ST PETERSBURG, Fla. —It a story of two buccaneers sailing across the seas looking for treasure, it happen in the city that is nestled next to the bay, with sand as golden as the sunshine.
Ohio University’s quarterback Tyler Tettleton and East Carolina University quarterback Shane Carden dueling under the roof of Tropicana Field and each trying to take the spotlight at the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Game.
The sea settled on to the green carpet under the dome, the sun sat in the west splashing the horizon with a brilliant display of reds and yellows a sailor‘s delight, East Carolina University sailed away with the 37-20, victory over Ohio University.
Carden set a Beef O’Brady Bowl record, he threw the ball 45 times completing 29 passes for 273 yards and he caught a touchdown pass when Cam Worthy tossed the ball back to Carden on a wide receiver option pass.
East Carolina University coach Ruffin McNeill said after the game, he was proud of all of his sons and the captain.
“Very proud of our team proud of our players. This group of men, what we talked about it is about life, it is not what happens to you 10 percent of it but it is the 90 percent how you react to it,” McNeill said. “This group has not flinched all year adversity has hit them through out different ways and they don’t flinch.”
Like a good captain, a team needs to have a good crew, a good first mate and some luck, the Pirates were able to over come a successful on side kick and a Bobcat lead for the win.
Leading the rest of the crew for the Pirates first mate and running back Vintavious Cooper. He ran through the Ohio defense for 198 yards and two touchdowns.
When Carden wanted o throw the ball he found wide receiver Justin Hardy open, he found him nine times for 66 yards.
It turned out the best defense for the Pirates was the ability of the offense to keep the ball especially in the first half.
“They had 60 plays in the first half, that is unheard of,” Bobcat linebacker Keith Moore said.
Actually, the Pirates ran 57 offensive plays in the opening half and finished the game with 87 plays for 568 yards.
With the opportunities with the ball limited for the Bobcats, Ohio University did manage to tie the game at half time 14-14 and looking to make adjustments for the second half.
“It was hard fought football game, it came down to making a few plays in the fourth quarter they did and we didn’t,” Ohio University football coach Frank Solich said. “We had our fair share of big play. We were able to get third down conversions going into the third quarter be we couldn’t carry that on in the fourth quarter.”
Like a real swash-buccaneer, Tettleton seemed to take chances, he ran the ball and he threw the ball but it looked like he might have been trying to get too much and it looked like he struggled.
Tettleton was 40-of-21 for 228 yards and he threw three interceptions that Solich said did not help the offense or the Bobcats.
“It was a hard fought football game,” Solich said. “0 for 3 in the turnover ratio was a factor in our loss.”
The running game for the Bobcats did not have a good day, running back Beau Blankenship struggled to get away from the Pirates’ defense.
Blankenship ran 21 times for 66 yards and he did not catch a pass.
The Bobcats offense ran 81 plays for 435 yards, including just 107 yards on the ground from the tailbacks.
Leading the Bobcats offense wide receiver Donte Foster, he caught the ball six times for 160 yards including a pretty 80 yard reception from Derrius Vick scored the tying touchdown in the first half.
“ECU is a very physical football team,” Solich said. “Especially on the defensive side of the ball.”
East Carolina University finished the season with 10 wins and McNeill said that he is going to just relax for a couple of weeks and enjoy the win.
McNeill also said that he got his Christmas present early, by just looking at the smiles of his team.- a treasure worth finding.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.