Loading...
BYH ECU Trustees. Of course you were not told about the lawsuit against Vidant. Harry Smith and Bill Roper control it...

Ahlers, Houston see promise in each other

111818ECUfootball-20.jpg
1 of 2

East Carolina's Holton Ahlers runs against Connecticut at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Nov. 17.

120518ECUFootballHouston-5.jpg
Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Coach Mike Houston didn’t leave James Madison for East Carolina because of Holton Ahlers, but he is aware of the Pirates’ talented quarterback.

Ahlers, a left-hander standing 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds, was one of the top freshman QBs in the country this year even during a third straight 3-9 record by the Pirates that led to coach Scottie Montgomery’s dismissal.

“It is definitely a positive, but it did not cause me to choose or not choose East Carolina University, based on one player,” Houston said after his introductory news conference on Tuesday. “But once I took the job, you have a quarterback who has some ability and has some experience and tremendous potential, certainly that makes you sleep a little better at night. I look forward to working with him and developing him, because he had some good days this fall and some bad ones. We all do.”

Ahlers was quick to point out that in dissecting Houston’s 80-25 career record at Lenoir-Rhyne, The Citadel and JMU combined, there is only one losing season. That came in 2014 when The Citadel went 5-7, which was followed by a 9-4 mark the next year in a season that included a win at South Carolina from the Southeastern Conference.

“I think if you just look at his track record, he has always had success with quarterbacks,” said Ahlers, who in the fall of 2017 as a star at D.H. Conley High School in Greenville finished second in North Carolina High School Athletic Association history with 14,784 career yards of total offense. “He’s always had quarterbacks that lead and do it the right way. I’m excited to work with him.”

Ahlers added that any hesitation with a coaching transition from Montgomery to Houston should mostly be quashed with Houston’s history of winning. The coach took JMU to consecutive Football Championship Subdivision national championship games — winning in 2016 — and ECU’s 2017 season began with a 34-14 loss to the Dukes in which James Madison totaled 614 yards in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

“We are going to buy in to him, because he knows how to win football games,” Ahlers said.

The Pirates’ rookie QB finished as the team’s leading rusher this season with 592 yards (second-most in ECU history by a quarterback) and six touchdowns. He passed for 449 yards in a game against Memphis, part of his 1,785 yards through the air and 12 touchdown passes with three interceptions.

For all the positives that Ahlers brought to the program — especially as a Greenville native — his freshman year did play out well on a team that finished 0-5 in road games and 1-7 in the American Athletic Conference. Ahlers was 1-4 as the starting QB.

ECU started nine seniors in its final game at N.C. State, a 58-3 loss. Four were on offense in receivers Trevon Brown and Terrell Green joined by right tackle Garrett McGhin and running back Anthony Scott.

Houston described his desirable offensive style as a balanced spread offense built around running the football with physicality. He added that an effective offensive line is key to thriving with that style, which could put pressure on the Pirates’ linemen to progress greatly this offseason.

“We’re going to try to spread the field sideline to sideline and attack vertically in the passing game, and we’re going to try to get downhill on people in the run game,” Houston said. “I think the identity of your football team is built by your offensive line. That is very important, and it will be important the way they train this spring and during fall camp.”

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

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

May 24, 2019

Wichita State upset top-seeded East Carolina during the first day of the American Athletic Conference baseball tournament, and it was the Shockers again on Friday who convincingly ended the Pirates’ stay in Clearwater, Fla., for the AAC tourney.

Wichita, the No. 8 seed that needed to win on…

051919ECUbaseball-8.JPG

May 22, 2019

With its record-breaking pitching ace on the mound, East Carolina’s baseball team got back on track Wednesday at the American Athletic Conference tournament to set up an off day.

Top-seeded ECU cruised in an elimination game on Wednesday afternoon, defeating No. 5 seed Houston 13-2 to…

051719ECUbaseball-6.jpg

May 21, 2019

The shocker on the first day of the American Athletic Conference baseball tournament was pulled off by the Shockers.

No. 8 seed Wichita State upset AAC regular season champion East Carolina, 6-2, on Tuesday afternoon in Clearwater, Fla., meaning the favored Pirates now need to win five games in…

042119ECUBaseball-3.jpg

May 20, 2019

As expected, East Carolina baseball’s record-breaking season was officially recognized by the American Athletic Conference on Monday.

Jake Agnos earned the AAC pitcher of the year award, just four days after he set a new league single-season record for strikeouts with 124 in 83.0 innings this…

051719ECUbaseball-7.jpg

May 20, 2019

East Carolina needs a new women’s golf coach, which is an unfamiliar position for the Pirates.

Kevin Williams, who started the ECU program in the fall of 2000, officially resigned Monday to join Kalen Anderson’s staff at South Carolina as an assistant coach.

During his two-tenure, 17-…

050118ECUGolf-6.jpg.jpg

May 20, 2019

East Carolina announced program-record grade point averages in football and men’s basketball for the spring semester, one week after those teams were close to the cut line for NCAA administered penalties because of their multi-year academic progress rate scores released by the NCAA from 2017…

020719ECUbasketball-5.JPG

May 18, 2019

East Carolina lost its final regular season baseball game of this season, yet some fans stuck around at sunny and steamy Clark-LeClair Stadium after Memphis’ 10-9 victory on Saturday afternoon to see the Pirates collect their trophies and to show appreciation for what ECU accomplished…

051919ECUbaseball-10.JPG

May 17, 2019

East Carolina spent the last few months proving its worth as the best baseball team in the American Athletic Conference.

On Friday night, seventh-ranked ECU succeeded in its chance to put another historical stamp on its campaign.

The Pirates defeated Memphis, 5-3, at Clark-LeClair Stadium, giving…

051719ECUbaseball-7.JPG

May 16, 2019

In what will be celebrated this weekend as a historic regular season for East Carolina baseball, Jake Agnos was at the forefront and dominant Thursday at Clark-LeClair Stadium despite the game’s final score later ballooning to 19-10. 

ECU’s left-handed junior pitcher vaulted up ECU…

051719ECUbaseball-2.JPG

May 16, 2019

East Carolina is set to send eight athletes to the track and field NCAA East preliminary meet, scheduled for May 23-25 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Senior Grace Sullivan, the school-record holder in the steeplechase, enters the regional with a No. 12 ranking. She ran her season-best time of 10 minutes, 12.…

040719ECUtrack-1.JPG
241 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 25
        Next Page»   Last Page»