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Pirates prevail in struggle between the winless

By The Associated Press

WEST POINT — After seven tries, East Carolina coach John Thompson finally has his first victory, and Pirates running back Marvin Townes had a lot to do with it.

Townes ran for 184 yards and three touchdowns as East Carolina (1-6, 0-3 C-USA) beat Army 38-32 on Saturday in a game that matched winless teams.

Army (0-7, 0-5) lost its first game under interim coach John Mumford, who replaced the fired Todd Berry earlier in the week.

"Marvin and the offensive line were the difference," Thompson said. "We just kept feeding it to him. A lot of times teams in our position find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. I'm just so proud of our guys."

Desmond Robinson completed 17 of 23 passes for 163 yards and ran for a touchdown to help the Pirates snap an eight-game losing streak.

Army extended its losing streak to nine games and has lost 12 in a row at home.

The Black Knights scored on their first play from scrimmage, with Zac Dahman hitting Aaron Alexander with a 28-yard TD pass. The play was set up by William White's 67-yard kickoff return. It was Army's first offensive TD in the first half this season.

Army, which entered the game leading the nation with 24 turnovers, lost the ball at crucial times again.

Army marched 88 yards to the ECU 11, but Dahman's pass was intercepted by Erode Jean.

ECU got the ball at the Army 15 with 1:47 left in the quarter after Kort Shankweiler recovered Ray Stith's fumble on a punt return. Townes scored three plays later on a 4-yard run.

"We're not a football team that can have long drives or big plays against us and we're not a team that can go out and play giveaway," Mumford said. "Next week the coaches are going to be extremely demanding on execution. I think we got the physical part done today."

The Pirates took a 14-7 lead on Townes' 2-yard plunge with 9:13 left in the second quarter. The run capped a nine-play, 90-yard drive.

ECU added another touchdown with 5:28 left in the half on a 10-yard run by Robinson.

Army got back in the game when linebacker Greg Washington intercepted Robinson's pass at the Army 48, returned the ball 20 yards and pitched the ball to Ryan Kent, who carried it to the 12. Carlton Jones scored on a 2-yard run two plays later to make it 21-14.

East Carolina opened the third quarter with Cameron Broadwell's 43-yard field goal and Townes added his third TD on a 2-yard run with 3 seconds left in the quarter.

Richard Moton returned an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to give ECU a 38-14 lead.

Jones scored his second touchdown and Anthony Zurisko added a 33-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. An 80-yard drive capped by Lamar Mason's TD run cut ECU's lead to six with less than three minutes to play.

East Carolina is 7-0 against Army.

02/23/2007 10:52 AM

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. contributed to this report.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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