Saturday, April 16, 2011

White edges Cherry in Temple spring football game

Redshirt freshman RB Myron Myles scored three touchdowns on Saturday morning as White edged out Cherry, 27-26, in Temple’s annual intra-squad football scrimmage at the Edberg-Olson Complex before 3,423 fans.

“I think the kids had fun out there today and enjoyed themselves. Obviously we just went out there and played it pretty close to the vest, a little vanilla," new Temple coach Steve Addazio said. "The defense didn’t bring any pressure or anything like that. We just played it straight up. I wanted them to go out and have fun, compete a little bit. Obviously the work we thought needed to be done was done Friday. This was just a chance to have a good time and be out amongst family and friends. I thought they did a great job with it. It was fun to watch them compete.”

White wasted no time leading the charge, scoring first on an eight-yard Mike Gerardi pass for Alex Jackson in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Ahkeem Smith recovered a fumble in the endzone for put Cherry on the scoreboard.  The extra point attempt failed, giving White a 7-6 advantage.

Myles scored his first touchdown on the next drive with an eight-yard run.  The Cherry squad countered with a two-run touchdown by QB Chester Stewart.  White closed the half with another Myles score, this time with a 14-yard run.  White led at intermission, 21-13.

In the third quarter, Mike Gerardi hurled a 71-yard TD pass to TE Evan Rodriguez to pull Cherry to within one, 21-20.

In the final stanza, redshirt freshman QB Connor Reilly saw his first action. He threw a 21-yard touchdown to Myles to give the White a 27-20 edge.

With less than two minutes to play, Stewart march the Cherry down to score with a 63-yard pass to Michael Doty. But the two-point conversion attempt for the win failed, giving White the one-point victory.

Myles led all players on the ground, finishing with 133 yards and three scores on 20 carries. For the Cherry squad, junior Smith was the top rusher, carrying 13 times for 53 yards and a touchdown.

Three quarterbacks saw action for both sides. Stewart and Gerardi each went 6-of-8 with a touchdown for Cherry. For White, Gerardi was 7-of-10 for 97 yards and a TD, while Stewart was a perfect 4-of-4 for 61 yards.  Redshirt freshman Connor Reilly went 2-of-5 for 20 yards and a touchdown.

“I thought he did great. Chester had a great spring," Addazio said. "He had a lot of plays throughout the spring. I like his demeanor; I like his approach to the game; and I thought he had a great, great day out here today. As did Gerardi and Connor (Reilly) had a chance to get out here."

In the air, sophomore TE Alex Jackson led the White receivers with five receptions for 79 yards. Myles followed with three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. For Cherry, senior TE Evan Rodriguez posted 91 yards and a touchdown on three catches, while senior WR Joe Jones had three receptions for 63 yards.

Defensively, senior DB Deonte Parker and sophomore LB Wyatt Benson recorded game-highs of six tackles each for the Cherry. Sophomore DE Sean Daniels led the White with four tackles.

In the shortened game format, there was limited special teams action.

After the game, five players were recognized as the team’s annual spring award winners. Senior LB Tahir Whitehead earned the Mark Bresani Award for spirit and enthusiasm. Redshirt freshman WR Brett Pierce was awarded the Gavin White Local 215 Award, presented to the most improved non-scholarship player. Senior DEMorkeith Brown was the most improved defensive player, while sophomore TE Alex Jackson earned most improved offensive player accolades.  Junior RB Ahkeem Smith was awarded the most improved special teams player honor.

Additionally, the Owls unveiled new helmets for the 2011 season.  Temple will now wear cherry helmets with the white “T”, a look previously worn during the 1989-95 and 2004-06 seasons.

Temple opens the 2011 season with cross-town rival Villanova in the third annual Mayor’s Cup, sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts, on Thursday, Sept. 1 at Lincoln Financial Field.

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