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September 29, 2012GREENVILLE, N.C. - Vintavious Cooper continued to impress with 154 yards in 23 carries to lead ECU past UTEP 28-18 Saturday night in a steady rain at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Cooper also caught four passes out of the backfield for another 52 yards.
In a contest that had an 80 minute rain delay, the Pirates found a way to stay focused long enough to take home their third victory of the season.
Pirate quarterback Shane Carden went 28 for 40 for 258 yards with a touchdown through the air and one on the ground. Eleven of those receptions went to Justin Hardy who continues to play some of the best football of his ECU career.
Nick Lamaison went 9 of 27 for 147 yards and three interceptions for the evening Lamiason hit Jordan Leslie to the right for 2-yard touchdown to open the scoring for UTEP. Steven Valadez extra point gave UTEP(1-4) a 7-0 with 5:55 to go in the first quarter.
Carden evened the score at 7 with a 6-yard touchdown up the middle. Warren Harvey's PAT tied the game at 7-7 with 2:15 remaining in the first quarter.
UTEP went back on top on a FG Steven Valadez 29-yard field goal with 9:02 left in the first half.
The Pirates moved the ball sixty yards to the UTEP nine yard line before an eighty minute lightning delay put the breaks on the contest at the 6:27 mark in the second quarter.
When play resumed, Carden threw one interception to Shane Huhn in the back of the UTEP endzone. After an ECU(3-2/2-0) stop on defense, Carden threw his second interception of the half.
The third time was the charm when Carden found Justin Hardy in the right endzone for 3-yard touchdown. Warren Harvey's PAT gave ECU a 14-10 halftime lead.
Carden scored again on an 8-yard run with 2:22 in the third quarter, this time on a quarterback keeper to the left side. That made the score 21-10.
Pirate safety Chip Thompson's pickoff of a Nick Lamiason pass at the ECU 19 yard line stimied a solid Miner drive with 12:12 left in the game. It was the first career interception for the ECU safety.
Lamiason struck back to Michael Edwards for 35 yards with nine minutes to go but the Pirates held and Steven Valadez missed from forty yards out with 7:43 to go.
Chip Thompson negated a Shane Carden interception with his second pick of his own. Vintavious Cooper then took a Shane Carden handoff up the middle for a 24-yard touchdown to stretch ECU's lead to 28-10.
UTEP wasn't quite through yet as Autry Golden took the ensuing kickoff back 96 yards for a Miner touchdown. The UTEP two-point conversion was good to cut the lead to 28-18.
The Miners captured an onside kick just inside of five minutes to play in regulation but an Adonis Armstrong interception with 3:09 to go sealed the deal for ECU.
Damon Magazu and Chip Thompson led the defensive effort for the Pirates with nine and eight tackles respectively.
East Carolina NEWS