Loading...
Bless our hearts as Edmund Burke quoted: The only thing necessary for the triump of evil is for good men(and women) to...

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

July 18, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — In the lead spot to start at quarterback for American Athletic Conference preseason favorite UCF is senior Notre Dame transfer Brandon Winbush.

Veteran QBs at Memphis (Brady White) and South Florida (Blake Barnett) both were at Arizona State earlier in their careers. Barnett,…

101418ECUfootball-12.jpg

July 18, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I.

East Carolina was picked fifth in the American Athletic Conference football East Division for the second straight year in the league preseason poll, but more important than the poll’s release Tuesday during AAC media days was the confident and persistent presence of ECU…

021418ECUbasketball-7.JPG.JPG

July 17, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Coach Mike Houston remains optimistic yet not in position to announce whether or not Traveon Freshwater will be on East Carolina football’s roster for this season.

The former Elizabeth City Northeastern High School star running back and linebacker signed with ECU in…

081818Footballrecruits-2.jpg.jpg

July 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Mike Houston has been in this position before, bracing to prove doubters wrong.

It began with his first head coaching job in 2001 at T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville, when his team was picked in the preseason eighth out of nine teams but thrived during the season to take…

IMG_2422 (1).jpg

July 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Standing in front of American Athletic Conference “Power Six” logos on Tuesday, conference commissioner Mike Aresco was persistent that he thinks the American is strong enough to not immediately replace Connecticut when the Huskies leave for the Big East.

Aresco…

IMG_2415 (1).jpg

July 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — East Carolina athletics director Jon Gilbert found time to put on a swimsuit by mid-afternoon Monday, and ECU football coach Mike Houston sneaked in advice to Pirate receiver Deondre Farrier on the proper cracker-to-oyster ratio when Houston was between interviews at American…

IMG_2404 2 6.18.29 PM.jpg

July 15, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — East Carolina is at American Athletic Conference football media days, equipped with first-year coach Mike Houston, first-year athletics director Jon Gilbert and senior receiver Deondre Farrier in his first visit to Newport.

Aside from veteran media relations director Tom…

IMG_2388 2 (1).jpg

July 15, 2019

A trio of first-year American Athletic Conference football coaches, including East Carolina's Mike Houston, heads to Newport, R.I., today for a first taste of seafood, interviews and more at AAC media days.

The other two newcomers are Temple's Rod Carey and Dana Holgorsen after his offseason…

120518ECUFootballHouston-1.jpg

July 14, 2019

The Minges Coliseum court is in under renovation as East Carolina’s basketball coaches also are working to reconstruct their teams that will play this year on a new-look Minges paint scheme.

Fresh from checking out a recent workout of men’s coach Joe Dooley’s squad, which this…

062619fantasycamp-10.jpg

July 13, 2019

Many East Carolina football fans know what Holton Ahlers will be doing in August and the ensuing months as the Pirates’ sophomore projected starting quarterback.

Others fans might have noticed the Greenville native was an ardent ECU baseball fan in June, but in July, he and other Pirate…

033119ECUFootball-2.jpg.jpg
187 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 19
        Next Page»   Last Page»