Loading...
So why is the US sending troops to secure Syria's border? How about securing our own border first? I think it is...

Pirates working wildcat, younger players

100419_gdr_ecufootball-19.jpg
1 of 2

East Carolina freshman Jsi Hatfield runs to the outside against Temple on Oct. 3 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

100419_gdr_ecufootball-9.jpg
Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Holton Ahlers is watching some as backups Bryan Gagg and Zach Gwynn, and maybe even Jsi Hatfield, take snaps at quarterback for this East Carolina football team this week.

ECU is using its first bye week, which comes with the Pirates holding a 3-3 record with six games remaining in the regular season, to test players in a variety of ways during different days. This afternoon is when Ahlers — the Pirates’ sophomore starting quarterback — and other starters will watch younger and seldom-used Pirates during game action take center stage on the practice field.

“We’ll have a little bit of a controlled scrimmage with some of those guys,” ECU coach Mike Houston said. “That is usually a highlight for the upperclassmen. They get to kind of be fans and cheer those guys on.”

Hatfield, a speedy rookie and former Southern Alamance High School dual-threat quarterback, was used as a wildcat QB during the fourth quarter of the Pirates’ last game. He carried the ball twice for 6 yards.

He also caught a 37-yard pass from Ahlers to finish second on the Pirates in receiving yards in a 27-17 loss to Temple. C.J. Johnson, also a freshman who starred at D.H. Conley, led the team with eight catches for 100 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season.

Houston said the implementation of the wildcat was part of the offensive staff purposely getting the ball to players in certain situations. Hatfield also was used for an intended receiver reverse pass against Navy on Sept. 14.

“I think most people can notice the past several games that there are several players we have tried to make sure that we got them more touches than maybe they had the first few games,” Houston said. “That (wildcat) is a package we can continue to expand on.”

Johnson’s targets have increased in recent weeks, and he has moved to second on the Pirates in receptions (19) and yards (208), behind Blake Proehl in both categories.

Gagg took over the No. 2 quarterback spot when Reid Herring announced his transfer on Sept. 24. Gagg, a freshman who participated in spring practice behind Ahlers and Herring, has not played in a game.

“When you were the third guy you maybe didn’t get as much attention from the coaching staff, but he is getting coached pretty hard by coordinator (Donnie) Kirkpatrick this week,” Houston said. “It’s because we have to get him ready. He is getting coached and prepared to go in there and play, so we are not treating him any different from Holton or anybody else as far as the demands and the expectations on him. We are throwing a lot at him this week.”

Houston added that a lot of his team’s offensive personnel is still young and developing from week to week. The starting lineup against Temple featured senior receiver Deondre Farrier, but also Johnson and sophomores Proehl, Ahlers and running back Trace Christian. True freshman Demetrius Mauney surpassed Christian in carries during the game to lead ECU in rushing.

Left tackle D’Ante Smith and left guard Cortez Herrin will be seniors in 2020.

“We are not just developing (the roster) for this year, but developing for years to come,” Houston said. “It’s not just on the offensive line, but we’ll have the bulk of our offense back next year. ... The thing that I really challenge some of those players who have multiple years left is that you’re working to get better not just for today, but you are working to get better for next year and the year after. But certainly we have a lot of ball left to play for this year, and I am excited about that.”

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

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

October 20, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. — East Carolina's defensive success against UCF during the second half Saturday night, which was a major bright spot in a 41-28 loss, was a mix of adjustments and passion.

Even in allowing 41 points, just below UCF's season average, ECU took pride in outscoring the Knights…

East Carolina UCF Football

October 20, 2019

Raven Johnson is a 6-foot guard for East Carolina’s women’s basketball team who isn’t a prototypical rebounder, but she tries to make up for any height disadvantage with her hop and athleticism.

At 5-6, point guard Lashonda Monk definitely doesn’t possess ideal size for…

101619_gdr_ecubasketball-4.jpg

October 19, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. —  East Carolina’s football team lost 41-28 at UCF on Saturday night in a game that began as all Knights, leading 21-0 and later 35-3 still in the first half, but the Pirates left the Sunshine State mainly encouraged about their second half comeback attempt. Here…

East Carolina UCF Football-22

October 19, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. — Even without Adrian Killins, a ball of energy and quickness as one of the most dangerous players in the country when he has the football, UCF was too fast.

The Knights also scored way too many early touchdowns for the Pirates, despite their storm of a comeback attempt during…

East Carolina UCF Football-4

October 19, 2019

A two-game, all-Florida swing for the East Carolina football team to start the second half of its season begins tonight at 7 at UCF.

Before the Pirates welcome in South Florida for their homecoming next Saturday afternoon, ECU is the homecoming opponent for a talented UCF squad that is looking for…

5d5c5f996e675.image.jpg

October 19, 2019

East Carolina football plays at 7 p.m. at UCF on the CBS Sports Network. Check out the three questions you need to know (in words and video below) heading into the game:

1. Does the ECU defense force any turnovers? The common theme in the Knights’ two losses this year was turnovers. UCF had…

100419_gdr_ecufootball-17.jpg

October 19, 2019

Q: What’s your favorite place to eat in Greenville?

A: One of my favorite places around here is the Carolina Ale House because of the wings. They are really nice.

Q: Who is the hardest hitter at practice?

A: Bruce Bivens brings the stick. Bruce Bivens can hit.

Q: What’s your go-to pump…

5d5c5f80db8b8.image.jpg

October 19, 2019

Here are three Knights to know for East Carolina’s football matchup at UCF:

Otis Anderson

Maybe the most unpredictable player for high-powered UCF is Anderson. He can line up at running back or at slot receiver and is worth watching to be involved in trick plays. He also has a punt return…

102118ECUfootball-7.jpg

October 17, 2019

East Carolina University is waiting for new employment contract details regarding former ECU athletics director Jeff Compher, which could reduce the money owed to him.

Executive search firm WittKieffer announced Compher on Wednesday as a new principal in education practice, set to head recruitment…

050214Compher2_1.jpg

October 17, 2019

Donnie Kirkpatrick doesn't think Demetrius Mauney is going to get any faster during his East Carolina football career, but he does think the freshman is bound to improve with time as a more complete running back.

Mauney, who is leading the Pirates in rushing this season but he has no starts and no…

100419_gdr_ecufootball-9.jpg
228 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 23
        Next Page»   Last Page»