Loading...
Bless the heart of Bill Redding, who stood up at the public hearing on rezoning lots for parking spaces east of ECU...

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

August 14, 2018

Dave Hart’s role as special athletics adviser to East Carolina Chancellor Cecil Staton has been extended through football season, in part because of the difficulties the Pirates are facing financially as they prepare for another scholastic and athletics year.

Hart’s original six-month…

081518HART-1.jpg

August 14, 2018

A theme from Saturday’s East Carolina football scrimmage continued Tuesday when the Pirates began their final week of preseason camp and coach Scottie Montgomery said the defense was overall more productive than the offense.

Part of it was because of the defense winning a lot of battles in…

081218ECUfootball-1.jpg

August 14, 2018

Jack Reinheimer is with the New York Mets, giving East Carolina two former players currently on active Major League Baseball rosters. Pitcher Mike Wright (Baltimore Orioles) is the other player.

Former ECU pitcher Jharel Cotton is on the Oakland Athletics’ 40-man roster, but not active as he…

021613ecubaseball4_0.jpg

August 14, 2018

Of all the statistics that doomed East Carolina’s football team in 2017, and on defense in particular, a glaring disparity was that ECU scored 31 points off turnovers and opponents finished with 121.

Third-year head coach Scottie Montgomery has stressed for ECU defenders to be more aggressive…

081218ECUfootball-7.jpg

August 13, 2018

East Carolina connecting on deep passes Saturday during a preseason scrimmage was sometimes directly tied to quarterback scrambles.

There were no quarterback-designed runs as suggested by the coaching staff to protect the passers from injury, but the ECU trio of Reid Herring, Holton Ahlers and…

081218ECUfootball-4.jpg

August 11, 2018

It remains difficult for East Carolina’s offense to run against the ECU defensive front, which led to the team airing it out Saturday during the first scrimmage of the preseason.

Defensive backs and receivers battled for the football often to highlight the 100-plus play scrimmage at Dowdy-…

081218ECUfootball-9.jpg

August 11, 2018

There is no question that Trevon Brown is East Carolina’s best receiver, and big production will be needed out of him again for the Pirates to reach their goal of making a bowl game, but opportunity also remains behind Brown.

Brown is a senior and bound to see double-teams and plenty of…

080818ECUfootball-11.jpg

August 10, 2018

ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton has requested an independent audit of the university’s athletic department in hopes of putting to rest continuing concerns raised about the financial health of the Pirates’ sports program.

Staton told The Daily Reflector in a conversation Wednesday he…

100817ECUfootball-5.jpg (1).jpg

August 10, 2018

It is not only Kendall Futrell’s frame or his bulging upper-body muscles or his speed that has East Carolina football coaches excited about Futrell’s junior season.

There is the factor of new defensive coordinator David Blackwell and his schemes, but also head coach Scottie…

091717ECUfootball-9.jpg

August 08, 2018

Peyton Winstead and Garrett McGhin are often directly beside each other to the form the right side of the top offensive line during East Carolina football practices.

They can blend together at times with their similar frames and more similar hairstyle of dark curls flowing out of the back of their…

080818ECUfootball-6.jpg
180 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 18
        Next Page»   Last Page»