Shane Carden accounted for six total touchdowns to lead the East Carolina Pirates to a 55-31 win over the North Carolina Tar Heels at Kenan Memorial Stadium.
Carden threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns on 32-of-47 passing for East Carolina (3-1). Carden was intercepted once but also scored three rushing touchdowns. Vintavious Cooper rushed for 186 yards and 35 yards and also led the Pirates with eight receptions for 70 yards. Lance Ray had 84 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions.
Bryn Renner completed 28-of-46 pass attempts for 366 yards and three scores but was also intercepted once for North Carolina (1-3). Quinshad Davis brought in five passes for 111 yards and a touchdown and also threw for a touchdown. A.J. Blue led the way on the ground, with 68 yards on 20 carries.
Carden connected with Justin Hardy on a six-year touchdown pass early in the first quarter as the Pirates got out to a 7-0 lead.
Carden threw his second touchdown pass of the contest before the first quarter ended, when he hit Ray for a seven-yard scoring strike.
The Tar Heels finally cut into the Pirates' lead with a 21-yard field goal from Thomas Moore.
Carden put more points on the board for the Pirates on their next possession. This time he did it himself by scoring on a one-yard touchdown run.
The Tar Heels didn't wait to respond as T.J. Thorpe scored from 32 yards out on a pass from Davis.
However, another one-yard touchdown run from Carden, just before halftime, gave the Pirates a commanding, 28-10, lead at the break.
That lead expanded quickly in the second half when Chris Hairston scored on a three-yard touchdown run on the Pirates' first possession of the third quarter.
Just over two minutes later the Tar Heels answered when Renner connected with Johnathan Howard for a three-yard touchdown pass.
Carden scored his third rushing touchdown of the game midway through the third quarter on another one-yard rush.
Renner responded with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Nic Platt less than two minutes later.
East Carolina gave itself a three-touchdown cushion early in the fourth quarter when Warren Harvey kicked a 32-yard field goal that pushed the Pirates' lead to 45-24.
The Tar Heels cut into their deficit quickly, as Renner threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Davis on the fourth play of North Carolina's ensuing drive.
Harvey connected on another field goal, this time from 29 yards out, to help the Pirates keep the Tar Heels at bay before a 48-yard touchdown pass from Carden to Ray put the finishing touches on the East Carolina victory.
The two teams combined for more than 1,000 yards fo total offense. East Carolina scored on all eight of its chances in the red zone and also had three sacks while not allowing one to the Tar Heels.