Eagles drop C-USA contest

Published 12:17 am Sunday, September 11, 2011

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Rakeem Cato threw three touchdown passes to rally Marshall in a 26-20 win over Southern Mississippi on Saturday in the Conference USA opener for both teams.

The Thundering Herd (1-1) trailed 17-3 with 5:30 left in the second quarter before Cato orchestrated three straight touchdown drives. Cato hit Aaron Dobson on a 10-yard pass to bring Marshall within 17-10 with 27 seconds left in the first half.

Cato and Marshall then tied it on an 11-yard pass to Gator Hoskins early in the third quarter, and took the lead, 24-17, on a 17-yard TD pass from Cato to Dobson with 1:19 left in the third quarter.

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Cato finished with 275 yards and two interceptions on 27 of 42 passing.

The Thundering Herd, who forced six turnovers, tacked on two more points as Vinny Curry tackled the Golden Eagles’ Kendrick Hardy for a loss of 1-yard in the end zone.

Southern Miss fumbled the ball three times, including one that led to Cato’s tying TD pass to Hoskins. Marshall’s George Carpenter recovered two fumbles, and finished with 13 tackles, including one sack.

Southern Miss (1-1) made it 26-20 on Danny Hrapmann’s 28-yard field goal with 1:22 remaining and was driving for another possible score, but Austin Davis threw his third interception with 1 minute left.

Davis finished with 309 yards and two touchdowns on 25 of 49 passing and broke Brett Favre’s career passing mark at the school. Davis, who needed 74 yards coming in, broke the record of 7,695 set from 1987-1990 by the recently retired NFL quarterback.