New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Despite surrendering 10 unanswered points in the final six minutes of regulation, the Tulane Green Wave were able to hold off the East Carolina Pirates in triple overtime, 36-33, in a Conference USA bout at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Devin Powell completed 23-of-39 pass attempts for 224 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for Tulane (5-2, 3-0 C-USA), which has won three straight and remains atop the league standings. Ryan Grant caught six balls for 90 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came in the overtime periods.
Justin Hardy was the catalyst for ECU (4-2, 2-1), setting school records with 17 catches and 230 receiving yards. Hardy managed to break his own receptions record. He hauled in 16 passes against Marshall last season. Shane Carden was 41-of-55 under center for a career-high 480 yards with a touchdown and an interception. It was the signal caller's third career 400-yard passing performance. Vintavious Cooper turned 22 carries into 87 yards and two scores.
ECU drove 71 yards on 12 plays on the first possession of the game, but it stalled in the red zone and had to settle for a Warren Harvey 21-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Tulane managed to tie the game up later in the first quarter when Cairo Santos drilled a 42-yard field goal.
The slow pace continued in the second quarter, when Santos connected on a 28- yard field goal with 2:14 left to give the Green Wave their first lead of the game.
The Pirates made the most of their little time remaining in the half, driving down the field to set up a 30-yard field goal by Harvey to tie the game before intermission.
The field goals kept on coming after halftime. Santos added a 42-yarder midway through the third quarter for Tulane.
The game's first touchdown came with 3:58 left in the third via the Green Wave's defense. With ECU driving deep into Tulane territory, Derrick Strozier intercepted a Carden pass and returned it 99 yards for a score to extend the Green Wave's advantage to 10.
ECU brought its deficit to within one score early in the fourth quarter following a 22-yard field goal by Harvey, which came after the Pirates failed to score a touchdown on six consecutive goal-to-go opportunities.
After Santos (43 yards) and Harvey (26 yards) traded a field goals, ECU managed to tie the game at 19-19 with under two minutes left in regulation after Cooper rushed in a two-yard score. Cooper caught a 48-yard pass earlier in the drive to help set up the short touchdown.
After forcing Tulane to go three-and-out, ECU managed to drive down to the Green Wave's 25-yard line with just three seconds left, but Harvey's game- winning field goal attempt from 42 yards out was no good and the game went to overtime.
The Pirates began the extra session with a bang, as Carden hooked up with Reese Wiggins for a 25-yard touchdown on the very first play. Tulane answered on its first-overtime possession, as Powell completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Grant.
The Green Wave started the second overtime with another Powell-to-Grant hookup, this time from six yards out. ECU forced yet another extra session, however, after Cooper ran in a two-yard score.
The Pirates had the first crack at it in the third overtime, but Harvey missed a 34-yard attempt, setting up Santos' game-winning field goal from 42 yards out.
ECU had twice as many first downs (31) as Tulane (15), but the Green Wave still won the time-of-possession battle (30:17). ECU also outgained Tulane, 543 total yards to 310.