Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Marshall Beats Xavier

On Sept. 25, 1971, the "Young" Thundering Herd, with an almost entirely new team following the 1970 plane crash that claimed the lives of 37 players, win their home debut against Xavier.
Marshall won on a last-second touchdown when quarterback Reggie Oliver rolled to the right and found freshman Terry Gardner open at the opposite end of the field. Gardner's score gave them the 15-13 win and one of the most touching victories ever in college football.

"It was a storybook finish," said new coach Jack Lengyel. "No one thought we had a chance to win except the team."

Marshall finished the year 2-8, with the other victory coming against Bowling Green. This moment and the entire tragedy surrounding the crash were remembered in the 2006 film "We Are Marshall" – named so because it was the school's rallying cry after the crash.