Finishing drives scoring on ground and in air
East Carolina Share

Finishing drives scoring on ground and in air

ECU's new coach sees offensive balance that was formula at James Madison

Photo: Darrius Pinnix

This time East Carolina opened touchdown, field goal, touchdown and touchdown. By the time the Pirates punted, they were en route to a 1-1 record, routing Gardner-Webb 48-9 Saturday night at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Yes, Gardner-Webb (0-2), a Football Championship Subdivision school, was a lesser opponent than ACC member N.C. State in ECU’s season-opening 34-6 loss. But finishing an encouraging opening drive contrasted drastically from a week ago when sophomore quarterback Holton Ahlers fumbled on the game-opening drive at N.C. State’s 2-yard. That left the Pirates wondering what might have been.

This time momentum from an imagined 7-0 lead didn’t vanish. It was posted on the scoreboard when Ahlers capped the game-opening drive with a 7-yard run into the end zone’s left corner on the eighth play of a 69-yard drive... 

My News & Observer ECU story link

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan is an award-winning sportswriter and the author of "Raye of Light". Tom spent the bulk of his career in San DIego writing for the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has covered NCAA Tournaments, Super Bowls, Rose Bowls, the NBA Finals and the World Series in a career that included writing for Voice of San Diego, the San Diego Hall of Champions and He contributes to the Detroit Free Press, Raleigh News & Observer,, and the National Football Foundation's Football Matters. He won multiple first-place awards from the San Diego Press Club and first place from the Copley News Service Ring of Truth Awards. The National Football Foundation/San Diego Chapter presented him its Distinguished American Award in 2003. USA Track and Field’s San Diego Chapter presented its President’s Award in 2000.

Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the integration of college football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans. It explains Duffy Daugherty's pioneering role and debunks myths that steered recognition away from him to Bear Bryant.

By Tom Shanahan; Foreword by Tony Dungy; August Publications

David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize winner and biographer: "History writes people out of the story. It's our job to write them back in."