BYH, when there is a solar energy spill, it's just called a NICE DAY. (this one has better wording than the other one I...

Pirates try to regroup for final trio of games


East Carolina head coach Scottie Montgomery motions to an official from the sideline during a game against Central Florida on Oct. 20, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


The Daily Reflector

Monday, 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 director in place yet and uncertainty surrounding the future of Montgomery with the Pirates, the third-year coach this week is focused first and foremost on managing a fluid roster and lineup.

Listed as out for Saturday night’s home against Connecticut (1-9) are impact offensive players in receiver Deondre Farrier, tight end Johnny Bogle and linemen John Spellacy and Branden Pena. Montgomery is hopeful for former starting tight end Anthony Watley’s return to active status, and the coach said punter Jonn Young, who was injured during Saturday’s 24-18 loss at Tulane, will be worked back into practices in the coming days and should be available versus the struggling Huskies.

“I have to make sure that I am making the biggest investment for our football team and our players to allow for time and just time spent with each one of these guys,” Montgomery said Monday during his weekly news conference. “The locker room is completely different (than previous losing seasons). We practiced Sunday, the day after a huge game for us and we didn’t come out victorious, and we practiced extremely well.

“We have to continue to keep our guys healthy is, I think, the biggest hurdle at this point in time.”

That includes freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers, who has started three straight games and likely been the Pirates’ best bright spot during another trying campaign. The 6-foot-3, 236-pound left-hander has led ECU in rushing in seven straight contests, and against the Green Wave, he threw a season-high 67 passes while totaling 360 yards through the air and two touchdowns with an interception.

He was working behind a revamped and banged-up offensive line.

“We have to be better in the run game and we can’t stress this young quarterback the way we have stressed him, even though I like the way he is taking care of the football and like the way he’s running the ball,” Montgomery said. “We are really excited about the direction he is going, but he has to continue to protect himself because he is still taking one or two shots a game that if we get hit by the right guy in that game, we’ll lose him. … We have to give our running backs the ability to create some different types of runs for them and that’s what we are doing, but unfortunately we are struggling at some of the positions on the interior (of the line).”

Despite being on a five-game losing streak, the Pirates are actually favored against UConn. The Huskies’ only victory of the season is a 56-49 win over Rhode Island on Sept. 15.

Montgomery was asked Monday about East Carolina not having an AD and if he has received a vote of confidence from administration, and Montgomery reinforced that his main focus is on the team and not future plans.

“I do have conversations with people, but 99.9 percent of my time is trying to make sure that we can put the best football players on the field and keep our kids healthy and try to give our offense, defense and special teams the best chance to win,” he said.

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 12, 2019 - 47 minutes ago

East Carolina basketball's road-heavy start to the season continues tonight against Appalachian State.

It is the first in-state opponent for ECU, which beat Virginia Military Institute a week ago and then lost Friday night at Navy, 62-57. App. State also is 1-1.

East Carolina at Appalachian State,…


November 12, 2019 - 47 minutes ago

Ninety-four points, zero wins.

East Carolina’s football team was dealt that harsh reality in its first two games of November, scoring 43 in a three-point loss to Cincinnati at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and then on Saturday producing even more points — 51 — but also allowing more in a…

E Carolina SMU Football

November 11, 2019

SMU quarterback Shane Buechele had options on the final offensive play Saturday to finish off a 59-51 win against East Carolina.

It was fourth-and-3 with 55 seconds remaining at the Pirate 39-yard line. ECU had already taken its final timeout, and SMU then called a timeout after shifting to a pooch…

E Carolina SMU Football

November 11, 2019

Let's expand this exercise, for one week, to include South Carolina. The Battle for The Carolinas.

Clemson, obviously, would be No. 1. South Carolina would be fourth thanks to its win over Georgia.

No. 2? Appalachian State, which would own road victories over No. 3 North Carolina and fourth-ranked…

Louisiana-Monroe No. 24 Appalachian State Football

November 11, 2019


Tucked in a super clean and sometimes sleepy nook in Dallas is the campus at SMU, a private school that has stirred to life this fall behind a nationally ranked football team that provides excitement for its tidy, polite fan base with a fun-to-watch, prolific offense and an outside-the-box…

E Carolina SMU Football

November 09, 2019

DALLAS — East Carolina competed for four quarters against a ranked team for the second straight week, yet a similar feeling and still winless this season in the American Athletic Conference after a 59-51 defeat to No. 23 SMU.

Here are three answers from the game:

1. How many passing…

E Carolina SMU Football

November 09, 2019

DALLAS — Tyler Snead, all 5-foot-7 and 167 pounds of him, chased and nearly grabbed NCAA history Saturday afternoon at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in East Carolina football's 59-51 loss at SMU.

Snead’s 19 receptions were four shy of tying the single-game national record and three away from…

E Carolina SMU Football

November 09, 2019

DALLAS — SMU continued its banner football season, giving some of its longtime fans more memories of the 1980s with an offense that produced droves of points and yards again at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

East Carolina was great on offense Saturday as well, gaining more yards than its nationally-…

E Carolina SMU Football

November 09, 2019

Seth LeDay's jumper with 14 seconds to play in the second half on Friday night pulled the East Carolina basketball team within a point of Navy, but when the Pirates fouled in the final minute, the Midshipmen made their free throws to preserve a 62-57 win in the Veteran's Classic in Annapolis.



November 09, 2019

Q: What is your favorite from of social media?

A: Probably Instagram, because I just like looking at the pictures.

Q: Could you kick with your left foot?

A: I could, but it would probably hurt. I don’t think I could very well, maybe like 12 yards. If my other leg fell off or something and I…

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