Redshirt-freshman running back Myron Myles had three scores in the intrasquad game.
A running back from the suburbs dominated during the football team’s Cherry and White game, but it wasn’t junior running back Bernard Pierce. Instead, redshirt-freshman running back Myron Myles stole the show as the White team defeated the Cherry team, 27-26.
Myles, a product of Wissahickon High School, rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns while also catching three passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. Myles, who originally committed to Vanderbilt out of high school but eventually switched to Temple, said the performance was the result of a combination of hard work on his part and opportunities from coach Steve Addazio and his staff.
“I worked hard all spring, and I had my opportunity,” Myles said. “The coaches had faith in me, and they gave me the ball a number of times … We were talking trash to the defense all spring, so when we got the chance to go against each other, it was a good thing.”
Pierce finished the game with just one carry, which opened the door for Myles and redshirt-junior running back Ahkeem Smith, who finished the game with 13 carries for 53 yards, to steal the show on the offensive end. The decision to rest Pierce was largely due to the back’s performance so far in spring, Addazio said.
“Bernard Pierce had a great spring,” Addazio said. “He had a tremendous spring, so I felt that I had seen enough with Bernard coming into this scrimmage that I wanted to see those guys take the snaps. That’s why I [rested Pierce after one carry.]”
The offensive action wasn’t limited to just the ground however, as redshirt-junior quarterback Mike Gerardi and redshirt-senior quarterback Chester Stewart put up impressive performances through the air. Both quarterbacks split time between the two teams and favored the program’s tight ends during the passing game.
Senior tight end Evan Rodriguez finished the game with 91 yards on three catches, including a 71-yard touchdown reception from Gerardi. Sophomore tight end Alex Jackson caught three passes for 51 yards and a touchdown.
“[Jackson’s] an unbelievable athlete,” Gerardi said. “He’s huge, he’s fast, and he catches the ball. What more can you ask? He catches the ball and gets 40 yards after the catch almost every time. He’s really coming into his own.”
“When we get the ball into playmakers’ hands, like [Jackson] and all our playmakers, they always make plays for you,” Gerardi added. “They make us look good.”
In years past, the offensive units staggered during the Cherry and White game. Last season, the scoreboard read 3-0 at the end of the session while the year before, just 10 points were scored. The offense had the opportunity to succeed on Saturday, primarily because of the defense being limited, Addazio said.
“The defense didn’t bring any pressure or anything like that,” Addazio said.” 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.”
The annual spring award winners were announced following the game. Senior linebacker Tahir Whitehead earned the Mark Bresani Award for spirit and enthusiasm. Redshirt-freshman wide receiver Brett Pierce was awarded the Gavin White Local 215 Award for the most improved non-scholarship player. Senior defensive end Morkeith Brown, who
started in the spring as a tight end, was named the most improved defensive player while Jackson earned the most improved offensive player award. Smith was named the most improved special teams player.
Kyle Gauss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.