Temple Football cruises past ECU for first conference win

WRITTEN BY: TOM HANSLIN  @tomhanslin

Temple Football quarterback Logan Marchi threw for two touchdowns and halfback David Hood ran for one as the Owls squashed East Carolina, 34-10, at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, N.C. on Saturday afternoon.

It was Temple’s first American Athletic Conference victory in 2017, and they improved to 3-3 (1-2) overall this season.

For East Carolina’s defensive unit, which entered the day ranked second to last in the nation for most yards allowed per game (615), the Owls’ offense kept the Pirates’ ugly trend going, finishing with 523 total yards on 79 plays. Temple also ran for 179 yards on 46 attempts, and Hood led all halfbacks with a career-high 106 yards on the ground.

Although East Carolina led 3-0 after the first quarter, Temple opened the floodgates in the second, scoring 24 unanswered points before halftime. With 14:44 left before the break, Owls’ kicker Aaron Boumerhi drilled a 29-yard field goal to knot the score at 3-3, and seven minutes later, a five-yard touchdown catch by Adonis Jennings gave Temple the lead. Two more scores were added with less than five minutes before the break, as both Hood and fullback Rob Ritrovato rushed into the end zone from two yards out. At the half, the score was 24-3.

East Carolina scored its lone touchdown on the first drive of the third quarter, as Pirates’ quarterback Thomas Sirk connected with receiver Quay Johnson for an 11-yard score. Three drives later, Temple scored again, with Marchi throwing to Isaiah Wright for a 32-yard touchdown. The Owls’ next possession also ended in points, as Boumerhi drilled a 49-yard field goal at the start of the fourth quarter.

Marchi completed 19-of-31 passes for a career-high 321 yards. He also threw a red zone interception in the first quarter. Wright was Temple’s leading receiver, as he caught six balls for 91 yards. Keith Kirkwood followed with 75 receiving yards on four catches.

The Owls’ defense allowed 287 total yards of offense, and defensive end Jacob Martin recorded two sacks. Safety Delvon Randall also made an interception – his second in two games.

Sirk completed 20-of-38 passes for 253 yards, and East Carolina’s leading receiver was Jimmy Williams, who caught five balls for 110 yards.

Temple will return home to Philadelphia next Saturday, as they play host to the UConn Huskies (1-4, 0-3) at Lincoln Financial Field with kickoff scheduled for Noon.

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.