Greenville, NC September 11, 2013 – During a recent vote celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, members of the Pirate Nation picked their Top-15 Memorable Games in school history. Following each home game this season, where three games will be revealed each day on the video board, Pirate fans can comeback to ECUPirates.com to read the full game recaps each Tuesday as we countdown to the top game. Below are games 13-15 …
13. 2000 vs. Syracuse – W, 34-17 l Highlights
East Carolina used a touchdown off a blocked punt and scored on two long pass plays – all in the second quarter – en route to a 34-17 non-conference victory over Syracuse … The steady rain which fell on Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium did little to sampan the spirits of the 33,026 in attendance … Both teams converted their opening drives to field goals with kicks by ECU’s Kevin Miller and Syracuse’s Mike Shafer in the first quarter … Syracuse tried to build momentum early in the second period, culminating an eight-play, 63-yard drive with a three-yard scoring run by James Mungro … On Syracuse’s next possession, ECU’s Travis Heath blocked a punt which was recovered by Terrance Copper in the end zone for a Pirate touchdown … Four plays after Jerome Steward’s interception for ECU, QB David Garrard hit Marcellus Harris for a 46-yard score … Less than three minutes later, Garrard again connected with Harris, this time for a 65-yard TD … The second-quarter surge gave the Pirates a 24-10 lead at intermission … Syracuse took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 73 yards in nine plays … A three-yard TD run by Dee Brown cut the East Carolina lead to 24-17 … Later in the quarter, ECU’s Miller added to the Pirate lead with a 24-yard field goal … In the fourth quarter, the Pirates converted a fourth-and-one play with a fake punt … RB Jamie Wilson took the short snap and burst up the middle for 19 yards and a first down at the DU38 … After a five-yard penalty on Syracuse, Garrard hit Rashon Burns for a 33-yard TD pass to seal the game … Garrard led the Pirate attack, completing 8-of-15 passes for 201 yards … ECU junior RB Leonard Henry led the rushing game with 101 yards on 14 carries.
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14. 1970 vs. Marshall – W, 17-14 l Highlights
(Excerpts taken from Sports Writer Mike Brown, Herald-Advertiser, 1970)
East Carolina place kicker Tony Guzzo drilled a 24-yard field goal with 12:27 left in the fourth quarter and that proved to be the difference as the Pirates defeated Marshall 17-14 before a turnout of 8,711 fans at Ficklen Stadium … With 30 seconds remaining in the game, Marshall quarterback Ted Shoebridge was called for intentional grounding, a call which left the Thundering Herd and its small group of fans puzzled … Shoebridge, who didn’t get into the game until the second half, had driven the Herd 63 yards in less than a minute and was knocking on the door when the call came … On a third and 10 at the ECU 25, Shoebridge faded to pass and was collared by the Pirates Jim Gudger at the ECU 44 … Shoebridge got off the pass but was called for grounding the ball which carried a five-yard penalty from the sport of the call … The pass was intended for halfback Art Harris who fielded it on the bounce … With any hopes of a game-tying field goal by Marcelo Lajterman now snuffed out, Shoebridge threw a futile fourth-down pass deep down field and it fell incomplete, giving the Pirates the football with only 11 second left … ECU, which didn’t throw a single pass in the second half, grounded out 302 yards rushing with 178 of it coming in the second half … Lee Strayhorn picked up 142 yards on 28 carries and Billy Wallace added 132 on 27 … The Pirates got excellent field position in the second period when Mike Mills covered Joe Hood’s fumble … John Casazza scored his first touchdown of the season when he rolled around right end with 12:04 left in the half … Marshall forged a 7-7 halftime tie on an electrifying 81-yard interception return by Stu Cottrell, second longest in school history, with 1:19 left in the half … East Carolina, following a 45-yard field goal attempt by Lajterman which fell short, drove from its own 20 to the Marshall 22 where it had a first down … Casazza, who had completed four straight passes on the drive, attempted to pass to the right sideline … MU defensive end Dave Griffith batted the ball right back into the startled Casazza’s hands and he instinctively threw the ball again … Cottrell picked the ball up in the flat and zipped down the sidelines … Hood fumbled on the ECU 48 with Chuck Zadnik falling on the football, setting up ECU’s second TD … The Pirates, aided by a face-masking call on Larry Sanders, scored in seven plays with Wallace going in from the one … After an exchange of punts, Shoebridge moved the Herd 76 yards in only seven plays, hitting Repasy for the score with six minutes left in the third period, tying it at 14-14 … Celebration of Guzzo’s game-winning field goal quickly turned into sadness as news reached Greenville that a tragic plane crash had claimed the lives of 75 people, including the entire Thundering Herd travel party, on approach to Huntington Tri-State Airport.
15. 1963 vs. Wake Forest – W, 20-10 l Highlights
(Excerpts taken from Sports Editor Charles Vaughn, The Daily Reflector, 1963)
Behind the running of fullback Tom Michel and tailbacks Buddy Bovender and Bill Cline, the Pirates came from behind twice secure a 20-10 victory over the Deacons … Trailing 3-0 early in the contest, East Carolina used a 15-yard punt return from Bovender to start its drive on the Wake 39-yard line … But a Richard Hunnicutt fumble on a passing play at the Wake eight-yard line stifled the Pirates drive … On the ensuing play, Wake returned the favor turning the ball over and Rickey Jarrell recovered on the Deacon 12 … Michel bulldozed his way over the Wake Forest goal line a few minutes later on a two-yard plunge to give East Carolina its first lead at 6-3 … Following a failed PAT, Wake then took the kickoff from the Pirates and marched 65 yards in nine plays where Brian Piccolo capped the scoring drive on an option play from four yards out … The Pirates fought back with another tally of their own to take a two-point lead, 12-10, heading into the half … Bovender returned the kickoff 78 yards for the go-ahead score and once again the PAT failed … It took East Carolina just six minutes to produce an additional touchdown in the third quarter … After receiving the opening half kick, Michel, Cline and Bovender carried the Pirate into the Deacon end zone on 13 plays … Michel took the kickoff on the 26-yard line and raced back to his own 46 before being tackled … Lugging the pigskin on the next two plays, Michel moved the ball to the Deacon 43 … Behind some nifty running on the part of Bovender and two completed passes by Cline, the Pirates scored from six yards out on Michel’s run around the right end extending the lead to eight, 18-10 … Bovender found tight end Johnny Anderson in the end zone for the two-point conversion and the Pirates were on the winning end of the score, 20-10 … Michel rushed for a game-high 125 yards on 23 carries with three ground scores … He also completed a pair of passes for 19 yards.