ECU scrimmage positive experience

Published 10:49 am Sunday, August 15, 2010

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE – Redshirt freshman quarterback Rio Johnson threw for a game-high 164 yards and a touchdown and senior running back Jonathan Williams tallied 33 yards and a score to lead the offense, while four players booked six tackles each on the other side of the ball to highlight East Carolina’s first intra-squad scrimmage of preseason camp Saturday afternoon at Dowdy Ficklen Stadium.
The controlled contest, which featured 73 passes compared to 32 rushes, was played under a partly cloudy sky with the temperature in the upper-80’s. First-year head coach Ruffin McNeill and his staff guided the Pirates through approximately 105 plays that included all levels of the program’s preseason depth chart, but focused mainly on ECU’s No. 2 and No. 3 units.
“I thought there were some positive things that happened,” McNeill said. “There was a planned rotation for the offense, defense and special teams today. Fundamentals were our main emphasis and we’ll evaluate that on film.”
Johnson, Dominique Davis and Brad Wornick split repetitions at quarterback with Wornick taking the opening series. True freshman Shane Carden engineered the final series, completing six-of-eight passes for 49 yards and a two-yard touchdown pass to Zico Pasut.
“I thought all of them did a good job,” McNeill said of the quarterback competition. “Dominique had some good throws and had some dropped passes, too. We’ll have to watch the film and evaluate from there.”
Davis completed his first six pass attempts before finishing the contest 7-of-18 for 44 yards and one interception. Johnson, after starting the scrimmage completing just two of his first seven passes, bounced back to convert 10 of his final 12 attempts, including his 19-yard touchdown strike to Lance Lewis. For the game, Johnson went 18-of-28 with an interception, while Wornick completed the day 9-of-19 for 81 yards.
“The biggest thing I noticed were routine plays that were missed,” McNeill added. “It might have been a routine catch, throw, block or tackle. Those kinds of things are what we have to become better at.”
Wornick and Williams got the offense off to a quick start as Wornick completed two short passes before Williams broke off a 23-yard run on the third play of the game. Darryl Freeney hauled in a 24-yard reception on third down to keep the opening drive alive before Williams scored the first touchdown of the contest on a one-yard plunge with Ben Ryan converting the point after.
Ryan and Michael Borbour, a transfer from the University of Maryland, had a perfect afternoon kicking for the Pirates. Barbour converted 43 and 36-yard field goals and one PAT while Ryan made a 42-yard field goal and two point-after attempts.
Making his ECU debut, Lewis led the receivers with 58 yards on four catches. Freeney finished with a team second-best 46 yards while Justin Jones and Justin Hardy also passed the 40-yard plateau with 45 and 41 yards, respectively. Seventeen receivers made at least one reception for the Pirates’ air-oriented offense.
Defensively, Melvin Patterson andWes Pittman led the way with six stops each and combined for five tackles for a loss. Pittman recorded a pair of sacks for 16 total yards lost and an additional tackle for a loss of three yards while Patterson booked one sack and another tackle for a loss. Cliff Perryman and Derek Blacknall also made six tackles each with Jeremy Grove picking up five. Terry Williams had a pass breakup and the game’s lone fumble recovery, whileBradley Jacobs and Lamar Iveyeach netted interceptions.
Following film evaluation of the scrimmage Saturday night and Sunday morning, the Pirates return to the Cliff Moore Practice Complex Sunday afternoon for their 12th workout of the fall.