Navy Runs Past Pirates
Nov. 6, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina trailed by seven points at the half, but four third-quarter fumbles by the Pirates turned into 24 points for Navy as the Midshipmen controlled the second half to defeat ECU 76-35 Saturday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Navy (6-3) rolled to 521 ground yards, the most by an opponent in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium history and the second most ever recorded against the Pirates (5-4). The Midshipmen's 76 points were also the most ever scored in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium history and the second most ever scored by an opponent.
For East Carolina, junior quarterback Dominique Davis established program single-game records for completions (43) and attempts (65) while finishing just one yard shy of the passing yardage mark with 413. He also tossed five touchdowns to tie the ECU single-game record. Davis now holds the program's season record for completions with 278 and is second on the single-season passing touchdown list with 26, two shy of Jeff Blake's 28 in 1991.
The Pirates' Dwayne Harris also had a career day, hauling in two touchdown passes to give him sole possession of second place on the program's career touchdown ledger. He has 18 career receiving touchdowns, three behind Larry Shannon (21/1994-97). Harris also has eight receiving scores this season, tied for the sixth most in a year in Pirate history.
Navy began the scoring on its opening possession when Vince Murray found the endzone from 10 yards out. However, ECU responded with a nine-play drive that took 2:45 and culminated in junior Michael Byrd's first career touchdown reception, from one yard away.
On the ensuing kickoff, Navy's Marcus Thomas fumbled the ball after a hit by kicker Ben Ryan, which allowed Robert Jones to scoop up the ball for his first career fumble recovery. With the Pirates at the Navy 44-yard line, Davis took the squad down the field in five plays and threw a 10-yard scoring strike to Harris, which put East Carolina in front 14-7.
It took just three plays for the Midshipmen to tie the score as Alexander Teich broke off a career-best 64-yard run with 1:42 remaining in the opening period. Following a Ryan punt, Navy took the ball into the second quarter and cashed in when Ricky Dobbs threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jones in the left corner of the endzone to make the score 21-14. Then, after forcing a Midshipmen punt, Davis tallied his third touchdown pass of the day, to Lance Lewis, capping off a 10-play drive that spanned 3:34 and knotted the game at 21.
With 14 seconds remaining in the half, the Midshipmen retook the lead when Dobbs rushed five yards over the right end to make it 28-21 heading into the break. Dobbs' touchdown set a Navy record for career touchdowns scored.
A pair of Jonathan Williams fumbles proved costly at the beginning of the second half, as Navy converted the turnovers to a Jon Teague 38-yard field goal and an Aaron Santiago 29-yard TD reception to go ahead 38-21 with just over 10 minutes showing on the clock.
The Pirate turnover woes continued on the next drive, as Davis fumbled the ball on his own 21-yard line. Four plays later, Gee Gee Greene rush over the left side for 12 yards to extend the Midshipmen lead to 45-21.
East Carolina cut into the deficit with 7:25 remaining in the third quarter when Davis completed two-straight passes to Lewis - a 63-yard heave down the left side of the field before a two-yard throw in the front of the endzone.
Navy scored two more times in the third quarter on a Teague 20-yard field goal and a 42-yard run by Murray. The Midshipmen also tallied the first score of the final frame as Bo Snelson ran into the endzone from six yards out, making it 62-28 Navy.
Harris caught his second touchdown pass of the day to snap the Midshipmen scoring run, hauling in a two-yard pass from Davis.
Navy closed the scoring with a pair of touchdown runs from Kriss Proctor.
East Carolina returns to action Thursday, opening a two-game road swing when it visits Conference USA East Division rival UAB. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET with national television coverage provided by CBS College Sports.