Sunday, July 31, 2005

Not even close: Red Black routed

Watertown works furiously but gets nowhere in loss to powerful Albany squad
by Matt Cordova, Times Sports Writer
First published: Sunday, July 31, 2005

Nobody was busier during Saturday's Empire Football League game at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds than the guy operating the scoreboard.

That is, except for the Watertown Red and Black defense, which was helpless in trying to stop the Albany Metro Mallers, who rattled off 27 fourth-quarter points en route to a 39-0 drubbing of the host Red and Black in its first home game of the regular season.

For the second week in a row, Watertown was attacked from the air and couldn't muster a defense to counter it. Albany quarterback Scott Lawson completed 13-of-21 pass attempts for 315 yards and four touchdowns.

With running back George Eason and linebacker Mike Dumaw back in the lineup, Watertown had to feel good about its chances against Albany, which has emerged as the class of EFL.

For three quarters, the Red and Black had the Mallers, who led 12-0 after the third, on their heels.

"I thought we played a great first half of ball," Watertown head coach George Ashcraft said, "but we missed a couple of scoring opportunities."

Albany's high-powered offense struggled to find its rhythm early in the game. Linebackers Kyle Roshia and Dumaw, who finished with 10 and six tackles, respectively, managed to find the Metro Mallers' backfield and apply pressure to Lawson. But Albany converted too many third downs and kept alive drives that Watertown initially had appeared to stop.

The punishing running by Albany backs Sylvester Cooperwood and Jadel Whitfield was effective enough to set up the Mallers' passing attack. Even though Watertown kept the score close, it always seemed that the Mallers could strike at any time. In the final quarter, they did.

"I think it was a case of we would bend, bend, bend and eventually we were going to break," Roshia said. "Sometimes the morale can swing and on defense; it's always the big play that gets us."

Three of Lawson's scoring strikes came in the fourth quarter. Collis Martin (43 yards), John Mulino (20 yards), and Culture Branch (28 yards) were all on the receiving end of touchdown passes. Branch caught two. The Metro Mallers just had too many receivers for Watertown and its struggling secondary to handle.

"We wanted to try and beat them through the air and this year we are just blessed," Albany coach Norman Mann said. "We made some adjustments at halftime but we expected a tough game."

Mann also said he is fortunate for the tools that he has at his disposal. "We will take what you give us," he said, "we are lucky enough to do that."

Watertown's best chances to score were in the first half. The Red and Black failed to take advantage of a 27-yard field goal attempt with just over a minute remaining in the opening quarter. Then, in the second quarter, Ashcraft chose to go for it on a fourth-and-2 from the Albany 7-yard line. The Mallers wrapped up Al Countryman for no gain and still haven't allowed a point in an EFL game this season. Ashcraft said that he didn't want to risk another failed field goal attempt.

"I thought we could get the first down or go for the (field goal)," Ashcraft said. "Nothing seems sure anymore, and it's definitely better for everybody if we go ahead before halftime."

The Red and Black's offense also was plagued by dropped balls and overthrown passes in the first half. No points resulted directly from the team's first half miscues, but they did cost the Red and Black possible scoring chances.

Quarterback Doug Black connected on five passes for 29 yards. He threw just one interception, but, it set up an Albany drive that Whitfield would eventually cap with a 26-yard touchdown run.

Eason, playing for the first time since July 2004, gained 44 yards on 10 carries.

"I'm not down on anybody in particular," Ashcraft said after the game. "It seemed we got tired of getting to the quarterback, and offensively we have to put the ball in the end zone.

"I still think I have a very good team overall. My goal now will be to finish out the regular season 9-1 and go from there."


  • Montreal 20, St. Lawrence Valley 14

    Dave Currier threw two touchdown passes, but it wasn't quite enough as the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers fell in a 20-14 in an EFL loss to visiting Montreal.

    Ernie Miller and Cheyenne Dashnaw led the Trailblazers defensively. Miller recorded nine tackles, a sack, an interception, and a fumble recovery, while Dashnaw provided eight tackles and three forced fumbles.

