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Big Plays Dominate Pirates’ First Scrimmage

(WITN)
Published: Apr. 1, 2017 at 10:17 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Big plays highlighted the offensive production, while takeaways and a consistent dose of stops behind the line of scrimmage keyed the defensive effort during East Carolina's first full spring scrimmage at Bagwell Field inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The controlled contest, which consisted of approximately 60 plays, featured both a traditional possession format and various segments that emphasized redzone, first down and third down situational work.

Offensively, the Pirates reached the endzone 10 times and picked up 20 or more yards on nine different snaps. Defensively, ECU recorded three interceptions and netted eight tackles for lost yardage.

"We got an inordinate amount of offense in, which I like," ECU Head Coach Scottie Montgomery said. "We are getting to teach football on both sides of the, but I think the biggest thing that you saw today is where we are offensively. We simply gave up too many big plays on defense, but we did play better in some situations in our front. We’ve just got to continue to grow."

The Pirates rushed for 177 yards on 29 carries, while passing for 370 to generate 547 yards of total offense - an average of 9.4 per play.

Quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Reid Herring continued to share reps, combining on a 17-of-29, six-touchdown passing performance.

Minshew, who started the contest by engineering three-straight TD drives, was eight-of-16 for 215 yards and three throwing scores. He connected with Jimmy Williams on 48 and 65-yard touchdown strikes before finding Quay Johnson on a five-yarder during redzone work.

Herring shook off a slow start with successive scoring drives on his last four possessions. He hooked up with Malik Gray twice (46, two-yarders) for TDs and found Deondre Farrier on a 65-yard scoring toss. Overall, Herring was nine-of-13 for 155 yards through the air and picked up a game-high 10 first downs.

Devin Anderson led all rushers with 79 yards and a touchdown on five carries, while Anthony Scott picked up 22 of his 35 yards on a scoring scamper late during the action.

In addition to the pair of touchdown grabs, Williams (2-113) topped a group of nine pass catchers who made 17 receptions for 370 yards and six TD.

Defensively, cornerback Colby Gore led the Pirates with six tackles, including two which resulted in lost yardage. Inside linebacker Ray Tillman chipped in with five stops, while cornerback Travis Phillips provided an early defensive highlight with a 73-yard interception return for a touchdown. Jordan Williams, who also accounted for one of two sacks during the tilt, and Keyshawn Canady took ownership of the other pair of interceptions.

East Carolina will open its third week of spring work Monday with a session in pads beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.

SPRING SCRIMMAGE I STATISTICS

RUSHING: Devin Anderson (5-79, 1 TD), Anthony Scott (7-35, 2 TD), Reid Herring (2-34), Hussein Howe (6-32), Derrell Scott (4-5, 1 TD), Tahj Deans (2-1), Gardner Minshew (3-

<-9>). Totals –– 29-177 (6.1 ypr), 4 TD. PASSING: Gardner Minshew (16-8-1, 215 yards, 3 TD), Reid Herring (13-9-2, 155 yards, 3 TD). Totals –– 29-17-3, 370 yards, 6 TD. RECEIVING: Jimmy Williams (2-113, 2 TD), Deondre Farrier (2-84, 1 TD), Malik Gray (4-76, 2 TD), Quay Johnson (2-45, 1 TD), Davon Grayson (2-43), Derrell Scott (2-7), Anthony Watley (1-4), Eric Weber (1-3), Hussein Howe (1-<-5>). Totals –– 17-370, 6 TD TACKLES: Colby Gore 6 (2 TFL/-3), Ray Tillman 5, Kenyon Taylor 4, Xavier Smith 4, Mike Myers 3, Justin Brown 2 (TFL/-2, 1 PD), Taijh Alston 2, Jordan Williams 2 (TFL, sack/-3, INT), Austin Teague 2, Devon Sutton 2, Aaron Ramseur 2 (TFL/-3), Keyshawn Canady 1 (INT, PD), C. J. Maybin 1, Jalen Price 1, Raequan Purvis 1 (TFL/-1), Travis Phillips 1 (INT, PD), Joe Carter 1 (TFL/-5), Marcus Holton, Jr. 1, Travon Simmons 1, Demage Bailey 1 (TFL, sack/-5), Alex Turner 1 TOTAL OFFENSE/TOTAL DEFENSE: 58-547 (9.4 ypp) FUMBLES/LOST: 0/0 INTERCEPTIONS: 3 (Travis Phillips/73-yard TD return, Keyshawn Canady, Jordan Williams) THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS (full possessions only): 4-10 (40.0%) – Gardner Minshew (3-7), Reid Herring (1-3) PENALTIES: 4 (1/OFFENSE – 1 holding; 3/DEFENSE – 3 offside) QUARTERBACK FIRST DOWN/SCORING CHART (DRIVES): Gardner Minshew – 8 first downs, 4 TD Reid Herring – 10 first downs, 6 TD SCORING: TD – 11 (10 offense, 1 defense) Derrell Scott 2-yard run (Jake Verity PAT) Malik Gray 46-yard pass from Reid Herring (Caleb Pratt PAT) Jimmy Williams 48-yard pass from Gardner Minshew (Verity PAT) Deondre Farrier 65-yard pass from Herring (Pratt PAT) Travis Phillips 73-yard interception return (no PAT) Williams 65-yard pass from Minshew (Verity PAT) Quay Johnson 5-yard pass Minshew (Pratt PAT) Gray 2-yard pass from Herring (Verity PAT) Devin Anderson 4-yard run (Verity PAT) Anthony Scott 5-yard run (Verity PAT) Anthony Scott 22-yard run (Verity PAT)