MU football: Frohnapfel connection caps victory
HUNTINGTON - Marshall quarterback Blake Frohnapfel couldn't have found a better target for his first collegiate touchdown pass - his twin brother, tight end Eric Frohnapfel. Eric, however, joked that Blake could have thrown a better ball.
"It got there," he said with a laugh after Marshall's 52-24 win over Western Carolina. "At the end of the day, it got there. I grew up with him and played for four years, so I'm used to the end-over-end punt ball coming at me sometimes."
Blake, who was 4-for-4 for 53 yards, found Eric on his last completion of the game, a 29-yarder that Eric caught inside the Catamounts' 10 and broke a tackle to reach the end zone. Blake sheepishly admitted, grinning as he did, that the ball could have been thrown better. But the excitement of seeing his brother open and a defender getting a piece of his hip altered the toss.
"I have to be one of the most accurate duck throwers around," Blake said. "It was one of those things where I'm like, 'I hope it gets there' and luckily it did."
While Eric could critique Blake's throw, he had no complaints about an earlier play, when Blake lowered the boom on safety Christon Gill on a 9-yard rush.
"It just kind of worked out that I cut it up and he was waiting there," the 6-foot-6, 225-pound quarterback said. "I'm not a really shifty athlete, so I guess I've got to try to run him over. He came at me standing straight up, so I just lowered my shoulder on him."
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FORMER MARSHALL quarterback Eddie Sullivan's return to Joan C. Edwards Stadium wasn't too enjoyable on the field, since his Catamounts lost by four touchdowns. But it was fun for him to see old teammates and friends.
"At the end of the game, I think I got bombarded by just about every one of my old teammates from the Marshall sideline, and it was a good feeling," Sullivan said. "It felt welcoming - obviously we were on different teams, but it felt welcoming. It really helped solidify that fact that football is a game where you make a lot of friends."
Sullivan left the Herd before last season's Memphis game to preserve a redshirt. He sat out WCU's season opener versus Mars Hill, and WCU Coach Mark Speir said Sullivan and Troy Mitchell would share snaps Saturday. However, Sullivan took every one.
He finished with 191 yards, an interception and a touchdown on 19-of-40 passing, and added 50 yards and two scores on 10 carries. He said he was impressed with the strides his old team made since last season.
"Marshall is a great team; they've made major improvements from where they were last year," he said. "Overall, I think they're a better team and are playing good football."
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LINEBACKER DEVIN Arrington thought he had a shot at one big play Saturday, but it turned out to be a different, and even bigger, one. Arrington intercepted Sullivan in the third quarter and took it 18 yards for his first career touchdown.
"I'd seen the running back screen coming out of the backfield," he said. "At first I thought it was going to be a kill-shot on the running back, but then he overthrew the ball, so I said I'll take it to the house."
It was a different feeling for Arrington and the Marshall defense, maligned after giving up 655 yards in their season-opening loss to West Virginia University. Against the Catamounts, Marshall allowed 355 yards, and gave up just 120 by halftime before the game was out of reach.
"It felt good to come back and actually fly around and feel comfortable doing what we do as a defense," he said. "Anytime a defensive player gets a score, it doesn't happen often, so it was a good day."
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ARRINGTON GOT a new fellow starter among the linebackers - redshirt freshman D.J. Hunter - who moved from strong safety to linebacker for Saturday and started ahead of Raheem Waiters. Head Coach Doc Holliday said the move was made to ensure his best 11 players were on the field.
"He brings some athleticism to the position and I thought, for the most part, he'd done a nice job," Holliday said.
Hunter finished with six tackles, though he was flagged for roughing Sullivan in the second quarter. Hunter's position change wasn't the only news in Marshall's secondary from Saturday. Holliday said following the game that true freshman corner A.J. Leggett, a four-star recruit from Miami, would miss the season following shoulder surgery. He was on the sidelines Saturday with his right arm in a sling and will take a medical redshirt.
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.