By Sarah Paley
Keaton Mitchell ran for 222 yards and three touchdowns, and Holton Ahlers threw his third touchdown pass of the game with 1:11 left to lift East Carolina to a 49-46 win over Temple at the Linc..
Temple took the lead on E.J. Warner’s fifth touchdown pass of the game, a 15-yard strike to David Martin-Robinson with 6:19 left in the game for a 46-42 lead.
The teams traded punts and the Owls pinned East Carolina at its own 11-yard line with three minutes to play. Ahlers drove the Pirates 89 yards in eight plays to take the lead. He threw the game-winning touchdown pass on a dead run after evading a fierce Temple pass rush. Jaylen Johnson broke off his route to catch the ball on front of an Owls safety at the 5 and scored.
The East Carolina defense stopped Temple on four plays to preserve the win.
Mitchell got East Carolina (7-5, 4-4) on the board in the first quarter, bursting 49 yards for a touchdown and then added two more short runs to the end zone in the third quarter. He had 27 carries and topped the century mark for the sixth straight game. He also pulled in a 73-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
Warner threw for 527 yards and five touchdowns for Temple (3-9, 1-7), completing 45 of 63 pass attempts. The freshman finished the season with 2,501 yards and 13 touchdowns.