I see the Mayor is getting out his signs again this year. This is a welcome sight because he deserves another term for...

ECU second scrimmage: Take a punch, give a punch

1 of 12

East Carolina's Dorian Hardy, back, sacks Reid Herring during a scrimmage on Aug. 17, 2019.


The Daily Reflector

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Moments of reflection Saturday brought East Carolina first-year head football coach Mike Houston back to the spring.

The physicality he saw Saturday during the Pirates' final preseason scrimmage was vastly different from the spring Purple-Gold Game.

Darius Pinnix displayed his punishing rushing style for the offense, which produced big plays early but also suffered a few costly interceptions late in the day.

On defense, a steady pass rush of six sacks was led by a big day from senior D-End Kendall Futrell. The scrimmage ended on a sack by fellow lineman Dorian Hardy.

"I just remember coming out of the spring, and it went well, but we had hardly no pass rush and really never challenged the offense to stop the run," Houston said.

Projected starting right guard Sean Bailey was sidelined for another day with an injury and did not play.

Free safety Tank Robinson benefitted from aggressive defense in front of him and snagged a couple errant throws for his two interceptions.

The first was a pick-six thrown by Reid Herring when Robinson's timing was superb and he swiftly cut in front of the intended receiver and coasted to the end zone. The INT on the next possession came on an overthrow by Holton Ahlers to Tyler Snead across the middle for Robinson to tip the ball to himself and secure it for another turnover.

"It was nice to see, because we have been working hard to get some," defensive coordinator Bob Trott said of takeaways. "We emphasize that all the time. I think what the scrimmage did is it got our guys in position. Right now what our team needs is a lot of situations and to go play, because that is the best learning experience you can have."

Offensive coordinator Donnie Kirkpatrick agreed with Houston that the scrimmage was defined by its physical nature.

"It was like a heavyweight fight -- both sides slugging each other," Kirkpatrick said. "The offense came out and took it 71 yards and scored. Then the defense punched us and knocked us down, and then we rallied. It was just back and forth, and that is kind of what we want as coaches is it to be super competitive."

Ahlers and Herring finished with 340 combined passing yards on 22-of-41 accuracy.

But it was some of the battles in the trenches that still stood out to Houston as he participated in post-scrimmage interviews during ECU's annual media day event.

"What you watched out there today, that was competitive and they were getting after each other," he said. "There were big hits on both sides of the ball. ... Both sides made plays, and our offense had a really impressive first drive again this week."

ECU will begin classes Monday and the Pirates will switch from the morning preseason workouts they have been conducting to their in-season afternoon practices.

Their season begins Aug. 31 at N.C. State, the team that handed the Pirates a 58-3 loss in Raleigh to end last season for ECU's third straight 3-9 record and Scottie Montgomery to be replaced by Houston from James Madison.

"I can't wait," said Ahlers, who was injured and inactive against the Wolfpack in 2018, but he was instrumental with two rushing touchdowns in ECU's 41-19 win over North Carolina earlier in the season. "We have a bad taste in our mouth from a couple of games from last year. There are a couple of games that every single day we are reminded of and we are excited about it."

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


September 19, 2019

Wednesday was publicly the day that East Carolina’s football representatives were done with talking about the loss to Navy last week.

The Pirates are fully focused on Saturday’s 6 p.m. home kickoff against William & Mary, which for defensive coordinator Bob Trott meant that he…


September 19, 2019

The Connecticut women's basketball team's final trip to Minges Coliseum as an American Athletic Conference opponent will be Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. as part of a women's-men's doubleheader for East Carolina hoops.

In conjunction with the American Athletic Conference, the Pirates and first-year…


September 19, 2019

East Carolina football's second home game of the season is against William & Mary at 6 p.m. for family weekend. It can be streamed on ESPN3 as the Pirates (2-1) are looking to even their record after a loss at Navy.

Check out below for beat writer Ronnie Woodward's three questions you need…


September 18, 2019

A fast and aggressive N.C. State women's soccer team quickly built an insurmountable lead against an injury-depleted East Carolina squad on Wednesday night, erasing the chance for a Pirate upset in front of an energetic crowd packed into Johnson Stadium, the fifth-largest ever at the venue for…


September 18, 2019

Senior middle blocker Toya Osuegbu hit a program single-match record .833 percentage to lift East Carolina volleyball to a 3-1 win (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-17) over N.C. Central on Tuesday night in Minges Coliseum for the Pirates’ fifth straight victory.

Osuegbu finished with 10 kills and no…


September 18, 2019

After grinding as a third-teamer during spring practice and preseason camp and serving a two-game suspension to begin his senior season, East Carolina cornerback Colby Gore has positioned himself again as a starter, and the Pirates want to keep it that way.

Gore started against Navy last Saturday…


September 18, 2019

A concern for East Carolina athletics officials as they are still trying to rejuvenate the Pirates' fan base and get fans back to fill Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium is a decline in Student Pirate Club membership.

Pirate Club executive director Phillip Wood presented numbers during last week's university…


September 17, 2019

Quarterback Holton Ahlers and senior running back Hussein Howe are set to lead the East Carolina football offense in Saturday's game against William & Mary.

The depth chart for ECU (1-2), which lost 42-10 at Navy on Saturday, distributed before first-year coach Mike Houston's news conference…


September 17, 2019

Former East Carolina football head coach Scottie Montgomery, who was fired by ECU last December and is offensive coordinator at Maryland, played a big role in the Terrapins' 2-0 start to the season and No. 21 national ranking.

That included scoring 142 total points during the first two weeks.



September 16, 2019

Without giving much detail on the specifics of the injury, East Carolina football coach Mike Houston said Monday that starting running back Darius Pinnix got hurt while rushing for a career-high 134 yards against Gardner-Webb during Week 2 of the season.

Pinnix traveled with the Pirates to Navy on…

197 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 20
        Next Page»   Last Page»