Navy holds off late surge from East Carolina

Nelson Smith ran for a career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns and Jamale Crothers rushed for 82 yards and a score to help visiting Navy remain unbeaten in the American Athletic Conference with a 27-23 victory against East Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, N.C.Navy (3-2, 3-0 AAC) ran for 288 yards behind an inconsistent yet opportunistic triple-option attack, holding on after ECU scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.The Pirates (1-3, 1-2) rushed for 268 yards, with Rahjai Harris gashing Navy for a career-best 172 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Mason Garcia, a fellow freshman, running for 63 yards and a score.After the Pirates drew to within 27-20 on an 80-yard touchdown run from Harris with 14:15 to go, the Midshipmen went three-and-out, leading to a 39-yard Jake Verity field goal. Navy got the ball back with 6:33 to play and possessed the ball until punting it away with 27 seconds to go.