ECU falls in thriller to #13 N.C. State

#13 N.C. State 21, ECU 20
ECU Pirates fall to NC State in home opener, 21-20
Published: Sep. 3, 2022 at 7:09 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The build up has been months. in state rivals ECU and NC State the day final here to square off and after all the hype it lived up to the billing. A Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium record 51,711 people on hand to witness.

Old connections Mike Houston and Dave Doeren meeting up before the game and the old coach, coach Ruffin McNeill got love from the fans.

East Carolina did lead in the game. D.H. Conley connection in Pirate colors as former Vikings Holton Ahlers and C.J. Johnson hook up for the games first score. Holton set the AAC record for career completions in the game.

N.C. State scored the next 21 unanswered points. This big touchdown run by Demie Sumo-Karngbaye 24-yard score 21-7 Wolfpack at the break.

Second half all ECU. Ahlers connects with Shane Calhoun on a short touchdown pass to make it 21-14 in the 3rd.

Two goal line stands kept them in it. First it’s a fumble recovered by Gerard Stringer that got the place hopping. Then on fourth and one at the one, Pirates stuff them to get the ball back.

ECU would mount a drive in the fourth. Rahjai Harris goes in for the touchdown but they missed the extra point 21-20.

They got one last shot thanks to the defense and Keaton Mitchell rushed into the Wolfpack end setting them up to kick for the win

Owen Daffer had a kick to win it with 9 seconds to play.

It’s wide.

Pirates lose a heartbreakers 21-20.

“They inspire me with the way they play. Our preparation coming into today we were very confident this morning. Not many outside of Greenville gave us a chance. Those kids never doubted,” says ECU head coach Mike Houston, “We should have won the ball game. We outplayed them, we dominated them physically in the second half. I just really hurt for those kids in the locker room right now. They brought this program from the depths back to what it was today. That stadium today was incredible, our fan base is incredible, we all deserved to have a win today and I am sorry we are not celebrating one.”

ECU next plays host to Old Dominion next Saturday at 6 PM.

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