ECU names Ahlers the starting quarterback

Published 4:54 pm Friday, August 23, 2019

Ahead of East Carolina University’s season opener at North Carolina State next Saturday afternoon, the Pirates named Holton Ahlers the week one starter.

Ahlers took the reigns of the offense as the starter in Week seven of 2018. Under then-head coach Scottie Montgomery, redshirt junior Reid Herring began the season in a 28-23 loss to North Carolina A&T.

In the second game of the season, Ahlers made his college debut. Ahlers used his legs for the majority of plays he was in and had his way with the Tar Heel defense. The Pirates went on to win 41-19, and Ahlers had two rushing touchdowns.

During the Houston game, Herring threw two interceptions and Ahlers relieved him in the second half. Ahlers went on to complete 11-of-18 of his passes for 137 yards and a touchdown.

In Ahlers’ first start as a Pirate, he completed 29-of-53 passes for 406 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed 27 times for 69 yards on the day.
Ahlers threw the ball 60-plus times in the next two matchups. He was 34-of-62 for 449 yards and three touchdowns against Memphis, 21-of-67 for 360 yards and two touchdowns against Tulane, and 22-of-31 for 242 yards with four touchdown passes and one rushing against Connecticut.

Combined, Ahlers led ECU in rushing and passing last season. Throwing for 1,785 yards and rushing for 592, with 12 passing touchdowns and six rushing in a limited amount of playing time.

Ahlers sustained an injury in the Pirates’ matchup with Cincinnati, and would not be able to suit up in the finale against N.C. State. Herring was once again the starter, and he left the game with an injury as well.

With the addition of new head coach Mike Houston the Pirates wanted the quarterbacks to earn the starting position. While Ahlers was assumed to maintain the role throughout spring and the summer, he ultimately won the job a week before the beginning of the regular season.

According to 247Sports, Ahlers said he was ready to take on the challenge as the starter in his sophomore season.

“Anything this team needs to do to win, I’m going to bring it,” Ahlers said this past Saturday at ECU media day. “I can’t wait. Things are different. Everything in this program is different now. I can’t wait (for the opener).”

With the stress of the quarterback competition out of the way, the focus now transitions to the Wolfpack, in which the Pirates will pay a visit next Saturday. Kickoff is set for noon.