ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- It was Brian Hampton's first career start
as Navy's quarterback, but he didn't let that affect his play.
In the Midshipmen's 28-23 win over East Carolina Saturday,
Hampton led his team with 149 rushing yards on 34 carries and also
scored on a 2-yard run.
His play spearheaded a 403-yard effort on the ground for Navy,
which helped clinch the win with a 93-yard, 16-play drive to start
the fourth quarter and give them a 28-17 lead.
Hampton also carried the ball on all 10 plays of Navy's final
drive, which ran out the clock after East Carolina had closed to
28-23 with 4:57 to play.
He picked up a crucial first down on a fourth down run at the
14-yard line to keep the ball out of East Carolina's hands.
"He played hard and ran the ball hard," said Navy coach Paul
Johnson. "He did some things to build on. To his credit, he made
plays for us to win."
Hampton's performance wasn't all good, however. He completed
only two of six passes for six yards, the lowest amount allowed by
East Carolina since Nov. 1, 1969 when it held Furman to zero yards.
"I didn't execute as well as I could have," Hampton said.
Adam Ballard gained 97 yards on 13 carries and put the
Midshipmen ahead for good with a 16-yard run to cap Navy's opening
drive in the second half. On that drive, Navy drove 58 yards in six
plays to take a 21-14 lead.
Navy's Shun White also scored on a 3-yard run, and Reggie
Campbell had 62 yards on eight carries and scored on a 3-yard run.
"We found a way to move the ball inside with the fullback and
Brian Hampton," Johnson said. "I have to give our offensive line
a lot of credit."
East Carolina coach Skip Holtz credited his defense for its
play, despite the fact it was unable to stop Navy on its last two
"I think our defense did pretty well," Holtz said. "They
nickel and dimed us all day."
East Carolina quarterback James Pinkney converted 24-of-35
passes for 283 yards and kept the Pirates close with his fourth
quarter touchdown pass.
He hit nine different receivers, led by Aundre Allison with six
catches for 86 yards.
"I thought James did a good job of reading the defense and
moving the ball around with what the defense gave us," Holtz said.