Landstown grad turns in strong night in ODU scrimmage

October 26, 2008
By ODU Athletics

Oct. 26, 2008

Nick Mayers gave himself a grade of "C" for the night.

Makes one wonder what an "A" performance looks like.

Mayers turned two short passes into big gains of 54 and 65 yards Saturday night as the Old Dominion Monarchs held an open scrimmage in front of about 700 fans in a steady drizzle at Powhatan Field.

Mayers, a 5-foot-7, 160-pounder from Landstown High School, finished the night with three receptions for 136 yards and four rushes for 23 more yards.

His blue squad, however, lost 17-16 when White squad linebacker Michael Williams, from Norview High, returned an interception of a Dan Pitts pass 45 yards midway through the fourth quarter.

"That was an exceptional defensive play," ODU coach Bobby Wilder said. "First, he made a technically great move, then he made an athletic move to finish."

The same could be said for Mayers, who graded himself down because he didn't reach the end zone on either play. On the 65-yarder, he took a screen pass from Pitts, found a seam in the defense and was off to the races.

Alas, he didn't win the foot race and T.J. Cowart caught him at the 10-yard line.

"We played in the same district against each other, so I know T.J. can run," Mayers said. "But when I break one like that, I've got to get into the end zone."

Free safety injured

The euphoria of keeping score and watching the marching band perform was tainted by a scary injury to free safety DeAnthony Jones.

Jones was taken by ambulance to Norfolk Sentara General for a possible neck injury and concussion.

The free safety from Hyattsville, Md., was injured on a head-to-head collision with running back Jamar Parham, who also left the scrimmage and sat on the bench with an ice pack on the back of his neck.

Jones was placed on a back brace and taken off the field by stretcher. After lying motionless for nearly a minute after the hit, Jones could be seen moving his legs while being attended by medical personnel.

Wilder did not know Jones' condition immediately following the scrimmage.

Yeoman's work

With Jones out of action midway through the first quarter, safety Devon Simmons played for both the blue and white teams from that point on. In addition, lineman Sam Reisenfeld sustained an elbow injury in the first half and offensive lineman Travis Peyton ended up playing for both squads as well.

"I have to give both those kids credit," Wilder said. "Simmons played something like 50 straight snaps and Peyton played about 40 straight. One of the game officials told me late in the game that Peyton was doing a very good job."

Simmons did well himself and had an interception, picking off a Bobby Cooper pass intended for tight end James Edwards.

How they scored

The blue team got its first points on a 1-yard keeper by Cooper on a 65-yard drive that was highlighted by a 39-yard Cooper to Reid Evans pass play. The blue team also scored on a 10-yard pass from Pitts to Fred Credle, who was recently moved from quarterback to receiver. Blue's other points came on a safety when the white offense was called for holding on a keeper from the 1 by Tommy Reamon. The white team ended up on the 1 when Reamon was called for intentional grounding after a scramble that resulted in a 29-yard loss.

Besides Williams' interception return, the white team scored on 47-yard field goal by Drew Hareza and a 1-yard run by Desmond Williams.

Rich Radford, 446-2463 or

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