UTSA Tops East Carolina 41-27


Photo: Mitchell Leff / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Frank Harris threw for 395 yards and four touchdowns and Trey Moore had three sacks to break the program’s single-season record and help UTSA to a 41-27 victory over East Carolina in American Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon at the Alamodome.

The Roadrunners pushed their winning streak to four games to keep pace in the conference standings at 4-0, tied with SMU and Tulane as the only undefeated league teams. It also marked UTSA’s 14th straight win against a conference opponent, including the 12th consecutive regular season league victory.

Harris completed 20 of 32 passes to rack up a season high in passing yards while notching his 12th career 300-yard game. The senior from Schertz Clemens High School found eight different receivers, including Joshua Cephus, who piled up a career-high 183 yards — the third-most in program history — and a touchdown on only four catches. In fact, his TD went for 84 yards, the longest pass play in school annals.

Meanwhile, Moore eclipsed Clarence Hicks’s school standard for sacks in a season of 10.5 from the 2021 campaign. The redshirt sophomore from Smithson Valley High School posted a team-high seven total tackles in logging his third game this season with three-plus sacks to give him 12 through only eight games.

UTSA tallied a season-high 516 yards of offense, as Tykee Ogle-Kellogg hauled in five passes for 85 yards and a pair of scores while Rocko Griffin rushed for 80 yards on only five attempts.

The defense also came up with a takeaway for the fifth game in a row, as Elliott Davison picked off a pass in the end zone for his team-high second interception of the season. Jamal Ligon and Ken Robinson matched Moore with seven stops, while Brandon Matterson and Owen Pewee each registered a sack to give the Roadrunners five for the game.

The Roadrunners scored on their opening possession for the third consecutive game, marching 65 yards in seven plays, the last a 1-yard TD strike from Harris to Ogle-Kellogg.

The Pirates (1-7, 0-4) answered with a touchdown on 13-yard pass from Alex Quinn to Jaylen Johnson midway through the opening period.

It did not take long for UTSA to reclaim the lead, as Cephus turned a short reception into a 65-yard gain to set up a 10-yard touchdown dash by Robert Henry.

ECU’s Andrew Conrad drilled a 33-yard field goal to pull the visitors within four points. The Pirates then took a 17-14 lead late in the first quarter when Dontavius Nash picked off a pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown.

UTSA knotted the score at 17-all on a 22-yard field goal by Chase Allen early in the second stanza to cap a drive that was keyed with 69-yard rush by Rocko Griffin.

The Roadrunners struck quickly again, this time on Cephus’ 84-yard TD reception.

UTSA extended its advantage to two touchdowns with a little more than two minutes remaining in the opening half when Harris found a wide-open Oscar Cardenas over the middle for a 7-yard scoring connection.

ECU trimmed the deficit to 31-20 at the half on a 51-yard field goal by Conrad.

Allen split the uprights from 36 yards at the 12:03 mark of the third quarter to increase the lead to 14, while Ogle-Kellogg’s 43-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth made it 41-20.

The Pirates avoided a second-half shutout with a 4-yard TD pass from Flinn to Sowell with 15 seconds left to play.

Flinn passed for 225 yards and two scores and rushed for 53, while Johnson led the way with 105 receiving yards on eight grabs.

The Roadrunners will travel to Denton to face North Texas (3-5, 1-3) next Saturday, Nov. 4. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

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