Pirates Top Cavaliers, 31-21
Oct. 7, 2006
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) -Brandon Fractious had 102 yards and one of East Carolina’s four rushing touchdowns to lead the Pirates past Virginia, 31-21 on Saturday night.
Brandon Simmons and James Pinkney also ran for scores for the Pirates (2-3).
East Carolina finished with 432 total yards against one of the nation’s stingier defenses despite playing without starting wide receiver Aundrae Allison and running back Chris Johnson. The Pirates even got a 2-yard rushing score from punter Ryan Dougherty on a fake field goal with 2:17 left to seal the win.
Jason Snelling ran for 103 yards and a touchdown for the Cavaliers (2-4).
Pinkney ran for 42 yards and threw for 224, while Simmons ran for 57 yards as part of the Pirates’ 208-yard rushing day against a defense that came in ranked 20th nationally by allowing 263 yards per outing.
All that came despite missing Allison and Johnson. Holtz ruled Allison out Saturday morning due to an ankle injury he suffered against West Virginia two weeks ago, while Johnson had been limited with a toe injury all week.
But Fractious and Simmons carried the load for Johnson, while Bobby Good finished with five catches for 102 yards to make up for the absences.
The strong play started up front with an offensive line that kept opening holes for the running back tandem that rotated throughout the game. Both took advantage, with Simmons scoring on a 5-yard run in the first quarter and Fractious scoring on a 12-yard run late in the second for a 17-7 lead.
Then Pinkney made his biggest play on a terrific individual effort just before halftime.
With the Pirates lined up in the shotgun at Virginia’s 5, the snap came in fast and high and the ball bounced off Pinkney’s fingers and into the air. Pinkney turned around to catch it, then tucked the ball away and dove into the end zone for the 24-7 lead with 1:46 left in the half.
The Cavaliers got a spark when Ben Parziale blocked a punt from Dougherty to give Virginia the ball at East Carolina’s 17 early in the third quarter. Jameel Sewell then connected with Tom Santi on a 16-yard pass to set up Snelling’s short TD run that made it 24-14 with 13:02 left in the quarter.
The Cavaliers finished with 298 total yards. Sewell, a freshman making his third straight start, finished 15-for-31 for 123 yards and threw a TD with 18 seconds left.