UH defeats ECU in overtime to stay perfect in AAC play
After a 5 hour, 18 minute rain delay and 3 hours, 25 minutes of game time, Houston defeated East Carolina 31-24 in the first overtime in TDECU Stadium history.
Trailing 10-3 midway through the first quarter, senior Marcus Jones once again provided a spark for UH on special teams, taking a kickoff 98 yards to the house for his third special teams touchdown of the season.
The UH defense forced two turnovers, the first coming on a strip sack by senior defensive lineman David Anenih and the other coming on a forced fumble by junior cornerback Jayce Rogers.
Junior quarterback Clayton Tune threw two first half touchdowns.
Tune found junior tight end Christian Trahan late in the first quarter for a 2-yard touchdown pass to give the Cougars their first lead of the game.
Later, Tune connected with his favorite target, sophomore receiver Nathaniel Dell, in the back of the end zone for a 14-yard score to give UH a 24-10 lead heading into the half.
The second half was dominated by defense, as both the Cougars’ and Pirates’ offenses were stymied, combining for 41 total yards in the fourth quarter.
Midway through the fourth, the Pirates offense finally broke through as quarterback Holton Ahlers found the end zone on a 1-yard rush to cap off a 6-play, 74-yard drive.
On UH’s first play after the ECU score, Trahan caught a pass and coughed up the ball as the Pirates recovered the fumble deep in Cougars’ territory.
Two plays later, Ahlers found receiver Audie Omotosho in the corner of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown. A made extra point and the game was deadlocked at 24.
A missed field goal late in the fourth quarter by UH senior kicker Dalton Witherspoon meant the game headed into overtime.
On the first play of overtime, freshman running back Alton McCaskill took the ball 25-yards to the house to put the Cougars on top.
On ECU’s second play with the ball in overtime, junior linebacker Donavan Mutin forced a fumble which was recovered by senior linebacker JoVanni Stewart to end the game, securing a 31-24 UH victory.