    Scoring the touchdowns for St. Lawrence Valley (3-4, 3-3) were Joe Hutchinson and Buddy Compeau.

    Andrew Blevings scored two touchdowns in the second quarter to boost the Titans (3-1, 3-1).

  • Orange County denies Stars

     By KEITH KANE Staff Writer

    PLATTSBURGH — It took awhile for the Lake City Stars to realize that they could play with the Orange County Bulldogs.

    And when they finally got rolling, it was too late.

    The Bulldogs held on with a late defensive stand inside their own 25-yard line to defeat the Stars 12-7 in Empire Football League action at Melissa L. Penfield Park on Saturday.

     Orange County’s running back Raheem Ridley (center) is gang-tackled by Lake City’s Brent Corron (84), Shane Cheeseman (53) and Joe Licardi (right) in Empire Football League action at Melissa L. Penfield Park on Saturday. The Stars suffered a 12-7 defeat at the hands of the Bulldogs.(P-R Photo/MICHAEL BETTS)
    Lake City (3-1) trailed Orange County (4-0) 12-0 heading into the fourth quarter when quarterback Eddie Castine tried to hook up with receiver Shane Racette.

    Racette was pulled down by a Bulldogs cornerback which set the Stars up at the Orange County two.

    The Bulldogs held tough on first and two, when Castine tried to plow his way up the middle, but managed only one yard. On second down, however, John Faheey took a Castine hand off and went over left tackle for the score. Ryan DeCamp added the point after to move the Stars to within five points, 12-7.

    Then on Orange County’s second possession of the quarter, Raheem Ridley took a Jared Pilletteri hand off for a seven-yard gain, but Lake City cornerback Earl Parks laid out Ridley forcing a fumble, which Ronnie Foster recovered for the Stars.

    With Lake City taking over on the Bulldogs’ 41, Faheey carried the ball twice for seven and six yards to get the Stars down to the 18. Orange County, however, stepped up its defense and stopped Faheey three straight times, for a no gain, a loss of six and finally a loss of three.

    The Stars had one final chance to go ahead as Castine aired one out on fourth down and 27, but Lake City’s hopes were dashed as Racette couldn’t hang onto the ball in the end zone. The Bulldogs ran out the final 1:33.

    "We are a young team," Stars head coach Ed McCallister said. "Sometimes with youth comes a lack of confidence, but we definitely have a good football team.

    "This game tells us that we are a good team. They (Orange County) have more experience at this level compared to what we have and they were bigger than us, but you can’t measure heart."

    The Bulldogs took the lead late in the first half after as running back Anton Armstead raced 51 yards for the first score of the game with 1:45 left. Armstead finished with 50 yards on four carries.

    Orange County struck again in the third quarter when Raheem Ridley took it in on a 12-yard run, which was set up on Pilliteri’s 41-yard pass to Paul Reed.

    "It took us some time on offense to get going," McCallister said. "They’re a good defense and we were the first team to score on them all season.

    "Once we decided we could hang with them we were OK. They’re a solid football team; they aren’t at the top of the standings each season by being lucky."

    The Stars suffered another tough injury as starting tailback Heath Geiser went down with an ankle injury; his status is unknown as Lake City heads into a bye week.

    Faheey, however, filled in nicely as he totaled 45 yards on just 14 carries and a touchdown. Vern Harrison added another 10 yards on two carries.

    Defensively, the Stars gave up more yards on the ground then usual as the Bulldogs picked up 133 on 28 carries, but managed to come up with big plays when needed to hold Orange County to just 12 points. Parks picked up his third interception in as many games.

    "I think that if we played the way we did last week against Watertown and giving just a little extra we would have won," McCallister said. "I am not disappointed about how things turned out though as we played hard, but it’s unfortunate that we lost.

    "We have a bye this week and we are going to take advantage of it. We are going to be ready for Broome County on Aug. 13."

