GREENVILLE — Holton Ahlers tossed three touchdown passes to lead East Carolina to a 49-10 win over Campbell on Saturday night at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Playing in front of the largest crowd in Campbell football history (43,036), the Camels (1-2) ran up more than 400 yards of total offense, but ultimately could not stop a Pirate team that converted all five of its red-zone chances.
Ahlers completed 17 of 20 passes for 263 yards, while Keaton Mitchell ran for 185 yards on 13 carries — an average of 14.2 yards per attempt. Rahjai Harris added two TDs for ECU, which finished with 572 yards of total offense and scored 42 unanswered points.
Hajj-Malik Williams completed 23-of-38 passes for 300 yards and one score for the Camels, who led 10-7 after the first quarter. Julian Hill led CU with five receptions for 67 yards, while Ezeriah Anderson added four grabs for 67 yards. Jalen Kelsey had three catches for 79 yards and one score. NaQuari Rogers led the Camels’ ground game with 35 yards on 13 carries.
ECU (2-1) led 21-10 at the break thanks to 116 rushing yards by Mitchell and a pair of Ahlers TD passes. Campbell held a 249-223 edge in total offense at intermission but was held to a just one touchdown.
Campbell scored on its first two possessions and held a 10-7 lead after the first quarter. The Camels marched 65 yards on the opening drive to set up Caleb Dowden’s 31-yard field goal.
ECU responded with a six-play, 41-yard march capped by Mitchell’s 18-yard run.
Williams connected with Jalen Kelsey on a 61-yard catch and run to put Campbell back in front, 10-7.
Ahlers then connected with Ryan Jones on a 1-yard scoring pass with 12:40 left in the second quarter. He then hit C.J. Johnson on a 23-yard flag pattern to put the Pirates ahead 21-10 with 1:10 to play in the half.
On the opening possession of the third quarter, Ahlers connected with Jaylen Johnson for a 28-yard scoring pass, then ran in from two yards out on the Pirates’ next drive. Harris capped the ECU scoring with TD rushes of 17 and one yard.
Josh Johnson led the Camels with seven total tackles, including six solo stops. Tegan Wilk had nine tackles for the Pirates.
After an open date next week, the Camels start a three-game home stand October 1, with a 6 p.m. kickoff at hpme against N.C. Central.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)