Storms End Friends of Coal Bowl Early; WVU Wins

By: Hanna Francis; Kristen Schneider; Associated Press Email
By: Hanna Francis; Kristen Schneider; Associated Press Email

UPDATE 9/5/11 @ 6 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The herd traveled to Morgantown Sunday for the biggest football rivalry in the state, but the only thing that got "thunderstruck" was WVU's stadium.

Three things that don't mix: thunder, lightening and college football.

"It's been a very bizarre night," Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick said after the game. "I don't think I've ever seen anything like we've seen tonight."

Lightning delayed the game twice, then it was called -- with more than 14 minutes on the clock. One thing Coaches Holliday and Holgerson could both agree on -- enough is enough. The waiting game had to end.

It was a disappointing end for players -- and even moutaineer fans, who got the win.

"I was hoping they'd stay and play it the next day," WVU fan Justin Pritt said.



UPDATE 9/4/11 @ 7:30 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Geno Smith threw two first-half touchdown passes, Tavon Austin returned a kickoff for a score and No. 24 West Virginia beat Marshall 34-13 on Sunday night in a game that was stopped early in the fourth quarter because of lightning.

Smith completed 26 of 35 passes for 249 yards. Despite difficulty running the ball, West Virginia improved to 11-0 against its cross-state foe, including six wins since the series resumed in 2006.

Marshall was limited to 13 first downs, 187 total yards and no offensive touchdowns.

The game was first halted with 5 minutes left in the third quarter due to severe storms and play didn't resume for three hours.

Play was stopped again with 14:36 left. But another hour went by before the game was called off, giving new West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen a soggy, successful debut.



UPDATE 9/4/11 @ 9:22 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- The game between No. 24 West Virginia and Marshall has been stopped a second time due to lightning.

Fans were told to leave their seats Sunday midway through the third quarter with West Virginia leading 27-13. The teams returned to the field at one point, only to return to their locker rooms after more storms arrived.

Most of the sellout crowd of 60,758 had left by the time the game resumed following the three-hour delay. But 15 minutes after play resumed, the teams were sent off the field again when more lightning was detected.



UPDATE 9/4/11 @ 9:06 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- The game between No. 24 West Virginia and Marshall has resumed after a three-hour delay due to lightning.

Fans were told to leave their seats Sunday midway through the third quarter with West Virginia leading 27-13.

The teams returned to the field at one point, only to return to their lockerrooms after more storms arrived.

Most of the sellout crowd of 60,758 had left by the time the game resumed.



UPDATE 9/4/11 @ 7:54 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The National Weather Service has cleared the need for an evacuation at Milan Puskar Stadium.

Monongalia County emergency dispatchers say they are allowing everyone back into the stadium at this point.

The Friends of Coal Bowl is set to restart a little after 8 p.m. Sunday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 9/4/11
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Heavy lightning has prompted an evacuation of Milan Puskar Stadium, delaying the Friends of Coal Bowl.

Monongalia County emergency dispatchers say the stands were cleared about 5:45 p.m. Sunday.

They say the game will be delayed until they receive an all clear from the National Weather Service.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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