    Mallers still perfect

    Staff reports
    First published: Sunday, July 31, 2005


    The Albany Metro Mallers continue to shut out their opposition, with the Watertown Red and Black their latest victim, 39-0, in Saturday's Empire Football League game in Watertown.


    The Mallers, who are ranked first with a 4-0 by the American Football Association, have outscored their 171-0.


    Scott Lawson, the league's top-rated quarterback, completed 13 of 21 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns: 15 yards to Culture Branch, 43 yards to Coliss Martin and 18 yards to John Mulino.


    Mallers linebacker Greg Woodward recorded 15 tackles, including five solo tackles. Carson Johnson capitalized on Watertown's offensive woes with his first interception of the year for a 39-yard touchdown.


    The Metro Mallers have a bye week next weekend before hosting a non-league contest against defending national champion Central New York Express from Syracuse at 8 p.m. on Aug. 13 at Bleecker Stadium.

    Saturday, July 30, 2005

    Albany Metro Mallers Press Release 7/31/2005

    The Albany Metro Mallers took to the road on Saturday Night for their fourth Empire Football League contest of the 2005 season traveling to the banks of the St. Lawrence to take on the oldest non-collegiate football team in the country, The Red & Black of Watertown.

    The Albany squad, ranked #1 in the country by the American Football Association, the expert source in the world of semi-pro football, hit the bus undefeated and unscored upon through their first three games of the young season. Albany met their EFL rival on their turf and kept the streak alive, coming away with a 39-0 victory over the Red & Black

    Scott Lawson the EFL's #1 rated passer once again had a stellar performance, leading the aerial assault going 13 for 21 for 315 yards, & connecting with receivers for 3 scores.

    The Mallers got on the board early as Lawson hit Culture Branch from 15 yards out, just under the 9 minute mark in the opening period.It was a defensive struggle from there as Albany went into the locker room with a 6 - 0 lead.

    The hard pounding between the teams continued into the third quarter. Albany linebacker Greg Woodward led the Maller charge finishing 15 stops including 5 solo tackles.

    But with 2:27 left in the third, the floodgates opened and it was all - Albany from then on.
    Tailback Jadel Whitfield broke free for a 26 yard scoring scamper, followed by Lawson hitting Colics Martin from 43 yards out. Just over 5 minutes later with 7:55 left Lawson hooked up with John Mulino from the 18 yard line, and a short 4 minutes later Albany's #2 signal caller Kenny Schaeffer connected with Culture Branch for the wide-out's second score of the evening from 3 yards away.

    Albany's defense put the icing on the cake when Carson Johnson came away with his first interception of the year and ran it 39 yards for the final score.

    The Albany entry in the Empire Football league is now 4-0 on the season and have outscored their opponents 171 - 0.

    The Metro Mallers have a bye week next weekend. They return to action in a non league contest on August 13, 2005 at Albany's historic Bleecker Stadium, in a non-league
    contest as they face semi-pro football's defending national champion Central New York Express from Syracuse, at 8PM.

    Preview: Empire Football League

    Times Staff Reports
    First published: Saturday, July 30, 2005

    Albany Metro Mallers vs. Watertown Red and Black

    When, where: 7:30 p.m., today, Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

    Records: Watertown (3-2 overall, 3-0 EFL); Albany (5-0).

    Last meeting: July 10, 2004, Albany won 18-17.

    Notes: The Red and Black is 3-0 in the EFL but have played only one league game. ... Watertown is coming off a tough exhibition loss to Lake City. ... Albany has not allowed a point this season. ... Four Metro Mallers average over seven yards per rush, led by Jadel Whitfield's 10.2 per carry. ... 2004 EFL defensive all-star Lamont Lane is not expected to play, nor is tight end Kenny Anderson for Watertown.

    Montreal Titans vs. St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers

    When, where: 7:30 p.m., today, Sandstoner Park, Potsdam.

    Records: St. Lawrence Valley (3-3 overall, 3-2 EFL); Montreal (2-1).

