Mixed reviews

Published 6:59 pm Saturday, August 20, 2011

East Carolina wide receiver Michael Bowman (22) catches a screen pass during the Pirates first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday, Aug. 13. Yesterday, the Pirates concluded their second scrimmage of fall camp. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

GREENVILLE — As East Carolina inched closer to its Sept. 3 season opener against South Carolina, the Pirates wrapped up their second scrimmage of fall camp with mixed reviews.
On offense, they got off to a fast start as running back Reggie Bullock ripped off a 50-yard TD run on a fourth-and-1 situation, quarterback Rio Johnson, who is fighting Brad Wornick for the right to backup Dominique Davis, connected with Lance Lewis for a 49-yard scoring pass and running back Michael Dobson broke free for a 38-yard run all within the first 20 plays.
Overall, Davis, Wornick and Johnson guided the offense to 441 yards of total offense, three touchdowns and two field goals but were only 4-18 on third downs, which sapped some of the optimism out of the units’ performance.
When asked which he attributed the Pirates inconsistent offense play to, lack of execution or defensive improvement, Davis said it was a little bit of both.
“It goes both ways,” said Davis who hit on 11 of his 14 pass attempts for 109 yards and a TD. “The defense did a great job executing, but we have to do our job executing too.
“We took a step forward today and tightened up the little things such as penalties, but we came out in the second half a little sluggish. There’s still room for improvement.”
Second-year defensive coordinator Brian Mitchell liked what he saw from his group during the scrimmage, which was closed to the media and public.
“I’m pleased with a lot of the things we did today but I’m anxious to see on film how some things come out today because I thought we played pretty good assignment football,” said Mitchell. “There were a couple of plays out there that we definitely had to make … But, I’m pleased overall. I think we have identified what guys can do what they can’t do and how the scheme is going to work. I think our kids have a good working knowledge of the scheme as well.”
Sophomore safety Damon Magazu said he felt his team gave up to many long plays, but liked the energy his teammates played with.
“We let up too may big plays. We gave up two long passes for touchdowns and one long run for a touchdown,” Magazu said. “I thought we gave good effort and I’m really confident in my defense that we’re going to give effort no matter what situation we’re in.”
Magazu tied Matt Milner, who also had a sack, with a team-high five tackles. Junior outside linebacker Chris Baker was also a force as he tallied two sacks.
Offensively, senior wideout Lance Lewis caught three balls for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Lewis was able to post those stats while fighting off DBs and migraine headaches.
“It was alright but it wasn’t my full potential,” Lewis said of his performance. “I’ve been out with migraines and stuff but I’m coming back. … I’ve been dealing with them since I was a child but it started getting worse since I was in college.”
Lewis said that the migraines were not football related and that he pushes the pain aside and takes medicine for the ailment.
Justin Jones led all receivers with five catches for 65 yards.
Behind center, the battle to backup Davis continued. Johnson, a sophomore led all passers with 133 yards as he connected on 10 of his 15 attempts and threw for a score. Wornick, a junior, was extremely accurate as he went 9-10 for 82 yards. Redshirt freshman Shane Carden, who appears to be trailing Johnson and Wornick, finished 4-6 for 16 yards.
The competition is a stiff one and McNeill said pleased with the work of his signal-callers.
“I liked both of those guys,” McNeill said. “I thought Rio did a good job running the team and Brad did too. That’s a position I feel very comfortable with.”
Another ongoing battle has been at the running back spot. Last week offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said that Bullock was out in front of the RB battle and the JUCO transfer appeared no to hurt that status as he carried the ball three times for a team-high 56 yards and score. Dobson, a sophomore, rushed six times for 45 yards, while Chris Hairston tallied 22 yards on two carries and Torrance Hunt gained only 21 yards on nine carries.
McNeill said that finalizing the depth chart is still very much a work in progress.
“We’re not close, we’ll take our time and we’ll get to it, but we’re not close,” McNeill said. “There are some spots that are developed but the depth process will be an ongoing deal. I like where we are, we have some guys who can make plays on both sides of the ball. Defensively, we’re going to rotate some people in in to keep them fresh. Offensively, there are some positions that are established but I’m not in a hurry.”

RUSHING: Reggie Bullock (3-56 yards, 1 TD), Michael Dobson (6-45), Chris Hairston (2-22), Torrance Hunt (9-21), Alex Owah (2-4), Dominique Davis (4-0), Shane Carden (1-<-5>), Brad Wornick (4-<-15>), Rio Johnson (3-<-27>). Totals –– 34-101 (3.0 ypr), 1 TD.

PASSING: Rio Johnson (15-10-0, 133 yards, 1 TD), Dominique Davis (14-11-0, 109, 1 TD), Brad Wornick (10-9-0, 82), Shane Carden (6-4-0, 16). Totals –– 45-34-0, 340 yards, 2 TD (75.6%).

RECEIVING: Justin Jones (5-65 yards), Lance Lewis (3-82 yards, 2 TD), Danny Webster (3-15), Michael Dobson (3-15), Mike Price (2-30), Michael Bowman (2-28), Dayon Arrington (2-23), Joe Womack (2-16), Alex Owah (2-14), Justin Hardy (2-12), Hunter Furr (2-5), Brandon Weymann (1-10), Derrick Harris (1-9), Torian Richardson (1-7), Reggie Bullock (1-5), Reese Wiggins (1-3), Gray Mazzone (1-1). Totals –– 34-340, 2 TD.

TACKLES: Damon Magazu 5, Matt Milner 5 (sack/-1 yard, TFL/-1 yard), Daniel Drake 4 (FF), Bradley Jacobs 4 (PB), Jacobi Jenkins 4, Kyle Tudor 4, Brandon Williams 4, Terry Williams 4 (TFL/-2 yards), Derrell Johnson 3, Leonard Paulk 3, Cliff Perryman 3, Chris Baker 2 (2 sacks/-15 yards, 2 TFL/-15 yards), Michael Brooks 2, Ty Holmes 2, Montese Overton 2 (TFL/-2 yards), Lee Pegues 2 (sack/-10 yards, TFL/-10 yards), Zeek Bigger 1, Justin Dixon 1, Maurice Falls 1 (sack/-8 yards, TFL/-8 yards), Lamar Ivey 1, Rocco Scarfone 1, Chrishon Rose 1, Kristopher Sykes 1, Rahkeem Morgan (2 PB), Antonio Allison (PB).