Monday, October 22, 2007

Fletcher runs for 152 yards, 3 TDs to help Southern Miss beat Marshall

AP Sports Writer

Damion Fletcher ran for 152 yards and three touchdowns to lead Southern Miss to a 33-24 victory over Marshall on Sunday night.

Southern Miss (4-3, 3-1 Conference USA) jumped ahead 20-0 and withstood a second-half rally by Marshall to move into a tie for first place with East Carolina in the East Division.

Marshall (0-7, 0-3) once was virtually unbeatable at home, but has lost three games in a season at Joan C. Edwards Stadium for the second time in three years. The Thundering Herd are on pace for their worst season since going 1-10 in 1979. Marshall hasn't had a winless season since 1968.

Justin Estes kicked field goals on consecutive drives to put Southern Miss ahead 26-10 midway through the third quarter, but the Golden Eagles punted on their next three possessions and Marshall drew closer.

Darius Marshall's 8-yard TD run capped a 79-yard drive and Bernard Morris found Darius Passmore with a 47-yard TD toss that pulled Marshall to 26-24 midway through the fourth.

Marshall's Maurice Kitchens was called for pass interference that kept alive a drive that ended with Fletcher's 2-yard TD run with a minute left in the game.

Fletcher, who rushed for 151 yards against Marshall as a freshman a year ago, had another big game against one of the nation's worst defenses. Southern Miss started drives in Marshall territory on both of its first-quarter TDs, runs of 36 and 2 yards by Fletcher.

Golden Eagles quarterback Stephen Reaves was effective in his third game since taking over for injured starter Jeremy Young. Reaves completed 23 of 30 passes for 310 yards.

After Southern Miss' Justin Wilson made his first career interception in the end zone in the first quarter, Reaves found Torris Magee at the Southern Miss 45 and Magee raced the rest of the way for an 85-yard score and a 20-0 lead. It was the longest TD pass in Southern Miss history, breaking the mark of 83 yards from Andrew Anderson to Andrew Mott against Louisville in 1985.

Morris went 20-of-38 for 309 yards and two scores. He also threw three interceptions.

Source:; Photo Credit: Southern Mississippi Media Relations