    Lake City Stars host rugged Orange County


    By KEITH KANE Staff Writer

    PLATTSBURGH — Four weeks into the Empire Football League season and the Lake City Stars will finally head into Melissa L. Penfield Park for their Empire Football League home opener tonight at 7:30 against the Orange County Bulldogs.

    For the past two weeks the Stars haven’t played an actual EFL football with the folding of the Amsterdam Zephyrs and Green Mountain Gladiators for the 2005 season.

    Last week, however, Lake City picked up a fortunate non-league game against rival Watertown, which should have prepared them for tonight’s opponent.

    "This is the longest time I have gone without having a league opener at home for us," Stars head coach Ed McCallister said. "But, I feel it was good to play a non-league contest against Watertown out of choice, which shows a lot about us. Going in against Orange County now we at least have had a physical football game prior to going against them."

    Lake City not only gained preparation for tonight’s game last week, but also a non-league victory over Watertown, 27-12. Eddie Castine led the team offensively and appears to be on the right track this season. Castine completed four passes for 125 yards and four touchdowns (one rushing).

    Chris Verkey picked up huge plays through the air as he hauled in two passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Shane Racette also picked up a touchdown pass of 25 yards.

    The rushing attack didn’t feature just one back, but a plethora of runners. Eight different backs took hand offs for the Stars and picked up 195 yards rushing on 43 carries.

    Defensively, Lake City was very strong as they held the Red & Black to just 177 total yards. Mike Lawyer and Earl Parks led the way for the Stars, with Parks picking up an interception.

    Lake City hopes to continue the rhythm they have picked up from last weekend’s game.

    "We have to play the way we played against Watertown tonight against Orange County just to stay in the game," McCallister said. "If we play with that kind of intensity, play the physical and mental game I know we can and pick it up a notch I will be happy — that is all I can ask for."

    The Bulldogs head into tonight’s game following a 64-0 blowout of the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers on July 23. Orange County’s defense hasn’t allowed a point in two games this season as they have also beaten Broome County, 21-0.

    Quarterback Dave Post tossed three touchdown passes in the first half against the Trailblazers as the Bulldogs took a 44-0 lead at the half.

    "They (Orange County) are a very organized and very disciplined football team," McCallister said. "When you get to where players are not worried about statistics but whatever helps the team, you usually have a good football team —I believe that is where we are now."

    McCallister knows that when the Stars take the field tonight that they will be facing one of the better teams on the EFL schedule.

    "Orange County could come out and beat us 54-0," McCallister said. "But, if we play the type of football I know we can, I can’t lower my head. We are capable of playing good football, when guys start to realize that then good things will happen for us.

    "I think we will see a good football game tonight. Both teams play physical football and they play hard and clean — it should be a good game for fans to watch."

    Red and Black defense receiving stiff test

    by Matt Cordova, Times Sports Writer
    First published: Saturday, July 30, 2005

    By now, the Albany Metro Mallers must be excited about their trip to Watertown today.

    The undefeated, unscored upon Mallers boast the Empire Football League's most potent offense, while the Red and Black have displayed susceptibility to the big play.

    Albany and Watertown finished in the top four last season. By the end of tonight's game, each may have a good idea where it stands among the EFL's best in 2005.

    "We have to play our "A" game," Watertown head coach George Ashcraft said. "Albany is loaded with a team full of athletes''

    "Albany runs a wide-open offense. We need to make sure the whole defense is on the same sheet of music," Watertown defensive coach Dave Connell added. "As long as that happens, we'll be effective."

    The Red and Black (3-2 overall, 3-0 EFL) have played two exhibition games. While it is important to test players and strategies under game-like conditions, Watertown has discovered that its pass defense is not quite at the level it should be.

    Watertown allowed touchdown passes of 51 and 25 yards in a June 18 loss to the Central New York (Syracuse) Express and yielded scoring strikes of 24, 35 and 61 yards last week against the Lake City Stars.

    Some starters were missing and it is still early in the season for Watertown. But, Albany has likely taken notice.

