...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING
TO 10 AM EDT WEDNESDAY...
* WHAT...Northeast winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 30 kt and
choppy waters expected.
* WHERE...Pamlico, Pungo, Neuse, and Bay Rivers.
* WHEN...From 11 PM this evening to 10 AM EDT Wednesday.
* IMPACTS...Conditions will be hazardous to small craft.
Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller
vessels, should avoid navigating in hazardous conditions.
ECU's Ben Johnson consoles Owen Daffer after missing the game-tying field goal against Navy Saturday evening at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, N.C.
It was another night in which a football game was left hanging on the foot of East Carolina kicker Owen Daffer.
Daffer's double-overtime kick to tie the game against Navy and force a third OT sailed into the night sky over Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and steadily fluttered wide and to the right of the uprights. The Midshipmen on the visitors' sideline exploded in celebration of a 20-17 win while the players on the home side were left looking for answers again in the face of a game-ending missed kick.
ECU (2-2) lost its season opener to N.C. State when Daffer failed to connect on a late extra point that would have tied the game and then a field goal that could have won it.
But don't blame Daffer this time. At least that's what senior ECU quarterback Holton Ahlers said after the game.
"I haven't talked to him yet, but by no means ... Owen didn't lose that game for us," said Ahlers, who threw a back-breaking interception during the final minute of the fourth quarter as the Pirates drove toward a potential game-winning score. "I threw a pick there at the end of regulation where we could have possibly gotten a field goal and a chance to win it. If you're going to put that game on anyone, put it on Holton Ahlers, don't put it on Owen Daffer."
Ahlers' pick came at the end of a frantic, four-touchdown fourth quarter that rocketed what had been a sluggish 3-3 game into a 17-17 deadlock at the end of regulation.
But overtime turned the game back into a kicker's duel. Daffer connected from 26 yards to make it a 20-17 game before Navy kicker Daniel Davies stroked a 36-yard kick to tie the game and force a second OT.
Davies was right back on the field a few minutes later, steering the Mids back into the lead, 20-17, to open the second OT. The Pirates then drove to the 20, where Daffer's third field goal attempt of the night faded wide right.
"It's definitely tougher than just getting flat-out beat," ECU receiver Isaiah Winstead, who reeled in a 67-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to knot the game at 17, said of losing on a special teams play for the second time this season. "But (Daffer) is part of our team so we've got to keep him up. We need him."
The ECU kicker, who last season kicked the game-winner against the Midshipmen in Annapolis, Md., as time expired, also got support from the other side of the ball.
The Pirate defense authored another goal line stand in the game, forced a key turnover on downs late in the third quarter and kept Navy out of the end zone until the fourth, more than setting the stage for the traditional point-scorers to do their part.
But in the aftermath, the defense had Daffer's back, too.
"It's not just a missed kick. It's more than that," linebacker Jeremy Lewis said.