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|East Carolina University – No. 12|
|High school||D. H. Conley High School|
|Born:||Greenville, North Carolina|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight||236 lb (107 kg)|
Holton Maddux Ahlers (pronounced AYE-lurrs) is an American football quarterback for the East Carolina Pirates. The son of Morgan and Jill Ahlers, he was born in the same town where he played high school and college football.
By age 12, Ahlers had reached six feet in height, and hit 27 home runs in 22 Little League games, including a towering drive that smashed a neighbor's windshield which became a popular viral video. He played basketball and baseball in high school, but football is where he truly excelled. In his prolific high school career, Ahlers finished as North Carolina's third all-time leading passer with 11,198 yards and 145 touchdowns, also recording 3,586 yards and 56 touchdowns rushing; his 201 total touchdowns is third in state history and his and 14,784 yards of total offense is second. His senior year, he set the state record for most passing yards in a game with 581, and the next week broke his own record with 618 yards. This on-field success was tempered by tragedy: Ahlers lost a best friend, two teammates, and a grandmother in this period.
Ahlers enrolled mid-year in January 2018 at East Carolina University, and was already on the Dean's List for academic performance before officially joining the team that spring. He began the season as the backup to Reid Herring, attempting just 10 passes over the first five games, but rushing for 203 yards and four touchdowns. Following Herring's concussion in game 6—a 42-20 loss to Houston on October 13—Ahlers had a passing and rushing touchdown, and a 143 QB rating in just over one quarter of play. The next evening, head coach Scottie Montgomery named Ahlers as the first true freshman to start a game for ECU since 1993. In his debut, Ahlers had 406 passing yards a touchdown in a loss to Central Florida, and followed this with 449 yards (fourth-most in school history) and three touchdowns against Memphis. Ahlers played through a finger injury to record 360 yards, two touchdowns, and a two-point conversion (all to Trevon Brown) in a close loss to Tulane the following week.
- "ECU Pirates Fact Book 2018" (PDF). ecupirates.com. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
- Woodward, Ronnie (Oct 20, 2018). "Meeting his destiny: Path to Ahlers' start paved with local triumphs - Rocky Mount Telegram". www.rockymounttelegram.com. Rocky Mount Telegram.
- "ECU commit Holton Ahlers among nation's top returnees in total offense". USA TODAY High School Sports. 10 July 2017.
- "Houston at East Carolina Box Score, October 13, 2018". College Football at Sports-Reference.com.
- Bailey, Brian (17 October 2018). "Montgomery names former Conley star Holton Ahlers as new ECU starting quarterback". WNCT.
- Shanahan, Tom (Oct 20, 2018). "ECU falls to Central Florida despite a big game from its new quarterback". Charlotte Observer.
- Johnson, Dylan (Oct 22, 2018). "Ahlers promising for Pirates". The East Carolinian. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- "Memphis at East Carolina Box Score, November 3, 2018". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
- "East Carolina at Tulane Box Score, November 10, 2018". College Football at Sports-Reference.com.
- Bailey, Brian (14 November 2018). "Ahlers practiced, will play despite finger injury". WNCT. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
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