Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

December 28, 2013

KYLE HOBSTETTER: Cato climbing Herd QB ranks

ANNAPOLIS, MD. — Rakeem Cato is doing his best to put his name among the elite quarterbacks in Marshall history.

Some could say the junior’s name is already up there.

With his MVP performance in Friday’s Military Bowl, Cato is marching toward one of the best quarterback careers in Marshall history.  

Just look at the numbers:

-Cato is only the third Marshall quarterback to throw for more than 10,000 yards. The other two are Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich — both first-round draft picks.

-Cato, a junior, is already second all-time in career touchdown passes with 91. He trails only Pennington’s 115.

-Cato has thrown a touchdown pass in 32 consecutive games.

-Cato was won two bowl games. The only Marshall quarterbacks to lead the Thundering Herd to multiple bowl wins were Leftwich and Pennington.

But the scary thing is, Cato has done all this in one less year than Leftwich and Pennington.

The Miami native has quietly become one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country.

After Friday’s Military Bowl win, the attention around Cato shouldn’t be so quiet.

“I tell the guys all the time, big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games,” Cato said. “I just wanted to come out here and lay everything out on the line and bring my team a victory.”

With the dismantling of an ACC team on a national television stage, Cato could see a lot of attention next season.

Along with Cato, Marshall will return a majority of its starters from a 10-win team.

All this could lead to the Thundering Herd making some national noise next season.

Raceland Represented

In makes perfect sense that a player from the Raceland Rams plays in a stadium for a team that has a logo of a Ram.

Former Raceland standout Sebastian Johansson started at left guard for the Herd on Friday, as he did for most of the season.

Local fans might remember Johansson, a native of Karlstad, Sweden, from his junior season at Raceland in 2008.

After Raceland’s run in this season’s playoffs, and having produced a starter in a bowl game, current and former Rams have a lot to hang their hat on this season.

Gator is Gone

Tight end Gator Hoskins has been a mismatch for every team he’s played against this season.

That is why the senior leads the nation in touchdown receptions by a tight end with 15, including two on Friday.

Marshall coach Doc Holliday said Hoskins’s Military Bowl performance has been similar to the tight end’s season.

“What Gator has been able to do all season is create a mismatch between him and the defender covering him,” Holliday said. “When he is out there being covered by a safety for space or a linebacker, it creates a mismatch because of his athletic ability and his ball skills. It showed today and the reason why he has the most touchdowns in the nation by a tight end.”

A lot of those at Marshall are hoping Hoskins is the next Marshall player to take the step to the NFL.

According to Sports Illustrated writer Chris Burke, Hoskins could have a future in the NFL. But, instead of being a tight end, he could see time as a fullback.

Other Observations

-Annapolis did a good job hosting its first Military Bowl. Before the game, a parade was held and led by the Budweiser Clydesdales and both university’s bands.

Along with the parade, a parachute team landed in the stadium, and there was a flyover from a B-52.

-Marshall fans were well represented in Annapolis for what could have been a home game for Maryland.

Thundering Herd fans were seated below the press box, and after every big play you could easily feel the roar of the crowd.

-Honorary captains were a good representation of Marshall history.

Former football great Byron Leftwich, coach of the Young Thundering Herd Jack Lengyl, United States Senator Joe Manchin and Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams all took the field with the Herd.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Proposed plan a touchdown for Ashland, Central

    They’ll have to wait another year, but some major changes are on the horizon.

    April 15, 2014

  • Martin, Cannoy put pop on top of Boyd 12-2 win

    Boyd County’s softball bats are booming of late.

    April 14, 2014

  • Stock spiking for Raceland softball

    Raceland took a major step in trying to shift the balance of power in 63rd District softball.

    April 14, 2014

  • 0415eastSB0110.jpg Still chasing the Kittens

    East Carter entered Monday’s softball showdown with Ashland looking to show it’s a credible threat to the Kittens’ recent domination of the 16th Region.

    April 14, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local Sports in Brief: Bush, Porter Wendy's Heisman finalists

    Rose Hill Christian seniors David Bush and Myriah Porter have been named state finalists for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.

    April 14, 2014

  • Paintsville tops Magoffin, 12-0

    Kash Daniel and Spencer Taylor combined to toss a one-hitter as Paintsville pounded Magoffin County, 12-0, on Monday night in the first of a two-game series between 57th District foes.

    April 14, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: Kittens on prowl for SS

    The Monday Morning Shortstop didn't have to dodge any actual darts at Ashland Softball Complex, although there may be an enlarged picture of him riddled with holes somewhere close by.
    If the piercing looks thrown my way weren't enough to sway me, the Kittens did more than enough on the field the past two weeks to distance themselves from a No. 5 ranking in northeastern Kentucky.

    April 13, 2014

  • 0414bcclassic0539.jpg Raceland girls, Boyd boys win track Classic

    As Boyd County first-year track and field coach Chris Holbrook stood on the infield and watched a member of Raceland’s 4-by-400-meter relay team circle the track in the final girls’ event of Saturday’s Boyd County Classic, he commented aloud to no one in particular, “She’s not showing any signs of running out of gas.”
    The Lady Rams had just enough in the tank to fend off the Lady Lions’ late charge and lock down their third victory of the young season, edging host Boyd County by six points, 171-165.
    On the boys’ side, Boyd County cruised, beating second-place Rowan County 175-114. A Lions club that finished 10th in last spring’s Class 2A, Region 6 meet has won all three meets it’s participated in this season.

    April 13, 2014 4 Photos

  • Starns, Steward stellar in '13-14

    After compiling a 40-2 record against 16th Region opponents over the last two seasons, Fleming County left the rest of the area thoroughly convinced of its prowess on the basketball court.

    April 13, 2014

  • Thunder on a sunny day

    Greenup County did its best to pitch to Ashland slugger McKenzie Vanover in her first three trips to the plate Saturday afternoon.
    It didn’t work out so well.

    April 13, 2014