Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium | Attendance: 34,717 • TV: CBSSN

Navy 45, ECU 21 | Inside Game Day | Photo Gallery... | Post-game Audio...

>>>  AAC SCOREBOARD  >>> ..... Saturday: Missouri 9, UConn 6 ..... Maryland 35, USF 17 ..... Oklahoma 52, Tulsa 38 ..... Memphis 44, Bowling Green 41 ..... Temple 25, UMass 23 ..... Cincinnati 37, Miami (OH) 33 ..... Navy 45, ECU 21 ..... Furman 16, UCF 15 ..... TCU 56, SMU 37 ..... Tulane 38, Maine 7 ..... .....

Inside Game Day
Saturday, September 19, 2015

By Al Myatt

Reynolds, Navy too much

The East Carolina band made the trip to Annapolis on Saturday...

... and cheered the Pirates into the end zone in the first quarter. [Photos by Al Myatt]



Kevin's Keys to the Game

East Carolina will face Navy today in Annapolis in week three of the young season. Navy is 1-0 after a 48-10 rout of Colgate two weeks ago. The Midshipmen had a bye last week, giving them time for extra preparation for their debut game in the American Athletic Conference. ... More from Kevin Monroe...



ECU takes Swamp lessons to Navy

Al MyattEast Carolina took on a talented program in a difficult environment under tough conditions and had a chance to win at Florida last Saturday night until the ball slipped out of quarterback Blake Kemp's hands on a 2nd-and-10 play at the UF 13 in the final seconds. ... More from Al Myatt...



ECU lost game, but found QB

The East Carolina football team came out of its season opening win against Towson with more questions than answers. Last Saturday in Gainesville, even in defeat, the Pirates may have done the opposite. ... More from Brett Friedlander...



Recruiting push starts with backcourt

Guards Shawn Williams (left) and Elijah Hughes (right) each entertained offers from a number of schools before verbally committing to join East Carolina basketball coach Jeff Lebo's recruiting class of 2016-17. ... Thumbnail sketches...



The one that slipped away

This one slipped away in more ways than just the obvious. East Carolina almost overcame several key turnovers but came up just short in a 31-24 loss to Florida at ‘The Swamp’ ... More from Brian Bailey...

Audio: Coach Ruff Weekly Presser

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill met with reporters on Monday in his weekly press conference. (Audio courtesy of Pirate Radio 1250; file photo by Al Myatt: Select audio clip...

Audio: The Brian Bailey Show

The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guest this week was ECU defensive line coach Marc Yellock (right): Replay show...



South Central pipeline keeps flowing

When Andy Tew watches Kendall Futrell play football, he's reminded of another talented athlete who now plays just a few miles down the road from South Central High School in Winterville. ... More from Sammy Batten...


By Al Myatt
All rights reserved.

View mobile version of this page

ANNAPOLIS, MD — East Carolina seems to bring out the best in Navy. Maybe it's that old thing with pirates and the Navy that ultimately led to Blackbeard's demise.

The factor that produced a 45-21 win for the Midshipmen at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium on Saturday was more about Navy senior quarterback Keenen Reynolds and ECU's inability to stop him or keep pace with his offensive production.

Reynolds ran 24 times for 142 yards with five touchdowns and when he wasn't keeping he was making the split-second decisions with seasoned effectiveness that make an option attack go.

Fullback Chris Swain was a sledgehammer on the interior with 29 carries for 123 yards. Navy (2-0) ran for 415 yards and Reynolds completed 4 of 7 passes for 41 more yards.

Navy's first ever American Athletic Conference game was a study in contrasting offensive approaches.

The Pirates (1-2) managed 80 yards on the ground, which was better than the minus-13 ECU was limited to in a 31-24 loss at Florida last week.

Blake Kemp again triggered a productive passing attack as he completed 36 of 49 for 325 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Kemp was sacked twice.

Where Navy was better was in terms of its consistency. The Midshipmen scored on every first half possession and led 28-7 before Kemp found Bryce Williams for a 17-yard score at the close of the first half.

That cut the deficit to 28-14 and that was huge in keeping the Pirates in the game for a while longer. With Navy due to receive the second half kickoff, the Pirates were looking at a potentially-insurmountable situation.

"The drive right before half to get us within 14 points was big," said ECU coach Ruffin McNeill. "We did a good job of valuing possessions (offensively) in the first half. That was a great connection between Kemp and Bryce."

But the play only postponed the inevitable as AAC commissioner Mike Aresco and a crowd of 34,717 looked on.

Story continues after the following ad...

The Pirates began to solve the option attack to a degree defensively after intermission but the offense would have had to be almost perfect in the final 30 minutes and it wasn't.

When the defense stopped Navy a yard short at the ECU 26 on a fourth down on the first series of the second half, the Pirates picked up a pair of first downs with a third- and fourth-down conversion. But Kemp was stopped on a subsequent fourth down as he tried to scramble through the pocket on a busted play.

The defense forced a Navy punt but Kemp lost a fumble at the Navy 17. Reynolds was in the end zone with his fourth touchdown four plays later for a 35-14 Navy lead just 50 seconds into the fourth quarter.

"Frustrating," Kemp said. "We had opportunities and we didn't capitalize."

The margin didn't swell to the proportions of a 76-35 Navy win in Greenville in 2010 or a 56-28 Midshipmen triumph over the host Pirates in 2012. In between, Dominique Davis led ECU to a 38-35 win in Annapolis in 2011.

Williams' 8-yard TD grab capped a 93-yard drive and got ECU within 35-21 with 10:20 to go.

Reynolds escaped for a 17-yard score with 3:45 remaining and Austin Grebe's 25-yard field goal for Navy with 35 seconds left closed the scoring.

The Pirates didn't offer excuses.

"They are a good team and they executed better than we did," said ECU outside linebacker Montese Overton. "We didn't come out and play like we were supposed to."

Overton had nine solo tackles and three assists to lead the Pirates with a game-high 12 stops. Mike linebacker Zeek Bigger had six solos and five assists for 11 total tackles.

Isaiah Jones had 10 catches for 130 yards to lead the receivers. Jimmy Williams had seven receptions for 55 yards and a score.

One of the good aspects of the setback in the league opener for the Pirates is that it doesn't remove ECU from controlling its fate as far as the AAC East Division title is concerned. The Pirates still play every other division member and would have the head-to-head tiebreaker in a one-league loss deadlock if they can win the rest of their conference games.

That's looking a long way down the road.

Virginia Tech comes to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium next Saturday. ECU won 28-21 in Blacksburg last year with a different set of offensive leaders.

The Pirates have a chance to make another big statement in the region before returning to AAC play at Southern Methodist the following week.

"You have to learn something each week," McNeill said. "We have no time to sit back and sulk or feel sorry for ourselves. We have Virginia Tech coming into our home and they will be ready to play. We have to match that."

Send an e-mail message to Al Myatt.

Dig into Al Myatt's Bonesville archives.

09/20/2015 04:20:39 AM