Rolling

Fresh­man QB keeps his cool as Pe­ters­burg rips Colo­nial Heights

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - Sports - BY ERIC KOLENICH Rich­mond Times-Dis­patch

COLO­NIAL HEIGHTS — Yes, Meziah Scott is a fresh­man quar­ter­back at Pe­ters­burg.

But he’s not ex­actly new to the foot­ball team. The sum­mer be­fore his eighth-grade year, he started prac­tic­ing with the high school kids, throw­ing passes as they ran routes.

He’s now been part of the team, in one ca­pac­ity or an­other, for well over a year.

On Fri­day night, Scott looked like a sea­soned vet­eran. He passed for 360 yards and three touch­downs, rushed for 53 yards and an­other touch­down, and led Pe­ters­burg to a 42-14 vic­tory over Colo­nial Heights.

It was just the fifth game of his high school ca­reer.

And it was eas­ily his best. He com­pleted an ef­fi­cient 17 of 24 passes, find­ing re­ceivers when they were wide open and zip­ping pin­point passes to them when the win­dow to throw was only a mo­ment.

“We made sure we con­nected with each op­por­tu­nity we got,” Scott said.

Pe­ters­burg (3-2) scored two touch­downs on de­fense in the first quar­ter. Dean­dre Bon­ner and Nashawn Reid Car­los each re­turned in­ter­cep­tions for touch­downs,

and the Crim­son Wave had a comfy 18-0 lead 10 min­utes into the game.

“That boosted the game,” Scott said.

On Pe­ters­burg’s next drive,

Scott found Car­los all alone deep down­field. Scott fired the ball up, land­ing it per­fectly in Car­los’ lap, who scored a 48-yard touch­down. The Crim­son Wave led 24-0.

It’s not just throw­ing and run­ning that makes you a quar­ter­back. It’s watch­ing film and mem­o­riz­ing the of­fense, Scott said.

“It’s a lot of study­ing the play­book un­til 3 a.m.,” he added.

Rayquan Rogers and Ty­ron Porter each scored touch­downs in the third quar­ter for Colo­nial Heights, briefly cut­ting Pe­ters­burg’s lead to 30-14. Then Scott re­sponded with a 14-yard touch­down, end­ing the Colo­nials’ come­back at­tempt.

Meziah isn’t the only Scott on the Pe­ters­burg team. His fa­ther, Mike, is the coach. In 2010, he led Pe­ters­burg to the Cen­tral Re­gion semi­fi­nals. Af­ter the 2011 sea­son, he de­cided to step away from coach­ing.

The hours were long, and he didn’t take care of him­self, he said. Foot­ball was tak­ing a toll on his body. In his four years away, Pe­ters­burg couldn’t man­age a win­ning sea­son. Scott re­turned in 2016, and he’s do­ing a bet­ter job of del­e­gat­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and not dwelling on losses.

“I like coach­ing,” he said. “I love coach­ing Pe­ters­burg kids.”

He’s proud, yet scared for his son. There’s a lot of pres­sure on a fresh­man quar­ter­back. Mike knows. He was Pe­ters­burg’s quar­ter­back as a mem­ber of the class of 1993.

Mike doesn’t want suc­cess to go to his son’s head. The team is just 3-2 and about to en­ter the thick of its Cen­tral Dis­trict sched­ule. Just this week, Mike called out his son in prac­tice for run­ning a play in­cor­rectly. He said he can’t af­ford to go easy on Meziah.

“I like the fu­ture for him,” Mike said. “But right now I’m show­ing him no love.”

Yet it was hard to be crit­i­cal on Fri­day night. Pe­ters­burg’s de­fense was op­por­tunis­tic, to­tal­ing four in­ter­cep­tions. Its de­fen­sive line pres­sured the Colo­nials (3-2) all night. Up­ton Bai­ley to­taled

122 re­ceiv­ing yards, 40 rush­ing yards and two touch­downs. Car­los added 98 re­ceiv­ing yards. An­toine Brown Jr. showed his speed at re­ceiver and free safety.

“I’m glad I’ve got play­mak­ers on my team,” Meziah said.

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