JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 9, 2014) – A new generation of ETSU football players came face-to-face with the past during a special invitation-only scrimmage for alumni Thursday afternoon.
Nearly 50 former players representing six decades of Buccaneer football were in attendance at the on-campus practice fields next to the Center for Physical Activity, and following the scrimmage the current players had the chance to be introduced to the former Bucs and hear stories from the past.
Some of those present included All-Americans like Ron Overbay (1968), Doug Linebarger (1969), John Walton (1969), Richard Harris (1987) and James Russell (1996), as well as other noteworthy former players like Derek Fudge (1999), Johnny Russaw (1967) and Tom Buchanan (1976). Russaw is remembered for being the first African-American football player at ETSU, while Buchanan earned notoriety for his performance as “Big Tom” on the CBS network series “Survivor.”
The players each introduced themselves and had an opportunity to address the team, with many talking about the special opportunity that these new Bucs have to be part of this effort. All talked about the brotherhood they still enjoy with their teammates and they encouraged the current Bucs to cherish every moment and to work hard every day. As one former player put it, “climb the mountain” to success.
As for the scrimmage itself, the Blue team took a 14-7 win over the Gold team as the defense seemed to control play for much of the contest.
Once again using the modified scoring system that based points on the jersey color of the quarterback, the Bucs’ defense ultimately forced three fumbles and intercepted one pass on the evening. In fact, the ETSU defense allowed points on only three of 19 offensive possessions.
While the defense was the story of the scrimmage, there were some individual offensive highlights, starting with a 50-yard touchdown run by Nick Sexton (Seymour). On the night, Sexton finished with 40 yards rushing and was 6-of-10 through the air for 47 yards, which included a 10-yard touchdown toss to wide receiver Malik Styles (Dandridge).
Tailback Shawn Prevo (Maryville) also continued his solid play, rushing for a team-best 49 yards on six carries and scoring a touchdown with a five-year jaunt in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, linebacker Trey Trammel (Kingsport) led the way with 7.5 tackles, while Gad Nagba (Johnson City) and Keanu James (Dacula, Ga.) each had 4.5 tackles on the night. In addition, O’Ryen Scott (Johnson City) collected a diving interception, while both defensive linemen Paul Leveritt (Waynesville, N.C.) and Ferguierson Charles (Fort Myers, Fla.) both had fumble recoveries.
For more on ETSU football through the fall, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football link.
Sexton 50-yard run (Blue Team)
Sexton 10-yard pass to Styles (Blue Team)
Prevo 5-yard run (Gold team)
Gold Team – Jared Drake (7-8-0 63); Hagen Owenby (2-3-0 16)
Blue Team – Nick Sexton (6-10-0 47); Demetrius Anthony (6-15-1 42); Logan Wallace (1-4-0 9)
Shawn Prevo 6-49, Nick Sexton 3-40, Tony Drew 4-36, Jajuan Lankford 7-21, Cory Colder 4-21, Zach Casey 3-15, Logan Wallace 2-(-5), Demetrius Anthony 2-(-10)
Malik Styles 6-50, Charlie Moore 5-35, Connor York 2-25, Hayden Welch 2-24, Hunter Wike 2-21, D.J. Jones 2-15, T.J. Morgan 1-5, Zach Casey 1-5, Adam Mitchell 2-3