ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Owen Daffer drilled a 54-yard field goal as time expired to give East Carolina a 38-35 victory over Navy on Saturday night, clinching the Pirates’ first winning season since 2014.
Maquel Haywood scored on a 98-yard kickoff return that gave Navy (2-8, 2-5 American) a 35-27 lead with 8:33 remaining.
East Carolina’s Holton Ahlers answered with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Snead about three minutes later to tie it at 35. The Midshipmen punted with 1:24 to play, and Ahlers connected with Snead on a 46-yard pass on the next play.
East Carolina (7-4, 5-2) then let the clock run before Daffer’s game-winning kick.
Ahlers was 27-of-32 passing for 405 yards and threw three touchdown passes. Keaton Mitchell carried the ball 18 times for 94 yards and had a 10-yard touchdown run for the Pirates.
Tai Lavatai threw a pair of short-yard touchdown passes for Navy. Carlinos Acie had 155 yards rushing that included a 90-yard touchdown run.