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October 12, 2013NEW ORLEANS - Carlos Santos hit a 39-yard field goal in triple overtime as Tulane beat East Carolina 36-33 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday.
Devin Powell completed 23 of 39 through the air for 224 yards and two touchdowns for Tulane. ECU(4-2/2-1 C-USA) limited Orleans Darkwa to 56 yards on twelve carries. ECU's Shane Carden went 41 of 55 for 480 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Justin Hardy caught 17 passes for ECU for 230 yards. Vintavious Cooper ran for 87 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns.
Bryce Williams' 31 yard diving catch from Carden highlighted ECU's first drive of the game. Three Hardy catches including the one on third-and-ten moved the Pirates to the one yard line. After Tulane's defense stopped ECU three straight downs, Warren Harvey came on to kick a 21-yard field goal for a 3-0 ECU lead with 10:42 to go in the first quarter.
Devin Powell started the game for Tulane(5-2/3-0 C-USA) at quarterback in relief of Nick Montana who had reportedly been sore all week. Powell moved the ball right down the field until the drive stalled where Carlos Santos connected on a 42-yard field goal with 6:30 left in the first quarter. That tied the game at 3-3 and would be the extent of the scoring in the first quarter.
After a Justin Hardy bobbled punt that Tulane recovered with 4:28 to go in the half, they worked to seize momentum. Orleans Darkwa moved the Green Wave to the eight yard line. On third and goal, Powell's fade pass to the left corner of the endzone was overthrown. Santos came on to hit his second field goal with 2:14 to go in the half from 28-yards to give Tulane a 6-3 lead.
ECU tied the game with a 30-yard Warren Harvey field goal just 15 seconds before halftime of a defensive battle. ECU inside receiver Justin Hardy hauled in eight catches for 84 yards in the first half as Shane Carden connected on 14 of 16 passes for 141 yards through the air, but the Pirate only had 4 yards net rushing. Devin Powell went 9 of 18 for 85 yards passing for the Green Wave. Orleans Darkwa led the Tulane rushing attack with 24 yards on five carries.
Senior safety Damon Magazu halted Tulane's promissing opening drive of the third quarter on a Powell interception when he snagged a deflected pass in the endzone. Magazu took the pick back to the 22 yard line to open the third quarter for East Carolina. The Pirates were unable to capitalize but if nothing else, it kept Tulane out of the endzone, it rested the ECU defense and burned up considerable clock.
Ryan Grant caught a 38 yard Powell pass on the Pirate 32 yard line. Darkwa ran it to the 28 yard line and Santos hit a field goal from 42 yards to give the Green Wave the first points of the third quarter at the 6:06 mark for a 9-6 lead.
The Pirates then took the ball right back down the field before Tulane senior nickel back Derrick Strozier took a Carden pass 100 yards from the ECU endzone to the house. That gave the Wave a 16-6 lead with 3:58 in the third.
ECU got right back after it on what might have been the most pivital drive of the game. Vintavious Cooper picked up 19 yards on his best run of the day. ECU receiver Isiah Jones kept the drive alive on a catch from Carden on third-and-seven on a crossing pattern. Hardy caught another on a slant to the Tulane 22 yard line as ECU took advantage of the gap in middle of the field. Carden found Hardy on a slant route to move the ball to the seven yard line. On third down Hardy drew a pass interferrence call in the endzone that was placed on the Tulane two-yard line, but the Pirates were unable to punch it in so they settled for a 22-yard Warren Harvey field goal to cut the Tulane lead to 16-9 at the 14:52 mark.
Santos connected on his fourth field goal of the game to give Tulane a 19-9 lead with 9:10 to go.
The Carden to Hardy connection took the Pirates to the 15 yard line with 7:32 to go but the drive stalled once again in the redzone where Harvey came in to kick a 26-yard field goal to cut the Green Wave lead to seven with 5:38 to go.
ECU got a pivital stop on third-and-three with 4:10 left in the game when Zeek Bigger and company stuffed the Tulane run attempt. That gave the Pirates one last chance to tie the contest in the fourth quarter.
Cooper took a Carden shovel pass up the middle 48 yards to the Tulane 29 yard line with 3:03 remaining. Hardy took a pass reception to the 12 yard line. Isaiah Jones took a Carden quick pass to the two yard line for a first down. Carden pitched to the right to Vintavious Cooper for their first touchdown of the game. Warren Harvey's 73rd straight PAT tied the game at 19 with 1:48 in the game.
Derrell Johnson sacked Powell on third down back at the negative 16 yard line with 1:33 to give the Pirates an opportunity to win the game in regulation.
Cooper ran the ball for ECU to the Tulane 26 but a holding call on Hardy backed the football back to the 36. Cooper caught a pass to the 28 yard line just inside of a minute to play. On third-and-one, Tulane jumped offsides to give ECU a first down with :49 seconds to go. The Pirates stayed conservative on the next three plays to avoid a potential turnover and with three seconds to go, Warren Harvey missed a 42-yard field goal wide left to force the game into overtime at 19-19.
Carden rolled out to the right and found Reese Wiggins for a touchdown on the first play of overtime. Harvey's PAT gave ECU a 26-19 lead. Two plays later, Ryan Grant answered on a 25-yard touchdown catch and Santos' PAT tied the game at 26 apiece.
Zavier Rush moved the Green Wave to 3rd and one on a pass reception in the second overtime where Tulane running back Darkwa took a hit behind the line but spun away for a first down. Rush moved the ball to the six on another catch where Powell then found Ryan Grant wide open in the left corner of the endzone. Santos' point after touchdown made it Tulane 33-26.
Carden hit Lance Ray who ran to the 16 yard line but ECU found themselves in 3rd down and four. Tulane jumped offsides to keep the ECU drive alive. Hairston ran for two yards and after a holding call on Pirate lineman Adhern Elsawi, Carden found Cooper over the middle to the Tulane three yard line. Cooper scored on the next play on a handoff from three yards out. Warren Harvey came on to tie the game at 33 after two overtimes.
After a holding call and an illegal substitution called on East Carolina in consecutive plays, Carden avoided a sack and ran down the left sideline to the 13 yard line. Harvey's field goal attempt missed wide right from 33-yards out.
Carlos Santos came in on first down to kick a 39-yard field goal to win the game
36-33 in triple overtime.
ECU lost the game despite rolling up 543 yards in total offense to just 225 for Tulane but two ECU turnovers and late penalties down the stretch made the difference for the Green Wave.
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