Heels Top Pirates 42-17

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Shaun Draughn needed some time to look like his old self after missing North Carolina's opener due to an ongoing NCAA investigation.

Da'Norris Searcy, however, didn't wait to make an impact.

Draughn scored three second-half touchdowns while Searcy returned an interception for a touchdown in his first game back to help the Tar Heels beat East Carolina 42-17 on Saturday, their second straight win after an 0-2 start.

Draughn ran for 137 yards for the still-depleted Tar Heels (2-2), who were without 11 players amid the NCAA review into agent-related benefits and possible academic misconduct. Johnny White also ran for a career-high 140 yards while T.J. Yates threw two TD passes as North Carolina beat its instate rival here for the second straight season.

"We've had a lot of off-the-field stuff that's distracting," Yates said, "but this team has done an amazing job of just blocking it out and moving on."

Draughn had only 14 carries behind White in his first two games. But with White hobbled by an ankle injury, Draughn got 22 carries for 120 yards in the second half as North Carolina pulled away.

Draughn even got carries near the goal-line, which he joked was "unfamiliar territory" since that job typically falls to Ryan Houston - one of nine players whose status remains in question due to the NCAA probe. Draughn took advantage with a 1-yard run late in the third to make it 28-17, then bulled over defenders at the pylon for a 4-yard score midway through the fourth.

He scored on a 13-yard run in the final minute, capping an eight-play drive in which he carried the ball on every play.

It marked the first time in six years that the Tar Heels had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game, and the first time in five years that the Pirates had allowed two 100-yard rushers. North Carolina finished with 263 yards rushing, more than their first three games combined.

"With the things (Davis has) going on, to hold the team together like he has and get them to play, my hat has to go off to this group," East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill said. "I told him that after the football game."

The Tar Heels got a boost from Searcy, a safety who started every game last season. The school had held him out of the first three games to determine his eligibility before he was cleared Thursday. The announcement came so late in the week that Davis wondered exactly how much Searcy could contribute.

But Searcy made a huge play, grabbing an overthrown pass from Dominique Davis then cutting back inside of Dwayne Harris' attempted tackle for a 46-yard return that tied it at 14 heading into halftime.

That was the highlight of a solid defensive effort, with the Pirates' spread offense rolling to 131 yards in the first quarter but managing fewer yards with each period. The Tar Heels did it without leading tackler Quan Sturdivant, who sat out with a hamstring injury.

Davis threw for 244 yards and a touchdown, and Harris threw a 39-yard score to Joe Womack as the Pirates got off to a fast start. But Davis threw three interceptions as the game slipped away, with the Tar Heels outscoring the Pirates 35-3 in the final 33 minutes.

Who do you think will win this weekend's big football game?

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  • by Dave Location: in my room on Oct 15, 2010 at 02:43 PM
    I like to gaze into the mirrow and dance to "I'm too sexy."
  • by Cajun Pirate Location: New Orleans/Orlando on Oct 15, 2010 at 01:27 PM
    Dave, I'd watch what I say. ECU is way more than just known around North Carolina I'm a native of New Orleans Louisiana, now living in Orlando and ended up coming to East Carolina to play golf back in the 80's. Where I'm at is right here in Knight/Gator/Seminole/Bull/Hurricane territory, and most of these people speak highly of East Carolina and what they have done. These Miami fans still can't beleive their #3 team lost to East Carolina when they visited Raleigh (thanks to Hurricane Floyd) I don't know if you are one of the angry locals who has a problem with Greenville being taken over by ECU, or if you like N.C. State or UNC, but it sounds like you must not have much of a life to act all critical of ECU's fans. You must have some kind of problem to be pouting about this. I mean really.
  • by Bud Location: Washington on Oct 15, 2010 at 09:24 AM
    Aww come on WITN, all I said was that Dave needs to look around and recognize he's living in the hometown of the team he hates and move away. Dave, you're doing this to yourself. You live here, so deal with it already. ECU fans are enthusiastic about their team, always have been and always will be. Just cause you're not optimistic about anything doesn't mean we aren't allowed to be.
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Oct 15, 2010 at 08:45 AM
    ECU fans don't get any more excited than some of these other schools. ECU fans have more than just a life. ECU fans have jobs and hobbies. ECU fans have other functions to go to. ECU fans have more than just a clue. ECU fans are definately as loud mouthed as your N.C. State or West Virginia fans. Hate on the fans if you want to, but frankly none of us care. If it bothers you so bad then why on earth are you still here? Why are you still in Greenville, NC? Why are you still on the board? It just does not add up to make any sense with you staying around when it gets on your nerves. If I hated such a group of fans so bad, then I would'nt go to an away football game at the opposing stadium, such as UNC, Central Florida, UAB, or West Virginia.
  • by Dave Location: 78th floor on Oct 14, 2010 at 04:57 PM
    It's not ECU sports that I hate, it's those loud mouthed over excited fans that get on my nerves. Those people need to get a clue and a life. ECU is nothing outside of NC.
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Oct 14, 2010 at 01:41 PM
    Dave, you must have not paid any attention to the fact that ECU and UNC have not started playing regularly until just a few years ago. ECU has not had as good of recruits before the 90's and they started improving just about every year since the 90's started (you probably were still in PA). Since you have not been in Greenville long, you would'nt know much when it comes to things outside of the Big 11 (soon to be 12). This is a new day in age. That loss to Duke was when STEVE SPURRIER(National Championship coach with FLORIDA and possibly SOUTH CAROLINA this year) was coaching. Duke was phenominal then. You are the one that is delusional if you think ECU would only go down. They keep consistently winning conference championships and have a great chance at a 3-peat with a new coach and a young group of guys. ECU also has the facilities and the large # of fans that go to their games. They average more people than the average Big East school.
  • by Dave Location: at Joyner Library on Oct 13, 2010 at 08:14 PM
    I can also remember when UNC had a clean program in football...God I miss those days. I think ECU is smarter than UNC because they don't break the rules. Come to think of it...I think I will become an ECU fan because they are better overall.
  • by Dave Location: up a tree on Oct 13, 2010 at 03:39 PM
    I'm jealous on everyone, why can't it be me?
  • by Dave Location: street corner on Oct 13, 2010 at 01:57 PM
    Sam: You sound delusional, are you running fever? What makes you think ECU will ever gain the upper hand on UNC, NCSU, VT, WVU? The Pirates always find a way to blow a lead/ choke in big games (I.E. last 2 Liberty Bowl outings). This has been there MO for as long as I can remember. 2 wins against UNC is down right pathetic especially when you consider UNC is a basketball school and vitually unknown in football. I remember in 1992 watching ECU get slaughtered by DUKE football and several years later just getting by a bad/awful Duke team. If ECU ever changes conference affiliation it will be a latteral move like the Sunbelt. Until these guys can prove they deserve a shot in BCS, ECU will remain where they are.
  • by DDR on Oct 13, 2010 at 12:08 PM

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