Myers, Bloomsburg in D-II national quarterfinals

By on December 3, 2014
 Ephrata graduate Brody Myers will lead Bloomsburg into the national D-II quarterfinals this weekend.

Ephrata graduate Brody Myers will lead Bloomsburg into the national D-II quarterfinals this weekend.

This Saturday at noon, Brody Myers will trot onto the football field at Athens, West Virginia as the starting fullback for Bloomsburg University as the Huskies compete in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division II Championships.

The fifth-year senior is a 2010 graduate of Ephrata Area High School.

The opponent is the region’s top seed Concord University Mountain Lions, who host the game with a 12-0 record, and an offense that averages 46 points per game.

“Their offense can really light it up,” said Myers, when reached by phone Monday evening, shortly after a three-hour class on campus.

“Their quarterback (Brian Novak, 277 yards passing per game) is up for the D-2 Heisman award. On defense, they have a senior linebacker and the core is athletic up front, from what I’ve seen.”

Bloomsburg comes into the contest at 11-1, with the only blemish a 28-26 loss to Slippery Rock in the PSAC Championship game on November 15. The Huskies advanced this past weekend with a 35-14 victory over CIAA champion Virginia St.

“Our offensive style is pretty ‘old school’ with one or two tight ends and one or two receivers while the quarterback is almost always under center,” said Myers. “Our quarterback is my roommate (Tim Kelly, 166 yards per game). He’s a three year starter and a good leader.”

“We have an aggressive defense,” added Myers. “We’re quick and lead all divisions in turnovers. We have our own stud at linebacker (Justin Shirk) and we’re good at stuffing the run and rallying to the ball.”

The defensive side may be the Huskies’ advantage, only allowing 14 points per game while the Lions surrendered 21.

As Division Two schools restrict the amount of travel, there was only one common opponent this season, that being West Chester. While Bloomsburg took out the Rams 41-10 on October 25, Concord won a shoot out 51-36 in last week’s playoff round.

Myers touched on a number of topics as this weekend’s game approaches.

The challenges of the playoffs: “The bodies start to wear down. Plus, with finals approaching, you have to make time for football prep and film study. Time management is very important.”

Motivation for the seniors: “The program has come a long way, in the PSAC and to be nationally relevant as a whole. We want to leave our own legacy.”

His college career and paying his dues: “Freshman year as a red shirt meant practice only. The next year was special teams only. Year three, I gave the starters a breather, plus some two to three deep rotations. Last year, I was number two, but got two starts due to injury. This year as a starter, I’m in on nearly every offensive down (the fullback at Bloomsburg is primarily a blocking back, but of the 10 carries he’s had, Myers did score three touchdowns, including a 17 yarder).

On his health throughout: “It’s been pretty good. I’ve made every game. I have been a little nicked up, but I can’t complain.”

Did he know Bloom would be this good? “We lost a lot of seniors from last year. One was drafted and two others went to pro camps from the offensive side of the ball. But, I always thought that we had the guys in the locker room for success.”

On his relationship with position his coach: “I’ve had three different ones one twice). You do everything with them on a day-in, day-out basis. I probably spent more time with them than my parents (Brad and Sarah Myers, Akron). They were so knowledgeable and fun to be with at the same time.”

Any advantage to having a loss before the playoffs? “You never want to lose, but if you can get that sting out of the way, it allows you to re-align and refocus.”

On the strength of the PSAC: “Without a doubt, some of the best teams we’ve played (are PSAC team). Those teams play more of a grind it out, physical style of play.”

On goals after college: “I have a double major of Business Education and Business Economics and will graduate in May. I will be a student teacher at Berwick in the Spring. After that, I’d like to teach and coach.

What he learned playing football at Ephrata: “We weren’t very good, but (former Ephrata Coach Ken Grove) was the first to talk to me about motivation and the importance of putting in the work. No matter what, it added that blue collar feel.”

On playing four years of lacrosse at Ephrata: “I loved lacrosse, but it was easier to be recruited at football. The footwork and angles were similar in both sports. I learned a lot about mobility.”

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