BYH to folks that don’t move over or get out of the way for emergency vehicles. One day it might be your relative they...

Ahlers gets the ball


East Carolina's Holton Ahlers takes the snap for a 1-yard touchdown run against North Carolina at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Sept. 8.


The Daily Reflector

Monday, October 15, 2018

The East Carolina football team is turning to true freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers for this week and with a long-term plan in mind for the 6-foot-3, 236-pound left-hander to be the leader of the ECU offense.

Coach Scottie Montgomery announced Monday during his weekly news conference that Ahlers, a prized recruit from D.H. Conley High School who was a baseball/football standout in Greenville as early as his pre-teen years, will make his first-career start Saturday night versus UCF.

ECU (2-4, 0-3 American Athletic Conference) will be a heavy underdog against the 10th-ranked Knights (6-0, 3-0) at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for the 7 p.m. game to be broadcast on ESPN2.

“He doesn’t have a leash, because we are taking the leash off,” Montgomery said of a possible QB rotation with Ahlers, former starter Reid Herring and redshirt freshman Kingsley Ifedi. “He is going to get to play as long and as hard as he can. One thing about it is, and we all have to realize, that there is going to some bad plays in there, but there also is going to be some really, really good plays.

“We’ll have to work through it and we have a true freshman starting quarterback, but I am looking forward to him playing a lot. … I’m excited and looking forward to it.”

ECU has used all three QBs in three straight games, including Saturday night when Houston built a 42-6 lead early in the fourth quarter at Dowdy-Ficklen before Ahlers led two touchdown drives to create the 42-20 final margin in favor of the surging Cougars.

Herring was the Pirates’ starter for the first six games. In AAC play, the sophomore has zero touchdown passes and three interceptions.

Ahlers is the Pirates’ leading rusher with 38 carries for 248 yards and five TDs, but it was his passing stats against Houston (11-of-18, 137 yards, TD) that showed progression. His first-career touchdown pass was a 13-yarder to Trevon Brown.

Montgomery added that Ahlers still will not be made available for media interviews this week, but should be soon.

“My biggest goal in this thing is to make sure that the pressure of this start doesn’t affect him,” he said. “I think a lot of times you can get all kinds of emotion and energy built around the opportunity to start. We can do things in the game plan, early, that he feels really comfortable with.”

Montgomery told Ahlers before Sunday night’s practice that he is the new starting QB.

“He said, ‘Let’s go.’ That was it,” Montgomery said of the interaction. “It was that simple, and he was fired up. He took the first snap of Sunday night’s practice.”

ECU is turning to the lefty during a difficult stretch of league games and with a 1-3 record since beating North Carolina, 41-19, on Sept. 8.

The AAC announced Monday that UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton was the league player of the week, and Houston interior lineman Ed Oliver was the defensive player of the week. Oliver had two sacks against the Pirates, including one on Herring that resulted in a fumble and touchdown, and his five tackles for loss tied the American’s single-game record.

“Would I like to go out there and see Houston without Ed Oliver? Yes,” Montgomery said. “It would have made a better chance to be effective on our offensive line. McKenzie Milton is the ultimate general of a college football team, and he is doing things that 7-, 8- and 9-year pros don’t have the understanding to do.

“He is a very talented, but what we have to understand is that it also is not good (for opponents) to go against (ECU defensive end) Nate Harvey. We have to create more of those situations through recruiting, because UCF has done a great job through recruiting and Houston did a great job with Ed Oliver through recruiting.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


November 15, 2018

Two important elements to Saturday night’s East Carolina football game are that the struggling Pirates (2-7) are favored against Connecticut (1-9), and that it is senior day at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

ECU has been the underdog in all but two games this season. It was nearly a two-touchdown…


November 14, 2018

With East Carolina football still seeking its first American Athletic Conference win of the season and many fans in Pirate Nation upset with the results by third-year coach Scottie Montgomery and the Pirates, ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton released a statement late Wednesday afternoon saying that an…


November 14, 2018

The score was tied only briefly Wednesday night in Minges Coliseum for women’s basketball action.

East Carolina and Grand Canyon were deadlocked, 24-24, for exactly 12 seconds before ECU produced a game-changing rally late in the second quarter and the Pirates stayed in front the rest of the…


November 14, 2018


The first day of the recruiting early signing period saw Joe Dooley and East Carolina basketball sign three guards on Wednesday in Logan Curtis, Tyrie Jackson and Tremont Robinson.

Jackson is a transfer from Northwest Florida State College and Robinson is currently attending Garden…


November 14, 2018

Four football teams are still in contention in the American Athletic Conference West Division, while the East champion will be decided this weekend.

SMU, Houston and Tulane are in a three-way tie in the West at 4-2. Memphis is one game back at 3-3. Houston and Tulane meet Thursday night, while SMU…

SMU UConn Football-6

November 14, 2018

With his ability to duck past defenders, lean into the post and find both sides of the rim for baskets, freshman Jayden Gardner is a breath of fresh air for the East Carolina basketball team.

After glimpses of promise but poor shooting in the team’s first two games this season, Gardner…


November 13, 2018

Usual backup Darius Pinnix is first on the East Carolina depth chart at running back this week, and there is optimism that he could provide the jolt desperately needed for the Pirate run game Saturday versus lowly Connecticut.

Such a conventional breakthrough also is not guaranteed, which is why…


November 12, 2018

East Carolina basketball player Jayden Gardner was named the American Athletic Conference men’s basketball freshman of the week on Monday.

In three games last week, Gardner averaged 14.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 26 minutes and connected on 45.5 percent of his field goal attempts (10-of-22)…

November 12, 2018

It remains to be seen whether or not the premier team in the American Athletic Conference will again be undefeated and knocking on the door of the College Football Playoff at season’s end, but Central Florida already is very much in the public eye of college football.

Everything will be on…

Navy UCF Football

November 12, 2018

As East Carolina’s football team has three games remaining in its season and is out of bowl consideration with a 2-7 record that will not allow for reaching the required six-win mark, coach Scottie Montgomery remains focused on the day-to-day aspects of managing his team.

Without an athletics…

276 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 28
        Next Page»   Last Page»