year.

Thursday evening, Herd officials confirmed that Kersey has indeed left the football program.  While no official reason was given for the departure, the fact that the senior was buried on the depth chart and did not play in Marshall’s season-opening win over Miami (OH) would be a likely candidate.

The move out of Huntington continues a roller coaster 12 months or so for the player.

After totaling six receptions for 44 yards in the first two games of the 2012 season for the Nittany Lions, it was announced Kersey was no longer a member of the team.  Thanks to other departures at the position, Kersey had been Penn State’s leading returning receiver, having caught five passes for 108 yards in 2011.

In January of this year, Kersey announced he was transferring to Marshall, becoming the third former Nittany Lion to join the Herd.  Wide receiver Devon Smith and cornerback Derrick Thomas also joined the Herd last August, and are both currently listed as backups at their respective positions.

Former Penn State receiver lands at Marshall

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Over four months after “parting ways” with the Penn State program, Shawney Kersey has found himself a new school to call his football home.

Guy Cipriano of the Centre Daily Times reports via Twitter that Kersey has decided to transfer to Marshall.  Cipriano notes that the wide receiver joins Devon Smith and Derrick Thomas as former Nittany Lions who have landed with the Herd.

Marshall, for what it’s worth, has yet to confirm Kersey’s addition to the football program.

After totaling six receptions for 44 yards in the first two games of the 2012 season, it was announced Kersey was no longer a member of the team.  Thanks to other departures at the position, Kersey had been Penn State’s leading returning receiver, having caught five passes for 108 yards in 2011.

Kersey was a three-star member of Penn State’s 2009 recruiting class.  He will be eligible to play immediately for the Herd in 2013.

Penn State WR no longer with the program

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Penn State’s top two running backs are currently “day-to-day.” The Nittany Lions’ fourth-leading receiver? He’s done at Penn State altogether.

The latest PSU departure is receiver Shawney Kersey, who according to Lions247.com and the Patriot-News, is no longer with the program. Kersey is still enrolled at Penn State and his return to the program is unknown, as is the reason for his departure. 

Regardless, it’s another blow to not just the PSU program, but an offense that has struggled mightily to score points in the first two games of the season. It’s also an offense that lacks playmakers. PSU’s top three receivers from 2011 — Derek Moye, Justin Brown and Devon Smith — have all left because of graduation, transfer and personal reasons, respectively (although Smith ended up transferring to Marshall).

That left Kersey, who reeled in just five receptions for 108 yards last season, as the team’s leading returning receiver. He already had six catches for 44 yards in the first two games of this year.