In what appeared to be final tune-up before a tough three-game stretch, the East Carolina Pirates looked to be well-prepared in a huge 45-7 home win over North Carolina Central.
Things didn’t come easy for the home team, well at least at first, as the Eagles scored their only points of the game on a fumble by ECU running back Breon Allen that was run back for a touchdown by C.J. Moore.
NC Central held on the the lead for most of the first quarter, as ECU had to settle for a 34-yard field goal before scoring their first touchdown near the end of the stanza.
Star receiver (and former high school quarterback) Justin Hardy got the ball from Allen on a reverse play and, while still behind the line of scrimmage, launched a 41-yard pass to a wide open Isaiah Jones, putting the Pirates up 10-7 at the end of the quarter.
The home team never looked back after taking the lead, as Allen would punch the ball in from five yards out and the combination of quarterback Shane Carden and Hardy found the endzone twice before halftime, putting the purple and gold up 31-7.
Carden would get one more passing touchdown before his night was done, as he found Trevon Brown from 17 yards out. He finished 26-37 for 283 yards passing and 3 touchdowns through the air.
Backup quarterback Kurt Benkert would take the reigns later in the game along with backup running back Anthony Scott, and both would find paydirt in the fourth quarter to seal ECU’s 52-7 win.
The early Allen fumble looked to be a warning sign, but it seems like the 1-0 Pirates are right on track heading into next Saturday’s showdown with South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Total Offense – ECU: 582 (374 passing/208 rushing), NCCU: 174 (104 passing/70 rushing)
Penalties – ECU: 8/72, NCCU: 10/91
Time of Possession – ECU: 28:32, NCCU: 31:28
Turnovers – ECU: 2 (1 INT, 1 fumble), NCCU: 1 (fumble)