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Pirates still have work to do

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — The East Carolina Pirates will have one final tune-up on Friday before the season opener Sept. 1 at Virginia Tech.
Between now and then, ECU head coach Skip Holtz said his team still has plenty of work to do. However, he did see some positive plays during the team’s second scrimmage on a hot, sunny Saturday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Holtz, one of 15 coaches selected for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, wore a wireless microphone and was filmed by Intersport during the scrimmage. Likely caught on tape are some encouraging words and some harsh words for his players.
Quarterback Rob Kass looked sharp at times for the Pirates. Some fans got a scare when Kass got up slowly off the ground after taking a hard hit while completing a pass. He grimaced while moving his left (non-throwing) shoulder as he was being attended to by trainers.
Kass, who completed 14-of-22 passes for 123 yards, shook it off and returned to the field a short time later.
Back-up Brett Clay hit 6-of-15 passes for 107 yards. J.R. Kraemer hauled in a 58-yard strike from Clay. Dwayne Harris led all receivers with his four catches, good for 31 yards.
Cliff Perryman led the defense with eight tackles. C.J. Wilson, Marcus Hands and Lorenzo Osborne had sacks, while Jeremy Chambliss and Travis Williams had interceptions.
Kass led the team down the field and running back Chris Johnson capped it off with a one-yard touchdown plunge. Johnson, who ran for 40 yards on nine carries, is competing with the likes of Dominique Lindsay (19 yards on five carries), Jonathan Williams (34 yards on six carries) and Norman Whitney (23 yards on six carries) for work.
Holtz said he likes the enthusiasm his players are showing.
The Pirates will hold their final scrimmage Friday at 4:30 p.m. in preparation for the Sept. 1 season-opener at Virginia Tech.
Following Saturday’s scrimmage, the Pirates and their fans had a chance to mingle.
(Check out Kevin Travis’ blog at http://wdnsports.blogspot.com)