East Carolina blanks Gardner-Webb 44-0 for first shutout in 23 years

ECU 44, Gardner Webb 0
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Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 11:37 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Rahjai Harris had rushing and receiving touchdowns and East Carolina picked up its first win of the season, beating Gardner-Webb 44-0 on Saturday night for the Pirates’ first shutout in 23 years.

East Carolina’s last shutout came in a 38-0 win over Duke on Sept. 2, 2000.

ECU (1-3) scored on four straight possessions in the first half, including three TDs, the final one on Mason Garcia’s 2-yard rush. That score came not long after a fumbled kickoff, one of three Bulldogs (1-3) turnovers in the first half.

Harris scored East Carolina’s first two touchdowns, the first on an 11-yard pass from Alex Flinn and the other on a 2-yard run. Andrew Conrad added a 44-yard field goal in building the 23-0 halftime lead.

Kamarro Edmonds added a pair of rushing touchdowns and Javious Bond one in the second half.

ECU outgained Gardner-Webb 366-107 and took advantage of five Bulldogs fumbles.

Early in the second half, Bulldogs middle linebacker Honus Wagner was taken off the field on a stretcher with an undisclosed injury. The entire Gardner-Webb team came onto the field before Wagner was taken off.

“What a phenomenal performance by our young men just ecstatic for them,” says ECU head football coach Mike Houston, “Very pleasing to see us go out and play a complete ballgame.”

“Man it just feels great honestly and it just feels great to get the win,” says ECU linebacker Teylor Jackson, “It just go in preparation. We just knew we had things we needed to accomplish this week and we just got them done.”

“Yeah it is big. You want to get that first one,” says ECU quarterback Alex Flinn, “We always talk about getting that monkey off your back and once you get that first one you hope they start rolling in after that.”

“Definitely a confidence booster. Not saying our confidence went down but definitely a confidence booster,” says ECU running back Rahjai Harris, “Knowing we can get out there and just beat anyone. On to Rice though. 24 hour rule. Played good ball tonight in all phases. We just got to keep going, keep trucking.”

ECU plays at Rice next Saturday at 7 PM.