PirateIllustrated - Navy Whips East Carolina 42-10 in AAC Opener in Annapolis
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Navy Whips East Carolina 42-10 in AAC Opener in Annapolis

Holton Ahlers and East Carolina fall to Navy 42-10 on Saturday in Annapolis to dip to 1-2 on the season.
Holton Ahlers and East Carolina fall to Navy 42-10 on Saturday in Annapolis to dip to 1-2 on the season. (ECU Football photo)

Navy remained unbeaten with a convincing 42-10 victory over ECU Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. It was the sixth win in the series between the two teams against just one loss.

Quarterback Malcolm Perry accounted for 151 yards passing and 156 rushing yards to go along with two touchdown passes for Navy before being lifted midway through the third quarter for backup quarterback Perry Olsen. C.J. Williams had three catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns including one for 80 yards.

All told, Navy produced 468 yards of total offense including 315 yards on the ground to just 222 yards of total offense for ECU.

“I thought it was a great team win. I thought we played great in all three phases,” said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo, “We’ve got to move on now and get ready for next week.”

Holton Ahlers went just 11 for 23 for 138 yards with one interception at quarterback for the Pirates. He led ECU in rushing with 36 yards. Hussein Howe ran for 31 yards on six carries and true freshman Demetrius Mauney added 23 yards on twelve carries.

Gerard Stringer recorded a career high nine tackles including seven solo stops, a pair of tackles for a loss and one sack. He along with Daniel Charles led the Pirates in tackles with nine. Tank Robinson added eight tackles before suffering an injury late in the game where he was carted off the field. Kendall Futrell and Chance Purvis had seven tackles apiece for ECU.

Bandit safety Elan Nash led Navy with nine tackles including six solos and one tackle for a loss.

ECU fell to 1-2 and suffered their first loss in American Athletic Conference play.

“They played very crisp and they had a great atmosphere to play in and we didn’t handle it very well. I’m very disappointed,” said ECU head coach Mike Houston after the game.

“We didn’t do a very good job today. It’s my responsibility to make sure we’re prepared to play so it’s my responsibility to get this fixed,” Houston said, “We did not handle the stage very well and it showed today. There is nobody more disappointed than me and the players and we’ll get this fixed.”

A pair of illegal procedure penalties on ECU’s opening offensive drive followed by a 17-yard shanked punt from Jon Young quickly set the tone of the game and gave Navy a short field on the Pirate 38-yard line. Navy turned that into an 18-yard Malcolm Perry touchdown run that put the Midshipmen out front 7-0.

Young’s second straight short punt gave the Midshipmen good field position in ECU territory and Perry’s 11-yard run around left end gave Navy a quick two touchdown lead.

Perry’s 29-yard pass to a wide open C.J. Williams made it 21-0 to cap an 85 yard drove less than two minutes into the second quarter.

Holton Ahlers connected with Tyler Sneed for 41-yards to put ECU in business in the Navy red zone but an illegal formation for five players in the backfield negated a Demetrius Mauney touchdown run. The Pirates settled for a field goal that made it 21-3 with 9:09 to go before halftime.

Malcolm Perry’s third touchdown run of the day and Navy’s fourth straight touchdown put the Middies up 28-3 at halftime. Navy put together 240 yards of first half offense while limiting ECU to only 158 yards.

Perry’s career high fourth rushing touchdown on the first drive of the second half put Navy(2-0) out front 35-3 with 7:53 to go in the third quarter. Just over a minute later, C.J. Williams was then the recipient of an 80-yard Malcolm Perry touchdown strike as the Navy lead grew to 42-3.

A pass interference penalty on Navy at the goal line put the football at the two-yard line where Holton Ahlers ran it in for ECU’s only touchdown that made it 42-10.