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ECU holds annual spring game, honor players with bowl game rings

Defense and offense play to a tie
ECU holds annual spring game, honor players with bowl game rings
Published: Apr. 9, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Spring college football games being held all over North Carolina. N.C. State and Duke both playing theirs. Washington Pam Pack’s Terry Moore with a touchdown in the Duke game.

ECU football also back at Dowdy-Ficklen for their annual spring game.

The annual spring game, purple against the white, defense against offense. Holton Ahlers and the first team did play a bit in the first half. The D.H. Conley grad made a nice pass to Shane Calhoun over the middle.

“His command of the complete offense, and then you know he’s throwing the ball with so much more zip this spring than he has in the past,” says ECU head coach Mike Houston, “He’s trimmed down, he’s running much better, and certainly means a lot to our team, and he means a lot to that room. He’s been a great mentor towards Mason and Ryan.”

The defense the story. They were flying and making plays all over the field.

Myles Berry comes up with a big play here and they would lead the game 25-12 at the half.

“We had five guys, six guys leave defensively that was a lot of production, a lot of tackles for loss, interceptions all those type of things,” says ECU defensive coordinator Blake Harrell, “Not it one guy can make all that production up it’s got to be a group of guys and collectively as a defense we got to do that.”

Mason Garcia turned it on second half leading a couple scoring drives. One for a touchdown as he finds Calhoun here on the sideline.

“We think he has four years to play,” says ECU offensive coordinator Donnie Kirkpatrick, “I hope he’s here all those. I hope we can keep them here that long because I tell you what once you see him play I’m afraid they’re all gonna want them. They asked him to work out for pro day and we said no.”

Rahjai Harris found his way to the end zone to make it very close.

“Yeah I found the end zone man. I’m a lucky one, lucky one,” says ECU running back Rahjai Harris, “I don’t know the difference to be honest. I just this year I’ve worked on my body I’m about 213 right now. So I’m just working on my body, working on my hips and getting my speed back so I can takeoff.”

Jacksonville’s Jireh Wilson made one of the top plays for the defense. An interception for some good points on defense.

“I played safety in high school growing up so it was kind of an natural transition for me,” says ECU safety Jireh Wilson, “It was a little difficult at first but once I learned and stop thinking and kind of knew the defense at that position it was good, I was good.”

The game ended in a 40-40 tie on the scoreboard, although they may change it on video review. Both sides thought they won.

“I’m gonna go ahead and say the defense won,” says Wilson, “Because you know I’m biased, but the defense won. And he added time to the clock. Nobody noticed that so I think the defense won.”

“I think the offense won,” says Harris, “But you know they’re gonna try and give it to the defense.”

In the end they were all winners as head coach Mike Houston surprised them all with bowl rings following the game.

“You know the guys, they earned these OK. I know we didn’t win a bowl game, I understand that. But you know that’s not the kids fault. They were prepared to win it. I promise you,” says Houston, “They deserve to have something to celebrate last season.”

“Coach Houston said it was something we deserved and it was something that we worked all last season for,” says Wilson, “We have been anticipating all spring being able to open the ring so it’s just a great moment and I’m happy all the guys got to do it and I got to be a part of that.”

“That is my first ring ever so you know it’s always special for your first ring ever,” says Harris, “I never won one in high school, first one in college man it’s just special.”

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