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NCAA Game Summary - East Carolina at Houston

(Saturday, September 29th)

Final Score: East Carolina 37, Houston 35

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Chris Johnson ran for 147 yards and a pair of touchdowns in helping to lead the East Carolina Pirates over the Houston Cougars, 37-35, in Conference USA action from Robertson Stadium.

Johnson carried the ball 24 times for the Pirates (2-3, 1-1 CUSA) and also caught a team-best four passes for another 24 yards in the win. Quarterbacks Pat Pinkney and Rob Kass combined to hit 11-of-26 for 156 yards and two scores for ECU.

The Cougars (2-2, 1-1) were paced by Blake Joseph who missed on only five of his 29 pass attempts, leading to 250 yards and two touchdowns, while Case Keenum converted 6-of-11 for 95 yards and a TD, but was also picked off two times in the losing effort.

Houston scored the only points of the first quarter on a 64-yard pass play between Keenum and Donnie Avery. The receiver finished the night with nine catches for 189 yards and two scores.

A 14-yard touchdown run by Johnson and a 20-yard scoring pass from Pinkney to Dwayne Harris put the Pirates ahead at 13-7 following a failed two-point conversion on the second score.

Midway through the second period Avery collected a 36-yard TD pass, this time from Joseph, giving Houston the lead back at 14-13.

The squads traded touchdowns in the final minutes of the half as Brandon Simmons hit the end zone from a yard out for East Carolina and Anthony Alridge caught a five-yard TD pass from Joseph to give the Cougars a 21-20 advantage at the break.

Capping a five-play, 80-yard drive to open the second half, T.J. Lee collected a 34-yard scoring pass from Kass to push the Pirates back out front. Five minutes later it was Johnson who streaked into the end zone on a 43-yard run to make the score 34-21.

Alridge added a four-yard touchdown run for Houston and Avery returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score at the conclusion of the third frame, but in between Ben Hartman kicked a 33-yard field goal which proved to be the difference for ECU in the two-point decision.

Houston kicker T.J. Lawrence had an opportunity to give his team the win with three seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, but he missed on a 38-yard field goal attempt. Lawrence missed two kicks on the night and had a third blocked.

The Cougars controlled the ball for more than 35 minutes in the contest and rolled up 484 yards of offense, compared to just 329 yards for the Pirates.

09/30 01:09:23 ET

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