    The Metro Mallers (5-0) have outscored their opponents 132-0. Watertown fully expects its secondary to be under attack early and often from Albany quarterback Scott Lawson. In three games, Lawson has completed 64 percent of his passes while connecting for 10 touchdowns and just one interception.

    "They are definitely going to know Lake City scored their points through the air," safety Al Countryman said. "If we can get pressure on the quarterback, it will help us tremendously."

    Countryman, who played safety during his first five seasons with the team, this week volunteered to move to the secondary and provide some much needed experience to the struggling pass defense. If anything, the tough, hard-hitting Red and Black veteran will make Albany's receivers pay a hefty price for a reception.

    "I think Countryman can play a big role," Ashcraft said. "If you catch the ball you had better clench your teeth because he can really make you realize you are in a tackle football game."

    The Red and Black are hoping Countryman doesn't have to dish out too many punishing blows. Coaches lectured on how important it would be to give the Albany receivers a good shove as soon as they break the line of scrimmage. The objective is to try and mess up the timing of the Metro Mallers offense and force it to rely on other means to be effective.

    Even though three Albany running backs average over seven yards per carry, Watertown seems determined not to be beaten through the air, yet again.

    "They have relied on the pass," Countryman said. "We want to make them beat us with the running game instead."

    Despite its early struggles, Watertown isn't ready to scrap its defensive playbook and rush into panic mode. The feeling around the team is that everything will take care of itself.

    "The system is there. We just need people to be at practice, get on the same page and we'll be OK," Connell said.

    Countryman agreed. "I think it is just a lack of working together. We really haven't had the chance to gel as a unit yet," he said.

    Dragons after a win, momentum tonight

    By Brian Moritz

    Press & Sun Bulletin

    Head coach Tom Manny is looking for his winless semi-pro football team to get into a groove, and that starts with a home-field, non-league game tonight.

    The last thing the Broome County Dragons needed was a second consecutive week off.

    "We should be trying to get into a rhythm," Manny said. "Things have not been exactly going the way we wanted in the first two games, so from a coaching standpoint, I didn't want to be idle two weeks in a row."

    The Dragons are playing Crystal City at 7:30 tonight at Binghamton Alumni Stadium. Tickets are $7.

    The Dragons were supposed to play Green Mountain in an Empire Football League contest, but that team folded because of a lack of players.

    The Dragons, 0-2 and coming off a bye week, were anxious to play and Manny didn't want his young team sitting around for another week.

    So Manny contacted Crystal City, which not only plays in the North American Football League, but was thumped a week ago by the Binghamton area's other team, the Southern Tier Green Machine.

    So it will be Crystal City's second trip across Route 17 from Corning in as many weeks. The Machine beat Crystal City, 50-14.

    Manny, who attended the game, saw a lot of his own team in Crystal City

    "They're having the problem I've had with my group, which is closing the game," Manny said.

    In their last game, the Dragons led Montreal for most of the way but lost 33-31 after giving up a touchdown with 1:12 to go.

    "We have to learn to close a game," Manny said. "It's bitten us twice in two games, especially the Montreal game."

    Dragons halfback Matt Davis is third in the EFL in rushing with 201 yards in the team's first two games. Josh Cronin leads the league in sacks with 2.5, and Brian Mister is fifth in receiving yards with 104.

    "The guys are very angry with themselves, and to me that is a good sign," Manny said. "They realize it wasn't the game plan, it was on their shoulders to execute when they needed to. I think their attitude is strong. They just have to stay strong and close games out."

    Sunday, July 24, 2005

    Albany Metro Mallers Press Release July 23rd

    For the third week in a row, the Albany Metro Mallers extended their dominance over their Empire Football League Opponents with their third consecutive shutout victory, this time over the Deacon Demons of Ottawa, Ontario.

    The Metro Mallers swarming defense led by veteran linebackers Greg Woodward and Brian Domingo overwhelmed the Canadian squad at every juncture,  keeping the Demons out of the endzone at all costs. The Albany Defense did breathe a sigh of relief in the second quarter when Ottawa placekicker David McDonald went wide left on a 28 yard field goal attempt after Maller penalties did what the Demon offense couldn't do, put the Canadians in striking distance with a 1st & goal from the 6 yard line.

