ECU football coach happy with improvements

Published 9:07 am Sunday, March 30, 2003

By Staff
RYAN ROCKWELL, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE -- The East Carolina football team held its second scrimmage of the spring Saturday morning. Quarterback Paul Troth, running back Marvin Townes and wide receiver Terrance Copper were offensive leaders.
The Pirates ran nearly 150 situational plays, spending time on kickoffs, punting, field goals, goal-line offense and defense and two-minute drills.
Troth, a junior, who was much maligned a year ago, hit on his first nine passes and finished 16-of-24 for 144 yards. Troth threw for two TDs, both to Copper, and tossed one pick.
Marvin Townes led all rushers, carrying the ball for 88 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Art Brown, the leading rusher a year ago, had a pair of touchdowns from inside the 10-yard line. The fleet-of-foot Townes said he wanted to fire up the defense and barked at the defensive sideline after long carries.
Senior Dominique Hatcher carried the ball 15 times for 50 yards for the second-team offense, while back-up quarterback Desmond Robinson hit on 5-of-13 passes for 62 yards, throwing one pick.
Copper, a senior from Washington, led all receivers, catching seven passes for 44 yards with two TDs.
The biggest offensive play of the day came from converted linebacker Vonta Leach, who now plays fullback. Leach broke a run up the middle and ran over a would-be tackler several yards up field. Leach barely broke stride and rumbled 40 yards for the score.
The Pirate offense scored eight touchdowns on the day during situational play.
On the defensive side of the ball, the first-team defense played impressively, stopping the first-team offense on a first-and-goal from the four during a goal-line scenario.
An individual leader was converted wide receiver Mickey McCoy, who had a pick and a sack from his roverback position.
Sophomore linebacker Richard Koonce forced and recovered a fumble, while Eric Butler added an interception.
The Pirates have another scrimmage scheduled for April 5, as they prepare for the Purple-Gold game on April 12 at 3 p.m.