Pirates Turn In Second Scrimmage Of Spring
GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina quarterbacks combined to complete nearly 70 percent of their passes to highlight the Pirates’ second full intra-squad scrimmage of the spring practice period Wednesday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Seniors Patrick Pinkney and Rob Kass, along with redshirt freshman Josh Jordan, connected on 35-of-53 attempts for 327 yards while running backs J.R. Rogers and Brandon Jackson complemented the air attack with a combined triple-digit rushing performance to lead the ECU offense.
Defensively, redshirt freshman end Allen Crowder backed up a strong effort in Saturday’s contest with a nine-tackle outing, recording two of his hits behind the line of scrimmage while competing with the No. 2 and No. 3 units. True freshman linebacker Kyle Tudor added seven stops, while safety Van Eskridge, linebacker Chris Mattocks, cornerback Dekota Marshall, safety Levin Neal and cornerback Travis Simmons chipped in with five tackles each.
In the early stages of the contest, each No. 1 unit faced off against the No. 2 squad across the line of scrimmage while the remainder of the scrimmage featured a more traditional matchup of equal levels of the depth chart.
â€œWe really have gone after things hard the past five days,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “On Saturday, we ran 120 plays and today we ran about 105. It has been great because we were able to keep the ones sharp and they have made some good progress. The main thing we are trying to do out here is establish who will be the twos and threes. We are continuing to develop the depth chart and beginning to put the offense and defense together.”
Pinkney, who opened the contest by completing 12 of his first 14 attempts, finished the day with a 17-of-24, 166-yard performance that also included a 23-yard touchdown strike to sophomore Darryl Freeney midway through the scrimmage. Kass and Jordan each contributed big passing plays on their own, connecting with Jamar Bryant on a 37-yarder and Michael Bowman on a 31-yard toss, respectively.
Jackson logged the scrimmage’s longest rush of 18 yards while running with the top unit while Rogers posted a position-high four carries that went 10 or more yards. Bowman (68 yards) and Freeney (50) topped a group of 13 pass catchers during the afternoon.
The Pirates’ defense enjoyed several highlights with interceptions by Travis Simmons and Austin Haynes, the first of which included a return of 34 yards.
â€œA lot of guys are still competing for roles on this team,” Holtz added. “That is what todayâ€™s scrimmage was all about, and that will continue through the spring game. It definitely helps us build camaraderie on offense and defense since we are starting to work more with the players that will see most of the time on the field. The one main thing that I would have liked to see this spring is to have some of our injured players with us. It will just put more emphasis on our summer and fall camps.â€
The Pirates will enter their fifth and final week of spring work with practices Monday and Wednesday at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex before battling in the Purple-Gold Game next Saturday beginning at 3:00 p.m. at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
EAST CAROLINA‘S 2009 SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Next Workout: Monday, April 13
Remaining Workouts: April 15 and April 18 (Purple-Gold Game, 3:00 p.m.)