    Offensively the Metro Mallers were led by Quarterback Scott Lawson, who was 12 for 19 for 137 yards and 3 touchdowns. Scoring strikes went to John Mulino from 24 yards out, Sylvester Cooperwood on a two yarder, and Culture Branch took one in from 13 yards out. Lawson did end his perfect streak giving up his first interception of the season in the fourth
    quarter to Ottawa Cornerback Conroy Russell. On the ground Jadel Whitfield led the backs with 9 carries for 101 yards.

    Rounding out the scoring, was a 7 yard return by Linebacker Brian Domingo, who following a bad snap from center, managed to strip Demon Punter  John Ducharme of the ball and scamper into the endzone.

    Albany at 3-0 is atop of the standings for the Empire Football League and will be on the road next Saturday as the Metro Mallers take the bus to Watertown to take on the arch rival Red & Black. Game time 7:30 PM. Then following a bye week the Metro Mallers will return to Bleecker Stadium for a non-league game on Saturday, August 13th, against the defending national champion of semi-pro football, the Central New York Express from Syracuse. Game time will be 8:00pm.

    BOX SCORE :    
                        1      2      3      4      Total
    Ottawa          0      0      0      0          0
    Albany         21      9      0      7         37

    Metro Mallers improve to 3-0

    Staff reports
    First published: Sunday, July 24, 2005
    The Albany Metro Mallers (3-0) posted their third consecutive shutout with a 37-0 win over the Ottawa Deacon Demons in Saturday's Empire Football League game at Bleecker Stadium in Albany.

    Metro Mallers quarterback Scott Lawson completed 12 of 19 passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Jadel Whitfield ran nine times for 101 yards.

    Montreal 53, Scranton Eagles 7

    Host Montreal reeled off 46 unanswered points Saturday night to rout the Scranton Eagles, 53-7, in Empire Football League action.

    John Kennedy threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Eric Paroby in the first quarter to tie the score at 7. After that, however, it was all Titans. They led, 24-7, at halftime, then scored for 29 second-half points.

    In their two losses this season, the Eagles (1-2) have been outscored, 102-7.

    Kennedy finished 7-for-12 for 114 yards and the touchdown. Paroby caught four passes for 65 yards. Gary Visnosky rushed nine times for 46 yards and Marvin Wilson had 11 carries for 25 yards. Defensively, George Romiti had 13 tackles.

    Since their next two scheduled opponents — the Amsterdam Zephyrs and Green Mountain Gladiators — both folded, the Eagles’ next game is Aug. 13 at home against the Orange County Bulldogs.

    ©The Times-Tribune 2005

    Orange County Bulldogs 64, St. Lawerence Valley 0

    Minor league football
    Orange County Bulldogs 64, St. Lawerence Valley 0
    The Orange County Bulldogs blanked the St. Lawerence Valley Trail Blazers to record their second shutout of the season in an Empire Football League game at Smith-Clove Park in Monroe.
    Quarterback Dave Post was 8-of-9 passing for 116 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Paul Reed. Reed finished with four catches for 73 yards. Luis Allan caught two passes for 25 yards and a touchdown.
    Running backs Raheem Ridley and Ray Morales each added a touchdown for Orange County (3-0), which plays at Plattsburgh at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
    Record Online is brought to you by the Times Herald-Record, serving New York's Hudson Valley and the Catskills. Copyright Orange County Publications. All rights reserved.

    Lake City Stars Win, 27-12

    Lake City Stars’ Shane Racette (22) hauls in a touchdown pass from Eddie Castine in the second quarter as Watertown cornerback Todd Kiechle (18) trails the play. The Stars picked up a 27-12 non-league victory over the Red & Black on Saturday at Melissa L. Penfield Park. (P-R Photo/MICHAEL BETTS)

    By KEITH KANE, Staff Writer

    PLATTSBURGH — For the second straight home game, the Lake City Stars took Melissa L. Penfield Park’s field with nothing on the line but pride.

