ECU Tops Pirates In Spring Game, 31-10

 Patrick Pinkney Accounts For Three Touchdowns To Lead ECU Squad*****Andy notes:Derek Blacknall(Dudley HS) starting ECU DB had an excellent spring….Dustin Lineback(Southeast Guilford) started at middle linebacker Saturday…..Jack Schultz(Grimsley) is now #2 on the DB depth-chart at ECU…..Justin Venable(Southeast Guilford) played the second and fourth quarters at DB Saturday for the Pirates…..***** 

 GREENVILLE, N.C. – Led by quarterback Patrick Pinkney’s 229 passing yards and three touchdowns, ECU defeated the Pirates 31-10 in East Carolina’s annual spring game Saturday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

 Senior Matt Dodge opened the scoring for ECU on its initial drive at the 9:07 mark, drilling a 49-yard field goal. Then, after senior Chris Mattocks forced a fumble on the Pirates’ first possession, senior Patrick Pinkney hooked up with sophomore Michael Bowman on a nine-yard strike on a fourth-and-two play to extend ECU’s lead to 10-0 with 3:34 remaining in the first quarter. Pinkney enjoyed a productive period, completing 7-of-8 pass attempts for 68 yards and a touchdown.

 The Pirates would respond in the second stanza, using a 22-yard field goal from Ben Ryan at 7:06 and a Josh Jordan one-yard touchdown run with 1:16 left in the half to make the score 10-10 heading into the break.


Pinkney completed 13-of-15 passes in the half, accumulating 138 yards while Jordan was just as efficient, going 8-for-11 with 95 yards. Jamar Bryant led all receivers, notching 45 yards while Brandon Jackson picked up 48 yards on 13 carries. The Pirates held the advantage offensively, recording 166 yards of total offense as compared to 125 for ECU. Additionally, time of possession was nearly even, as ECU held a slight 13:53-12:53 margin.


In the second half, ECU would regain the lead at the 9:32 mark of the third quarter when Pinkney scored from two-yards out, capping off a four-play, 25-yard drive. The biggest play of the day came less than three minutes later when Pinkney found Michael Bowman streaking down the sideline for a 59-yard pass completion and his second touchdown of the day through the air, giving ECU a 24-10 lead at the 6:42 mark.


J.R. Rogers completed the contest’s scoring with 8:56 left in the game, breaking off a 50-yard run for ECU that provided the final 31-10 margin.


Pinkney completed 19-of-26 passes while Jordan ended his day converting 19-of-33 for 202 yards, experiencing all the action because of the absence of senior Rob Kass (bereavement leave). Aided by his 59-yard scoring play, Bowman led all receivers with 72 yards while Jackson served as the contest’s top rusher with 55 yards on 15 carries.


Chris Mattocks enjoyed a solid outing on defense, forcing two fumbles while recording an interception. Steve Spence led all tacklers in the game, notching six tackles (three solo). ECU also recorded two sacks by A.J. Johnson and Allen Crowder to aid its effort. Additionally, Linval Joseph turned in the Pirates’ lone sack, dropping Pinkney for a seven-yard loss in the second quarter.


Despite ECU outscoring the Pirates 21-0 in the second half, the teams were nearly even in total offense. Another key to the contest was ECU’s 5.7 average gain per play as compared to a 4.3 mark for the Pirates while ECU converted 2-of-3 fourth-down attempts and scored both times it entered the redzone.


East Carolina will open the 2009 season on Sept. 5 when its hosts Appalachian State at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.


Head Coach Skip Holtz Quotes

On His Evaluation of Spring Practice

“There is a lot of talent on this football team. I don’t know that we’re game ready or able to go out there and not make some of the youthful mistakes that we are making. There are 84 players competing for a spot on the two-deep and we can only travel with 70. That’s what I keep alluding to. We probably have as much talent on this team as we’ve ever had. I was pleased with spring [practice] and pleased with the progress. We just have to continue to keep coming with it and continue to keep improving.”


On the State of the Team After the Spring

“I’m encouraged with our skill players and I think we have some playmakers. One of the things that we’ve lacked, especially the second half of last year, was a big play threat. Some guys are starting to step up and show that they have the ability to do that. I’m encouraged to turn and put the puzzle together now that spring is over. We had about 15 guys standing on the sideline for this game that either started or played a prominent role for us at some point in time. When you add those 15 guys to this football team and merge them together, I think they have a chance. We’re just not going to be able to see that finished product until we come back for August.”


On Brandon Jackson and the Running Backs

“Brandon Jackson has shown that he is capable of being an every down player in this offense. He’s physical, runs hard and did a nice football of hanging on to the football today. J.R. Rogers showed some flashes today and is trying to run more physical and doing some good things. We know what Dominique Lindsay can do coming back. When you look at those guys, we have some talent there. I feel very comfortable with their development. Brandon Jackson has definitely solidified himself as a guy who is going to be competing for the starting job and is definitely going to play in the opening game.”


On the Defense

“We’ve got a lot of guys at 6-1, 210, 215 running well, flying to the ball, hitting; its just how well they are going to fit into the defense of what we’re doing right now. With some of the injuries that we’ve had on the defensive line, we played this whole game in a 3-4 defense, trying to give ourselves an opportunity to evaluate all the linebackers we can and see what type of defense we are going to have in the fall.”


On Penalties

“I was pleased that there wasn’t a bucket load of penalties. It wasn’t a huge turnover game in terms of the ball being on the ground. There were some single plays that are correctable, but overall I’m really encouraged. We’re going to make mistakes because of our youth, but if we can learn from them and grow from them it’s going to make us a better football team in the fall.”


On Patrick Pinkney

“Patrick (Pinkney) is playing really well and its nice to have a guy out there that can do the things Patrick can do with the experience he has. It was nice to see him run the ball a little bit today. I want to see Patrick scramble out of the pocket and turn and do a better job running than he did last year. I thought he did a nice job of that today.”


On Josh Jordan

“I thought Josh Jordan went out there and did some really good things. At times he looked really good and at times he looked like a freshman. You see flashes of his talent, but you also see times where he may be swimming a little bit.”


2009 Spring Football Award Winners

Most Improved

DE – Allen Crowder

DT – Josh Smith

LB – Chris Mattocks

CB – Travis Simmons

S – Derek Blacknall

OL – Terence Campbell

TE – Michael Byrd

RB – Brandon Jackson

WR – Michael Bowman

QB – Josh Jordan


Distinction of Outstanding Attitude, Effort and Leadership

DE – C.J. Wilson

DT – Linval Joseph

LB – Jeremy Chambliss

CB – Dekota Marshall

S – Van Eskridge

OL – Sean Allen

TE – Kevin Gidrey

RB – Darnell Ballard

WR – Reyn Willis

QB – Rob Kass



Tom McClellan
Assistant AD/Media Relations

Categorized as College