Loading...
BYH to all who have yard signs supporting NC hog farming. Yes, farms = food. And clean water = life. Reasonable people...

Simmons in right place at right time

DSC_2233.JPG

Pat Green during East Carolina against Western Carolina football game at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday, September 3.

Loading…

By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Friday, September 9, 2016

Travon Simmons played the role of Johnny-on-the-spot for the East Carolina football team against Western Carolina.

His perfect positioning prevented the Pirates from coughing up a score on the opening drive of the season. A deflected pass from Catamount quarterback Tyrie Adams seemed to dance around in the air for a moment above a couple of prone bodies before Simmons was there to put the clamps on it.

The ECU offense did its share after that, marching the other way for its first score of the season on the way to a 52-7 win. Although it was captured in the game’s earliest moments, Simmons’ pick drew praise from ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery, who said the play was vital in the Pirates’ win.

“It was really big, honestly,” said Simmons, the Pirates’ starting free safety. “Our coach always stresses that if we still have a blade of grass to defend, we defend that to the end. That’s what we did, and I’m really proud of the guys.”

As for the play itself, Simmons was quick to single out teammate and fellow defensive back Corey Seargent for making the initial play on the ball near the ECU 10-yard line.

As receiver Steffon Hill brought the ball into his chest, Seargent pulled the receiver down from behind and simultaneously popped the ball loose and into the air. ECU inside linebacker Jordan Williams took a swipe at the ball before Simmons snared it.

“Seargent made a play so I could make a play, so I benefited off that and I’m really blessed that he did that,” said Simmons, the top returning tackler in the ECU secondary after making 45 stops last year to go with a team-high nine pass breakups. “I saw (Seargent) knock the ball down and the guy re-catch it. But he kicked it up in the air and I was like, perfect time to go and grab the ball. And then I made a couple guys miss (tackles) so that was pretty cool.”

Simmons contended the defensive performance against WCU was critical for the unit’s confidence, especially given the complex offense the Catamounts run.

Inside trading

As expected, a sizable crew of inside linebackers traded repetitions in the opener, and with great success.

Montgomery, in fact, was still raving about their performance in the week building up to Saturday’s home showdown against N.C. State.

Starters Cam White and Pat Green regularly gave way to top reserves Williams and Ray Tillman, and also former safety Terrell Richardson. The quintet finished with 24 combined tackles.

“We were mentally prepared, physically prepared, and that’s what we do in the offseason and during fall camp, get prepared to do what we do best,” said Green, a junior.

Green was part of a serious competition at both inside LB positions throughout the offseason, and the season-opening win suggested there still isn’t much separating starters from reserves. The Winston-Salem native thinks that competition has fueled success.

He admits the competition is both fun and stressful.

“It’s football, and if you enjoy football you’re doing something you love every day,” Green said. “There is stress, like, ‘Did I mess up? Am I doing it right?’ They’re evaluating you and you don’t know if you’re doing good or bad, so you just go out there every day and work hard, get better from the mistakes you made the day before and just keep moving.”

 

Contact Nathan Summers at nsummers@reflector.com, 252-329-9595 or follow @NateSumm99 on Twitter.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

October 20, 2018

Before Holton Ahlers signed on Dec. 20, 2017, to play football at East Carolina, he was a star quarterback at D.H. Conley High School. Before that, a baseball slugger unlike anyone else who had ever played on Greenville recreational fields.

“That thing broke my darn windshield!" a woman…

052512HRrecord1-56.jpg

October 20, 2018

These three questions appeared in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section previewing East Carolina’s home football game against 10th-ranked Central Florida. 

Check back after the primetime matchup for answers to the questions and more insight from the game.

1. Who wins the…

090918ECUfootball-14.jpg

October 20, 2018

New starting quarterback Holton Ahlers and East Carolina welcome undefeated Central Florida to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium tonight for a primetime matchup on ESPN2 that many people around the country will at least check in on to see if UCF could get upended.

There is no denying that a win by the Pirates,…

100418gameday-4.jpg

October 20, 2018

Q: Why did you want to major in criminal justice?

A: I’ve always liked (TV) shows like “Criminal Minds” and “CSI: Miami” and “Law & Order.” I just decided I wanted to be something in that field, like a DEA (Drug Enforcement…

101418ECUfootball-5.jpg.jpg

October 19, 2018

While the American Athletic Conference East division remains a three-team race, Houston is in the driver’s seat as the only remaining unbeaten team in the West.

Houston, which just defeated East Carolina 42-20 and has won its first two league games by an average 18.5 points, moved to No. 2 in…

101418ECUfootball-12.jpg

October 19, 2018

Central Florida’s 19-game football winning streak saw its closest contest yet last Saturday at Memphis.

The 10th-ranked Knights recovered from a slow start and rallied to win, 31-30, for a 6-0 record this season.

Following that emotional victory with a road game versus a struggling opponent…

SMU UCF Football

October 18, 2018

Less than three weeks away from starting a new season on Nov. 6, the East Carolina women’s basketball team had a major change in leadership Wednesday when head coach Heather Macy resigned at the conclusion of an ECU internal review into the program.

Macy, who is the winningest coach in ECU…

100317ecubasketball-4.jpg

October 18, 2018

A look at individual defensive statistics with the halfway point of the college football season already passed shows that what East Carolina’s Nate Harvey is doing is not a fluke.

In his first season playing defensive line, the former Pirate running back and linebacker leads the nation with…

093018ECUFootball-3.jpg.jpg

October 17, 2018

East Carolina women’s basketball coach Heather Macy resigned on Wednesday after the conclusion of an internal review led by the ECU athletics’ office of compliance, citing her misunderstanding of practice rules.

Macy became the Pirates’ all-time leader in women’s…

011118ECUwomen-9.jpg

October 17, 2018

The go-to saying for East Carolina basketball coach Joe Dooley regarding forward Seth LeDay is that LeDay is the best fast-twitch player for the Pirates this year.

What is fast-twitch?

“He has a quick first jump and a quick second jump,” Dooley said. “I like those fast-twitch guys.…

101218ECUbball-4.jpg
221 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 23
        Next Page»   Last Page»