Pirates hold first scrimmage of season

Published 6:18 pm Sunday, August 12, 2007

By Staff
By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — For a couple hours tonight, East Carolina’s football players will be able to get their minds off the gridiron.
After a stint in the weight room, the Pirates will head to the theater to watch The Bourne Ultimatum. Getting their first break away from football for the first time since Aug. 3 is something several of the players are relishing.
Quarterback Rob Kass said he and his teammates will take advantage of the time off. Of course, he also realizes that it’s back to business on Monday.
The Pirates capped the ninth consecutive day of practice with their first scrimmage of the season Saturday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Head coach Skip Holtz used it primarily to evaluate his younger players in order to work on a depth chart.
Among that group were Mark Robinson, Zach Slate, Fred Wilson, Van Eskridge, Josh Coffman, Matt Butler and Jamar Bryant.
Kass led a handful of nice drives for the Pirates, and shook off a hard sack by linebacker Jeremy Chambliss.
Back-up Brett Clay was 5-of-9 for 86 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown strike to T.J. Lee.
Patrick Pinkney and redshirt freshman Dwayne Harris also saw action under center in the scrimmage.
Wilson, who, as always, thanked “God for my opportunity,” did more tutoring and assisting than playing. The former Northside High School standout still managed to break a sweat during Saturday’s scrimmage.
Holtz was happy with how the younger players responded to game-like situations.
Once Holtz and his staff have the depth chart figured out, they’ll concentrate mainly with the first and second-teamers.
One of Holtz’s hardest decisions may come at the running back spot.
Whitley led the ground attack with 91 yards on eight carries. Williams added 69 yards on 10 totes and Simmons galloped for 46 yards on two tries.
The Pirates will practice twice Monday and then once a day Tuesday through Friday. ECU will hold its second scrimmage Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
The scrimmage will precede “Meet the Pirates” night, which will be held Saturday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.