Navy 42 — East Carolina 10
ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Malcolm Perry ran for four touchdowns, threw for two scores and accounted for 307 yards in offense to guide Navy to a 42-10 rout of defenseless East Carolina on Saturday.
Navy scored TDs on each of its first four possessions and coasted to the finish. The Midshipmen (2-0, 1-0 American Athletic Conference) have won four straight against the Pirates, averaging 52 points per game.
East Carolina (1-2, 0-1) has lost 10 straight on the road and is 1-17 in away games since 2016.
Perry carried 24 times for 156 yards and completed 5 of 7 passes for 151 yards. He is the first Navy quarterback to amass at least 150 yards both running and passing since Ricky Dobbs against Arkansas State in November 2010.
Perry ran for touchdowns of 18 and 11 yards before capping an 85-yard drive with a 29-yard pass to CJ Williams for a 21-0 lead. After the Pirates temporarily interrupted the one-sided show with a field goal, Perry scored from the 6 to cap an 11-play march during which the Midshipmen converted a fourth-and-4.
Slithering through the East Carolina defense with remarkable ease, Perry topped the 100-yard mark rushing before the middle of the second quarter and had 128 yards on 18 attempts by halftime.
The 5-foot-9 senior has rushed for at least 100 yards in seven of his 10 career starts at quarterback.
Navy opened the second half with a 75-yard drive that lasted more than seven minutes and ended with Perry scoring from the 1. After an ECU punt, Perry immediately hit a wide-open Williams for an 80-yard TD, Navy’s longest pass play since an 85-yarder by Dobbs that 2010 game against Arkansas State.
After that throw, with the score 42-3, Perry’s work was done.
Defense was not the Pirates’ lone shortcoming in their third game under coach Mike Houston. Unable to reach the end zone until the fourth quarter, East Carolina displayed none of the firepower it showed one week earlier in a 48-9 win over Gardner-Webb.
Holton Ahlers went 11 for 23 for 138 yards and an interception.
IT’S HOW YOU START
Navy improved to 58-12 under coach Ken Niumatalolo when scoring first and 56-18 when scoring on its first possession. The Midshipmen are 33-40 when they don’t get points on their opening series.
East Carolina: With a roster containing nearly 47 percent freshman, the Pirates are in the opening stage of a major rebuild. It showed in a big way in this mismatch.
Navy: After stomping Holy Cross and ECU, the Midshipmen appear far better than the team that went 3-10 in 2018. The schedule gets tougher, but Perry and the offense appear up to the task.
Navy opens the road portion of its schedule on Sept. 26 against Memphis.