GREENVILLE, N.C. - Senior running back Dominique Lindsay scored three of East Carolina’s five rushing touchdowns, while redshirt freshman Josh Jordan threw for a pair and senior Patrick Pinkney added a score during the Pirates’ final intra-squad scrimmage of the preseason Friday afternoon inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
In a game which served as a Conference USA-officiated dress rehearsal for ECU's season opener against Appalachian State next week, the running backs accounted for a total of six scores with Lindsey putting the ball in the endzone from eight, two and one yard out. Junior Giavanni Ruffin scored on a four-yard run, while classmate Jonathan Williams ran one in from 25 yards. Senior Darnel Ballard added his name to the scoring list with an eight-yard reception from Jordan in the third period.
The last scrimmage is in the books,” Pirate Head Coach Skip Holtz said. “We came out here and got our No. 1’s about 40 plays on both sides of the ball. We spotted the opponent 21 points and told the offense they had one half to get it back.
I thought, overall, our first units did a nice job. The intensity was good and we played with some emotion. The hitting was excellent. It was a very physical scrimmage. We were able to see a lot from our second unit with them running about 75 plays.”
East Carolina’s top three quarterbacks on the two-deep - Pinkney, Jordan and true freshman Rio Johnson - combined to complete 40-of-63 passes for 404 yards and three scores. In addition to his eight-yard hookup with Ballard, Jordan also found sophomore Joe Womack on a two-yard slant, while Pinkney connected with senior Jamar Bryan on the third score of the afternoon, a nine-yard hitch.
Williams (15-94) and Ruffin (15-83) were among the game’s top rushers, picking up a combined 177 yards, while Lindsay added 46 yards on seven carries.
“It would be nice to see a strong running game because that’s something that has been absent,” Holtz added. “Last year, we just weren’t as good or consistent as we needed to be in short-yardage situations. I think both the offensive line and the bigger, talented backs are making a difference in the running game.”
Defensively, junior Linval Joseph notched a scrimmage-high seven stops, including one of ECU’s seven sacks. In all, the Pirates were credited with a total of 11 hits behind the line of scrimmage, including sacks by Michael Brooks, A.J. Johnson, Cliff Perryman, Scotty Robinson, Jay Ross and C.J. Wilson. Emanuel Davis and Levin Neal picked off passes while Marke Powell returned the game’s lone fumble recovery 31 yards for a touchdown.
"On the defensive side of the ball, we are doing some good things," Holtz continued. "We appear to be playing solid fundamental football and we know what our assignments are and that's encouraging."
The Pirates will take Saturday off before heading into game week preparations Sunday prior to their season opener against the Mountaineers Sept. 5 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.