    Staring back at them was the team that knocked them out of last season’s Empire Football League playoffs with a 10-0 win — the Watertown Red & Black.

    Both teams were coming off a bye week, but the Stars looked to be a little more refreshed.

    Eddie Castine took control of the game early and the Lake City defense shined as the Stars defeated their rivals, 27-12, in a non-league game Saturday.

    Castine, who completed just two passes for 62 yards in Lake City’s EFL opener against Montreal, struck for the first time with 3:32 left in the first quarter as he hit Chris Verkey on a 24-yard touchdown pass.

    With just three minutes gone in the second quarter, Castine aired it out again, this time to wide-out Shane Racette on a 35-yard touchdown pass. Castine wasn’t done finding receivers through the air, as he hit Verkey again just three minutes into the second half on a 61-yard touchdown bomb to put the Stars ahead, 21-6.

    And for good measure, the talented quarterback showed he has more than just a strong arm as he followed his offensive line into the end-zone for a two-yard touchdown run.

    "Eddie played tonight the way I know he can play," Lake City head coach Ed McCallister said. "Tonight, against a team of this magnitude, he played outstanding. A game like this could ignite him for the rest of the season and that would really help the team.

    "To beat Watertown you have to throw the football. We have a lot of confidence in our running game, but they put eight guys up in the box so Eddie had to make plays and he did that."

    With defensive coordinator Nick Damiani unable to attend the game, McCallister scrambled for a capable play-caller and found one in linebacker Michael Lawyer.

    "Michael Lawyer took on a duel role for us tonight," McCallister said. "With our defensive coordinator not here, Lawyer not only played the game, but called the plays. Without him this would have been a different game — he did a great job."

    The Stars defense played outstanding football as they held the Red & Black to just 74 yards rushing, including holding Al Countryman to just nine yards.

    The only dent in Lake City’s armor was giving up two big plays to a Watertown team that struggled to get anything going against the Stars defense.

    With just three minutes remaining in the first half and the Red & Black trapped on their own 18 yard line, quarterback Doug Black hit wide receiver Rod Gleisner in stride for an 82-yard touchdown pass to put Watertown on the board.

    The Red & Black again struggled to move the ball in the second half, but Lake City’s special teams let Countryman get free up the middle for a 56-yard punt return and Vince Williams took it the final four yards for a touchdown, Watertown’s final score of the game.

    "I thought we played well in every facet of the game tonight," McCallister said. "The special teams did a great job, except that one play. You have to play the whole game and we took one play off and it hurt us.

    "With the youth on this football team this is a good win for us. I was extremely pleased with both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball."

    Castine finished with 125 yards passing and three touchdowns as well as 15 yards rushing and a touchdown. Verkey hauled in two passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns.

    Heath Geiser rushed for 45 yards on 12 carries, Vern Harrison picked up 38 on seven carries, Kyle Nolan added 33 on six carries and newcomer John Faheey tallied 28 yards on four carries.

    Watertown was paced by Williams’ 56 yards rushing. Black went 5-for-18 passing with an interception (Lake City’s Earl Parks) and finished with 103 yards through the air. Gleisner hauled in two passed for 88 yards and a touchdown.

    "This was a big win for us, but doesn’t do anything in the standings," McCallister said. "We still have to show up next week against Orange County and play, but tonight is the way we need to play. Our defense was aggressive and with that good things will happen.

    "Every week we are getting better and we have to do that with the caliber of teams we face in this league. If not we will be in trouble. Hopefully, we will put forth this same kind of effort on Saturday, get some guys healthy and get into a little bit of rhythm so we can get on a roll."

    Copyright 1999-2005, Plattsburgh Press-Republican, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc. All rights reserved.

