The East Carolina University (1-2, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) football team went on the road to play Marshall University (2-1, 0-0 Conference USA) on Sept. 18 and came out with a last minute touchdown and a defensive stand to win the game with a final score of 42-38.
After a close loss on Sept. 11 to the University of South Carolina (2-1, 0-0 Southeastern Conference) 20-17, the Pirates won a back and forth battle on the scoreboard for the first victory of the season. ECU put up 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win the game.
Junior quarterback Holton Alhers played his best statistical game of the season so far, finishing with 30 completions on 48 attempts and 368 yards. He also finished with two passing touchdowns, a receiving touchdown and a touchdown.
Marshall hit a field goal before Alhers found sophomore wide receiver Tyler Snead for a 24-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Marshall responded with five minutes left in the first quarter to bring the score to 10-7.
It did not take long for the Pirates to score in the second quarter. With 12:33 left in the half, freshman running back Keaton Mitchell ran 88 yards for a touchdown, giving the Pirates a 14-10 lead. Marshall returned the favor with back-to-back rushing touchdowns and secured a 24-14 lead with 7:31 left in the half. ECU took another swing at the scoreboard with a 5-yard receiving touchdown to freshman tight end Shane Calhoun, which brought the score to 24-21 at the half.
Marshall put up two rushing touchdowns in the third quarter, while ECU was unable to respond. At the end of the third, the score was 38-21.
The fourth quarter began the Pirates’ comeback. Alhers ran in a 5-yard touchdown with 7:31 left in the game to bring the score to 28-38. Then, for the second time this season, Snead found himself on the passing end of a touchdown. He passed a 27-yard touchdown to his quarterback Alhers with 2:31 left in the game to bring the Pirates within a score.
The score was 38-35 with less than two minutes in the game when ECU marched down the field and freshman running back Rahjai Harris punched in a 1-yard touchdown to take the lead 42-38. The final minute was left up to the ECU defense, which held its ground to secure the victory at Marshall.
ECU will return to Greenville on Sept. 25 to face Charleston Southern University (1-1, 0-0 Big South Conference). Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.