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Halftime Highlights: ECU vs VT

Virginia Tech Hokies vs East Carolina Pirates Halftime report!

East Carolina v Virginia Tech Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

24 September 2016, Blacksburg, Virginia.  It’s a beautiful day for Hokie Football in Blacksburg, Virginia, and a beautiful day for Virginia Tech homecoming! Under an azure sky the men of the Virginia Tech football team took the field, wrapped in maroon, sporting new orange metallic helmets. The ECU pirates have an established history of defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies.  There is certainly a lot of football to be played, but the Hokies have had an extremely exciting and well executed first half and lead the Pirates, 38-0.

After their own lackluster three and out the Hokies returned the favor to the East Carolina Pirates. On the ensuing punt, Greg Stroman, wearing No. 25 in honor of Coach Beamer, took the ECU punt 87 yards for a Hokie touchdown! This was the third longest punt return in VPI’s history. After the return the Hokies and Pirates traded punts. For the majority of the first quarter the Hokies were dedicated to the run and ECU was able to hold the VPI tide. During the waning minutes of the opening period Virginia Tech brought that high temp offense and were able to keep the Pirate defense off balance, which freed up Isaiah Ford. Evans hit Ford for a 39-yard gain just missing the end zone and being stopped at the Pirate’s six-yard line.  Marshawn Williams scored a VPI TD with an incredible, hard fought, run where he dragged the pile six yards, kicking and screaming, to the endzone. With the Hokies leading 14-0, the Pirates put together their best drive of the quarter. ECU QB, Philip Nelson, hit receiver, Zay Jones, for 33 yards on a beautiful pass where the WR adjusted to the ball mid-flight while Facyson had perfect coverage.

To start the quarter, the Pirates again hit Jones, putting the Pirates inside the Hokie ten-yard line, but the defense was able to hold ECU forcing a field goal attempt. The Pirates seemed to be assured three points, until the Hokie special teams showed their ferocity again, and were able to block the attempt!  After the block the Hokies quickly marched down the field and, tell me if you've seen this movie before, Evans hit Ford for a 24 yard touchdown pass.  Ford is now only one away from tying Super Bowl winner Antonio Freeman as Virginia Tech's WR touchdown record holder.  Virginia Tech wasn't done though.  After holding ECU at bay, the Virginia Tech Hokies blocked a punt, deep in the Pirates territory.  Three plays later and McMillian caught a short pass and was escorted, by some blockers, untouched, into the end zone.  Hokies up, 28-0.  Any hope that ECU had of a rapid retort was silenced when a Pirates three and out was punctuated by a Ken Ekanem sack.  Clearly, ECU's punter, Worth Gregory, was nervous, and kicked a 34 yard duck, out of bounds.  Somebody call Bill Murray, it's Ground Hog Day.  The first play of the drive... Evans to Ford, 45 yards deep into ECU's red zone.  Unfortunately, during the pass to Ford, Evans twisted his ankle and stepped off to the sideline and Motley game in.  ECU's defense was able to hold and Virginia Tech sent Joey Slye onto the field to send the Hokies up by an additional three, 31-0.   After some attention on the sideline, Evans was back in for the next series, where he decided to mix it up a bit, and threw a 55 yard TD pass to Cam Philips.  Even though the game was within two minutes of the half, Justin Fuente refused to let up, and continued to go for the jugular.  Hokies lead, 38-0.

A punt return, a blocked field goal, and a blocked punt! Hello, Virginia Tech football, I’ve missed you. The Hokies looked absolutely electric on all sides of the ball.  You can see and feel the excitement of the players, fans, and coaches.  Something special is happening here, folks, and I am so happy to be a witness.

Matchup ECU Pirates Virginia Tech Hokies
First Downs 6 10
3rd Down 1-9 2-6
4th Down 0-1 0-0
Total Yards 145 289
Passing Yards 121 219
Comp / Attempts 7 - 21 9 - 12
Avg per pass 5.8 18.3
Interceptions 0 0
Rushing Yards 24 70
Rushing Attempts 17 21
Avg per run 1.4 3.3
Penalties 2 - 10 1 - 3
Team Interceptions 0 0
Team Fumbles 0 0
Time of Poss. 16:12 13:48