HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Holton Ahlers had touchdowns passing, rushing and receiving and Ja’Quan McMillian intercepted a pass at the goal line with six seconds left and East Carolina rallied to defeat Marshall 42-38 on Saturday night.
Down 38-21 entering the fourth quarter, Ahlers scored on a 5-yard run after a 78-yard drive, then capped an 80-yard drive when he hauled in a 27-yard pass from wide receiver Tyler Snead on a trick play, making it 38-35 with 2:31 left.
The Pirates (1-2) recovered the onside kick and Rahjai Harris scored on a 1-yard plunge with 55 seconds left to cap a 53-yard drive.
Ahlers was 30 of 48 passing for 368 yards and two touchdowns.
Rasheen Ali rushed 24 times for 189 yards and three touchdowns and Grant Wells was 24 of 39 for 433 yards with a touchdown, adding another on the ground for Marshall (2-1). Corey Gammage had eight receptions for 180 yards.
Marshall piled up 647 yards but were outgained 210-101 in the final stanza before the final drive had them at first-and-10 from the 15 with 11 seconds left.
ECU had 571 yards of offense with Keathon Mitchell picking up 135 on 13 carries with a touchdown. Shane Calhoun had 114 yards on eight catches.