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Deacons fend off East Carolina comeback


AP Sports Writer

WINSTON-SALEM (AP) — James MacPherson threw for 216 yards and a touchdown in Wake Forest's 27-22 victory over East Carolina on Saturday night.

Matt Wisnosky kicked a pair of field goals and Ovie Mughelli and Cornelius Birgs each ran for a touchdown to give Wake Forest (1 (1)- a win in its home opener.

East Carolina was hurt by five turnovers and dropped to 0-2 for the first time in 16 seasons. The Pirates last started a season with two losses in 1986, when they lost six straight in a 2-9 campaign.

MacPherson became the 10th quarterback in Wake Forest history to pass for more than 3,000 yards. He finished the game 16-of-29 with no interceptions and a 46-yard TD pass to Anderson in the third quarter.

Like last week, when Wake Forest lost its opener 42-41 to Northern Illinois in overtime, this one came down to the wire.

The Demon Deacons led nearly the entire game, but could never put East Carolina away and needed two late defensive stops to seal the win.

The Pirates trailed 27-22 and were driving when Paul Troth threw his fourth interception of the game, this one picked off Eric King - his second of the night - just inside the end zone with 4:33 to play.

Wake Forest tried to run out the clock, but only got to midfield before it had to punt. Steve Hale dropped the snap and East Carolina's Marcus White recovered on the 42-yard line with 1:35 to play.

But Troth had two passes broken up and, on fourth down, nearly was sacked when he tossed the ball away.

Troth finished 21-of-41 for 273 yards and two touchdowns. Both scores came in the second half when East Carolina rallied from a 20-3 deficit.

Troth threw a 10-yard TD pass to Richard Hourigan that cut the lead to 20-10 in the third quarter, and his 15-yard scoring strike to Edwin Rios made it 27-22 with 7:16 to play.

02/23/2007 10:51 AM

Copyright 2002 Associated Press.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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