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ECU Downs Tar Heels, 41-19 (2018-09-09 14:19:41)

GREENVILLE, N.C. — Freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers ran for two of East Carolina's four rushing touchdowns while Reid Herring threw for another score as the Pirates beat North Carolina 41-19 on Saturday.

Herring threw for 290 yards while directing a turnover-free performance for ECU (1-1), which was coming off a dispiriting home loss to Championship Subdivision opponent North Carolina A&T. That increased the pressure on third-year coach Scottie Montgomery to show progress after 19 losses in 25 games — enough so that Montgomery noted this week's game was "very critical for our coaching career."

His team responded in an emotional in-state matchup, while the Tar Heels (0-2) offered another display of bad penalties and offensive struggles.

Jordon Brown ran for UNC's only touchdown, while Freeman Jones kicked four field goals. But the Tar Heels converted 5 of 16 third downs and managed 35 yards of third-quarter offense as the Pirates stretched a 21-19 halftime lead.

"We're 0-2, it's early in the season, our kids will keep fighting," UNC coach Larry Fedora said. "Our coaches will keep coaching and we'll get things going in the right direction."


UP NEXT
UNC: The Tar Heels play their home opener against No. 19 UCF, which was unbeaten last year, next Saturday.
ECU: The Pirates play another ACC team, traveling to No. 12 Virginia Tech next Saturday



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