Pirates Knock Off Memphis, 35-17
Oct. 15, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Dominique Davis threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns as East Carolina defeated conference foe Memphis 35-17 Saturday night.
The Pirates used an offensive onslaught in the second half to overcome a three-point halftime deficit. Davis connected on two second-half strikes and ran for another as ECU outscored the Tigers 28-7 in the third and fourth quarters. While moving to 2-1 in Conference USA play, ECU collected 524 yards of total offense.
Following the sluggish start, the Pirates rebounded and tallied 35 consecutive points before Memphis scored on a pass from reserve quarterback Taylor Reed to Tannar Rehrer. Reed entered the game in the second half for starter Skylar Jones, who left the with an apparent injury. Jones finished the game with 124 passing yards. He was intercepted twice by East Carolina as Emanuel Davis and Derek Blacknall recorded the takeaways.
ECU fell behind 10-7 but rallied for the victory behind three second-half touchdowns. Torrance Hunt scampered in from nine yards away with 10:57 remaining in the third frame for the go-ahead score as the Pirates claimed a 14-10 lead. Hunt, making his first career start, finished the contest with a personal-best 98 yards on 16 rushing attempts.
Justin Hardy hauled in a 58-yard aerial strike with 6:29 left in the third period. Hardy's reception marks the longest offensive play by the Pirates in 2011. He finished the game with five catches for 85 yards. The redshirt freshman also tossed a 51-yard completion to Andrew Bodenheimer in the first quarter.
Senior outside receiver Lance Lewis, who moved into fifth place on ECU's all-time receptions list, hauled in a fade route from Davis on the first play of the fourth quarter to stake the Pirates to a 28-10 advantage. He corralled six receptions for 48 yards and his touchdown places him one shy of Larry Shannon's all-time ECU record of 21.
Davis scampered in on a one-yard quarterback sweep late in the meeting to cap the scoring for the Pirates. The senior signal-caller was responsible for four of the team's five offensive touchdowns and tossed three scores, marking the 10th time he has thrown for three or more TDs.
Memphis took an early lead as Paulo Henriques connected on a 19-yard field goal with 4:04 left in the first quarter, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead. The scoring kick followed an apparent touchdown strike from Jones to Curtis Johnson, but the call was overturned as Johnson was ruled down at the four-yard line upon review.
On the Pirates' ensuing drive, Davis was under pressure by the Memphis defense but lateraled into his own backfield as Martin Ifedi recovered the loose ball for a touchdown. The extra point pushed the Tigers to a 10-0 lead.
With 14:13 left in the second period, Davis found Derrick Harris - younger brother of former Pirate Dwayne Harris - with a 12-yard aerial strike to open the scoring for East Carolina.
ECU outgained Memphis 524-233 and clinched its sixth-consecutive triumph over its division rival. The Tigers fell to 1-6, 0-3 in Conference USA.
East Carolina will travel to Navy next weekend to close out the non-conference schedule. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.