GREENVILLE, N.C. -- East Carolina recorded 390 total yards and forced three turnovers as the Pirates defeated Appalachian State 35-13 at home Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
Appalachian State cut the deficit to 14-13 with 2:35 left in the third quarter. However, East Carolina's Lance Ray returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and Johnson threw for a TD and ran for another in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
The Pirates defense, led by Jeremy Grove, held the Mountaineers to just 4 of 15 on third down conversions. Grove finished with nine tackles and forced two fumbles.
Jamal Jackson led Appalachian State with 300 yards passing but his lone interception ended the Mountaineers' rally attempt.
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