GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Keaton Mitchell broke loose for a 74-yard touchdown run to spark a 24-point second quarter, and East Carolina held on to beat Charleston Southern 31-28 on Saturday night.
Freshman backup quarterback Mason Garcia entered for a play and ran for a 3-yard touchdown following Mitchell’s score. Holton Ahlers added a 60-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Johnson to give East Carolina (2-2) a 24-14 lead with 2:31 left before halftime.
Ja’Quan McMillian’s 23-yard interception return for a touchdown stretched the Pirates’ lead to 31-14 early in the third quarter.
But in the fourth quarter for Charleston Southern (1-2), Jack Chambers ran for an 8-yard touchdown, and then he added a 2-yard TD pass to Geoffrey Wall that capped the scoring with 1:50 to play.
Mitchell carried the ball 13 times for 125 yards. Ahlers was 17-of-26 passing for 238 yards but also threw two interceptions. Malik Fleming blocked a field goal attempt with 4:03 remaining for the Pirates.
Chambers completed 38 of 61 passes for 406 yards. He also threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Kale Anderson in the first quarter.