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ECU-WILLIAM & MARY: Three answers

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East Carolina running back Trace Christian evades a William & Mary defender at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Sept. 21, 2019.

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BY RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, September 21, 2019

These three questions were part of preview coverage of William & Mary against East Carolina for the Pirates’ second home football game of the season and their second win. ECU won 19-7.

Here are three answers from the game:

1. What is the score to begin the fourth quarter? ECU led 13-7, indeed signaling the team’s first close game of the season during the second half, and the Pirates had the ball to begin the fourth quarter. The only points in the second half came on Jake Verity field goals, from 33, 22 and 45 yards out.

William & Mary was shut out after tying the game, 7-7, on a touchdown run with 9:36 until halftime.

ECU coach Mike Houston summed up the night nicely.

“The way that we ran the ball and played defense in the fourth quarter, that is what you have to do to win ball games,” he said.

2. How many different running backs carry the ball for the Pirates?  Four, with fourth-string RB Trace Christian and third-teamer Tay Williams handling all of the duties after halftime. Neither had played this season, and for the freshman Williams the first carry of his career went 43 yards on an option play with quarterback Holton Ahlers to the Tribe 5-yard line during the third quarter. ECU got a field goal on the drive for a 13-7 lead at the 4:36 mark.

Hussein Howe started at running back for the Pirates, finishing with only 20 yards on five carries, and it was Christian who really thrived and was critical during the third and fourth quarters. Demetrius Mauney (eight carries, 20 yards) left the game with an injury during the second quarter.

Christian had 14 carries for a game-high 91 yards and stepped up for the most impressive game of his career. Williams ran five times for 71 yards.

3. How much gold in the stands? Most fans listened and wore gold. A big plus for the Pirates was that the Boneyard student section was packed during the early portion of the game and vocal at times when William & Mary had the ball on that side of the field. The attendance of 38,094 was the highest since the Pirates’ 41-19 win over North Carolina on Sept. 8, 2018, when the crowd was 39,298. Attendance two weeks ago for the Gardner-Webb was 34,118.

“What a great night and phenomenal crowd we had,” Houston said. “It was electric and the stadium was rocking. What a great finish and I’m so proud of our kids. I’ll chew them out tomorrow for the mistakes, but tonight, we are going to enjoy this one.”

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

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