MARSHALL - Kurt Traylor and Tyler Lee are 1-0.
Senior Chance Amie completed 16 of 27 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns to Zaylon Walker, leading the Red Raiders past Marshall 29-27 on Friday in both teams’ season opener at Maverick Stadium.
Robert E. Lee also snapped an eight-game losing streak that stretched back to last season.
But Marshall did not make things easy.
The Red Raiders built a 29-14 lead with 7:54 to play, but needed Amie to secure the victory by recovering an onside kick with eight seconds left.
Lee trailed for most of the first half and did not register a first down until the 1:25 mark of the first quarter.
The Red Raiders’ maligned defense of a year ago stood tall throughout the night as REL’s offense began clicking in the second half.
A bad snap led to a short punt by Marshall, giving Lee possession deep in the Mavericks territory at the 37. On first down, junior tailback Ladarius Wickware went around the end and did not stop until he reached pay-dirt for a 37-yard score. Wickware finished with 26 carries for 158 yards and two touchdowns in the game.
The PAT was good by Leonel Coreas to tie the game 7-7 early in the second quarter.
Marshall answered back almost immediately, thanks to a 59-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Odarius Sellers (finished with 211 yards) to Tahj Washington that covered 59 yards.
Trailing 14-7, Lee faced third-and-10 from its own 34. In a precursor of the rest of the half, Amie avoided multiple rushers to scramble and buy time before firing a strike to Lanthony Simmons for 29 yards and a first down. The Red Raiders faced another third down later in the drive and again Amie had the answer with a pass to Jamal Ligon.
He capped the drive with a 19-yard TD pass to Zaylon Walker, who finished the game with two catches for 59 yards and two scores.
Then came what turned out to be the two deciding plays of the game. Instead of kicking the PAT, Simmons took a handoff and scored a two-point conversion to help REL lead 15-14.
The second came from REL’s defense, which stuffed Marshall on 4th and goal from the 1 to give Lee a 15-14 halftime lead.
Lee made enough big plays to build a big lead in the second half. Matt Taylor intercepted Sellers at the 15 to stop the Mavericks’ first drive of the third quarter.
Lee then drove 85 yards in nine plays, capped by a running one-handed catch for a touchdown by Zaylon Walker. Walker's arm looked to be pinned behind him, so he caught it with the other and scored a 40-yard TD. Coreas’ PAT made it 22-14.
Lee tacked on another score early in the fourth quarter when a pass interference in the end zone on fourth down gave the Red Raiders first-and-goal with Wickware doing the honors from 2 yards out. Coreas’ kick made it 29-14.
Up to this point, REL’s defense had shut down Marshall since the midway point of the second quarter, but one play gave the Mavericks life and made for a nervy finish for Red Raider fans.
After REL lost a fumble, Marshall’s Rodarius Smith took a handoff on third down and burst through the middle untouched for a 59-yard touchdown.
On the two-point try, Sellers tried to hit his receiver, but Lee’s Elliott Davison intercepted the pass to keep the score 29-20.
Lee attempted to run the clock down and was one play away from doing it, facing fourth-and-1 with under a minute to go.
Marshall stopped Amie’s sneak.
The Mavericks then used three long pass plays from Sellers to Joquan Bass to move themselves all the way to the Lee 2. Smith scored from there and the PAT made it 29-27 with eight seconds remaining.
Amie then made sure the Red Raiders went home happy.
Tyler Lee 29, Marshall 27
At Maverick Stadium, Marshall
Tyler Lee 0 15 7 7 - 29
Marshall 7 7 0 13 - 27
MAR-Odarius Sellers 1 run (Jacob Suarez kick), 5:08.
LEE-Ladarius Wickware 37 run (Leonel Coreas kick), 10:12.
MAR-Tahj Washington 59 pass from Sellers (Suarez kick), 8:52
LEE-Zaylon Walker 19 pass from Chance Amie (Lanthony Simmons run), 5:49
LEE-Walker 40 pass from Chance Amie (Coreas kick), 7:31
LEE-Wickware 2 run (Coreas kick), 7:54
MAR-Rodarius Smith 59 run (pass failed), 5:55
MAR-Smith 2 run (Suarez kick), :08
First Downs 23 20
Rushes-Yards 50-194 32-213
Passing Yards 265 211
Comp.-Att.-Int. 16-27-0 12-37-1
Punts-Avg. 4-25 6-30.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-0
Penalties-Yards 6-40 7-70
RUSHING-Tyler Lee, Ladarius Wickware 26-158, Jordan Printers 3-21, Lanthony Simmons 8-13, Chance Amie 12-7, Kameron Ross 1-(-5). Marshall, Rodarius Smith 19-137, Odarius Sellers 11-44, Tahj Washington 1-32, J.J. Green 1-0.
PASSING-Tyler Lee, Amie 16-27-0 265. Marshall, Sellers 12-36-1 211, Green 0-1-0 0.
RECEIVING-Tyler Lee, Marquis Gray 2-38, Tevion Massey 3-21, Lanthony Simmons 2-31, Harrison Branham 2-57, Kameron Ross 1-36, Zaylon Walker 2-59, Jamal Ligon 1-9, Carey Clark 1-7, Malcolm Miller 1-4, Ladarius Wickware 1-3. Marshall, Joquan Bass 3-65, Washington 2-60, DeKendrick Bender 3-44, Selah Smith 1-32, Smith 3-10.