Sep 11, 2021; Greenville, North Carolina, USA;  South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Zeb Noland (8) throws the ball during the first half against the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

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South Carolina down East Carolina 20-17 on FG as clock expires

Parker White’s tiebreaking 36-yard field goal on the final play was the difference Saturday as South Carolina rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to beat East Carolina 20-17 in Greenville, N.C.

The kick was the senior’s sixth game-winning boot of his career and ended a 54-yard drive in 10 plays.

South Carolina (2-0, 0-0 SEC) quarterback Zeb Noland — a grad assistant who was a feel-good story last week in his return to action for his third school — went 13-of-24 for 189 yards and a TD pass to Dakereon Joyner with one interception.

Josh Vann caught five passes for a game-high 91 yards, Damani Staley scored on an interception and Darius Rush picked off a pass for the Gamecocks, who won their fifth straight against ECU and are 15-5 in the series.

Pirates (0-2, 0-0 AAC) quarterback Holton Ahlers was 11-of-24 for 77 yards and rushed for a touchdown but tossed two interceptions.

Warren Saba recorded an interception and D.J. Ford recovered a fumble that set up a short score.

In motion on the first play from scrimmage, wide receiver Tyler Snead took a handoff from Ahlers, went wide and tossed a long pass to an open Jsi Hatfield, who hauled in the catch and ran for a career-long 75-yard reception.

After Jeremy Lewis’ forced fumble was grabbed by Ford in the second quarter, Ahlers called his own number two plays later to put the Pirates up 14-0 at 11:53.

However, the Gamecocks broke through in the half’s last minute by pressuring Ahlers, resulting in linebacker Staley’s interception and 63-yard run to cut the halftime deficit to 14-7.

South Carolina went 72 yards in five plays, ending with Noland’s 13-yard scoring strike to Joyner to tie the game at 14 in the third.

In the fourth quarter, ECU’s Owen Daffer (26-yard field goal) and White (39 yards) traded successful kicks before White’s game winner.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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