Boston College Beats Weber State 38-20 in Linebacker Mark Herzlich’s Return


September 4, 2010

BOSTON — Dave Shinskie rebounded from an interception on the first play of the season by throwing touchdowns on consecutive first-quarter drives and Boston College – bolstered by the return of cancer-survivor Mark Herzlich – rolled past Weber State 38-20 on Saturday in the schools' season opener.

Herzlich, a linebacker and the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference defensive player of the year, missed the 2009 season as he underwent treatment for Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

Boston College led 31-10 at halftime in the teams' first-ever meeting. It's the furthest east and north that Weber State has ever played.

Shinskie completed 10 of 20 passes for 185 yards with two interceptions and two touchdowns. Montel Harris carried 19 times for 115 yards and DeLeon Gause returned an interception 66 yards for a score for the Eagles.

After a 10-year old boy, also an Ewing's Sarcoma survivor, brought the day to an emotional start by singing the national anthem, Herzlich led the team out of the tunnel, sprinting about 10 yards ahead of his teammates before he took off his helmet in the front of the student section, jumping up and down with his arms spread wide as the crowd roared.

He was involved in a pair of tackles late in the opening quarter, and the crowd – many aware before his name was announced – cheered. A coupe of fans in the stands behind the BC bench could be heard offering cell-phone updates of his success early in the game.

Herzlich, who missed part of summer camp with a stress fracture of his right foot, played a part-time role in the game, getting five tackles as he worked his way back into shape.

Fans entering Alumni Stadium's north entrance could see the linebacker's No. 94 jersey prominently displayed in a souvenir tent.

The season didn't start well for BC's offense. After getting whistled for a delay of game before the first play from scrimmage, Shinskie followed by throwing an interception to Wildcats' linebacker Taylor Sedillo at the Eagles' 20. Herzlich took the field for the first time since the 2008 Music City Bowl and BC's defense held, allowing only Shaun McClain's 32-yard field goal.

BC then scored on its next four possessions, opening a 24-3 lead late in the second quarter.

Harris sparked the first scoring drive, breaking free for a 21-yard run to move the ball to Weber State's 24 before Shinskie connected on a 6-yard TD toss to tight end Chris Pantale four plays later.

After holding Weber State on the next possession, BC went 76 yards in eight plays as Shinskie capped the drive by throwing a 17-yard TD pass to Ifeanyi Momah to make it 14-3.

Harris' 4-yard TD run ended a seven-play, 64-yard drive that increased it to 21-3 just 2 1/2 minutes into the second quarter. Nate Freese booted 33-yard field goal attempt to cap the next drive.

After Cameron Higgins hit Shaydon Kehano with a 24-yard TD pass for Weber State, backup quarterback Mike Marscovetra took the Eagles 63 yards for a score, hitting a wide-open Sterlin Phifer in the left corner for a 22-yard scoring pass, making it 31-10.

Weber State dropped to 3-43 in games against Division 1 FBS teams.

Gause grabbed Higgins' tipped pass along the left sideline and raced untouched for a score late in the third quarter, making it 38-13.

Josh Booke Jr. had a 4-yard scoring run for the Wildcats with 19 seconds left in the game.

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