Pirates Claim Road Thriller Over Navy, 38-35
Oct. 22, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, MD. - Junior running back Reggie Bullock scored on a three-yard touchdown run with 2:14 remaining in the game as East Carolina knocked off Navy 38-35 in the Pirates' final non-conference tilt of 2011.
Dominique Davis enjoyed a record-breaking performance as he connected on 26 consecutive passes (all in the first half), breaking the NCAA single-game record of 23 established by Tee Martin (1998) and Aaron Rodgers (2004). Davis finished his prolific first half 26-for-26 and tallied 256 yards through the air. He also completed his final 10 tosses of last week's game at Memphis and his 36 consecutive completions over two games also set a new NCAA record, which was held by Rogers (26) in 2004.
The outcome was not decided until the final seconds, as Midshipmen kicker Jon Teague hit the upright on a 42-yard field goal attempt.
Trailing 31-21 in the fourth quarter, Navy claimed the lead after a pair of long aerial strikes. Quarterback Kriss Proctor was replaced by Trey Miller, who tossed a 59-yard touchdown to Brandon Turner. Matt Aiken snared a 37-yard pass from Miller as the Midshipmen went ahead 35-31 with 7:51 left in the final frame.
Davis, who finished the game 40-for-45 for 372 yards and two touchdowns, responded by leading the Pirates on a 15-play, 77-yard march that culminated with Bullock's game-winning rush. The drive was highlighted by a crucial fourth-down completion from Davis to freshman receiver Danny Webster, who finished with a career best 81 receiving yards.
Bullock set a career high with a trio of rushing touchdowns, which all came in the second half. The last time a Pirate had three scores on the ground was Brandon Simmons against UTEP in 2008.
The efficient East Carolina offense did not have a turnover in the contest, marking the first time this year without a giveaway.
Davis was not the only Pirate to enjoy a record-breaking Saturday, as senior wide receiver Lance Lewis caught a three-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter giving him 21 scoring catches in his career. That ties Larry Shannon's mark, which he set from 1994-97, for the most in program history. Lewis finished the game with nine receptions for 80 yards.
Navy's Gee Gee Greene opened up the scoring with a 13-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. East Carolina scored 17 consecutive points to close out the first half. After Lewis' touchdown reception, Davis found Michael Bowman for a 10-yard score and Michael Barbour connected on a 35-yard field goal as time expired before intermission.
The Midshipmen answered quickly as Marcus Thomas returned the second-half kickoff and raced 90 yards down the sideline for a score, trimming ECU's lead to 17-14. On the ensuing drive, Bullock scored from one-yard out, pushing the lead back to 10 points.
Alexander Teich took a toss sweep in for a touchdown from one yard out with 2:23 remaining in the third quarter, but Bullock answered again with a 13-yard ground score on the first play of the fourth quarter.
After a pair of Navy touchdown passes, East Carolina utilized its ground attack and the speedy Bullock on the final possession. Bullock collected 33 of his 104 rushing yards on the game-winning drive.
Navy just missed a chance to take the lead in the final moments, as Aiken was not able to hold on to a deep ball from Miller in the front corner of the end zone with 0:38 left. After a pass completion on third down, the Midshipmen raced their field goal unit onto the field before Teague misfired on the try.
Navy has now dropped five straight games, marking the longest losing skid it has suffered since 2002.
The triumph marks the first true road non-conference victory for the Pirates since a 2006 victory at N.C. State.
The Pirates return to action Oct. 29 inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for a Conference USA clash with Tulane. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. with television coverage provided by WITN.