    Stars deliver beating , Red and Black loses in EFL exhibition; Trailblazers fall

    Times Staff Reports
    First published: Sunday, July 24, 2005

    PLATTSBURGH - The Watertown Red and Black defense fell victim to three touchdown passes by Lake City's Eddie Castine in a 27-12 loss to the Stars (4-1 overall, 3-0 Empire Football League) in an EFL exhibition game Saturday at Melissa Penfield Park.

    Stars' receiver Chris Verkey torched the Watertown secondary, catching two passes for 85 yards. Both of Verkey's receptions were touchdowns.

    Wide receiver Rod Gleisner reeled in an 82-yard touchdown pass from Doug Black to highlight Watertown's offensive effort. Vince Williams gained 56 yards on 12 carries, including a 4-yard touchdown run. Watertown (3-2, 3-0) failed to convert point-after attempts on both touchdowns it scored.

    Black completed five of 19 passing attempts for 103 yards and also allowed an interception.

  • Orange County 64, St. Lawrence Valley 0

    The outmanned Trailblazers struggled again offensively and lost six players to injury, falling to the Orange County Bulldogs at Smith-Clove Park in an EFL regular-season game at Monroe.

    St. Lawrence Valley (2-2) lost defensive end Joule Robinson and linebacker Ricky Delaney to ankle injuries. Trailblazers head coach Mike Britton said center John Sneed, who recovered quickly from a broken fibula, broke the same leg and is probably done for the year.

    On the field, Britton said he team struggled to matchup against a Bulldog squad that was similar to the Albany Metro Mallers, who were last week's opponent.

    "Once again, we were beat by athleticism," Britton said. "It's hard to compete against them, and it's hard to build a program against that type of talent."

    The Bulldogs (4-0) built the lead from the start as quarterback Dave Post threw three touchdown passes in the first half. Orange County charged out to a 44-0 lead at halftime and didn't look back.

    In the third quarter, Orange County's Demetrius Mason intercepted quarterback Dave Currier and returned the ball 52 yards for a touchdown, essentially capping the victory.

    Currier completed only four passes and was intercepted twice. Ernie Miller rushed 17 times for 56 yards for the Trailblazers.

    St. Lawrence Valley hosts Montreal on Saturday at Sandstoner Park. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

  • Saturday, July 23, 2005

    Lake City Stars, Watertown fill void in EFL slate

    By KEITH KANE Staff Writer

    PLATTSBURGH — For the second straight week, the Lake City Stars will not have their home opener in the Empire Football League.

    The Green Mountain Gladiators, like the Amsterdam Zephyrs before them, have folded for the 2005 season, forcing coach Ed McCallister to scramble for a replacement team to play.

    With teams like Orange County, Scranton and Broome County on the schedule in the coming weeks, the Stars were looking for a team to to help prepare them for those tests, and they found one in their Watertown rival the Red & Black.

    "It’s definitely going to be a very physical, non-league game for sure," McCallister said. "It’s not like we are playing a team that isn’t very good; Watertown has proven themselves."

    The Red & Black head into tonight’s exhibition contest at Melissa L. Penfield Park at 7:30 p.m. in the same predicament as Lake City. They are coming off a bye week with Amsterdam on their schedule, which would have translated into another bye week had they not picked up a game against the Stars.

    Watertown is 1-0 in EFL play with a 20-3 victory over the Ottawa Deacon Demons July 9. All of the Red & Black’s points were scored in the first half and on three rushing touchdowns. Al Countryman, Eddie Berube and Vince Williams each found the end zone for scores.

    Earnie Walsh led Watertown with 68 yards receiving on six catches while quarterback Doug Black completed 12-of-22 pass attempts for 110 yards through the air.

    "Doug Black (quarterback), Al Countryman (running back) and Lynn Patrick (linebacker) are the core of the Red & Black," McCallister said. "Their window of opportunity is now and they want to make a run at the championship. Right there they have three solid players to build around; that is a great nucleus. With Countryman on the field it is a huge plus for the Red & Black.

    "Countryman is what every guy in this league should strive to become. No one in this league will say a bad thing about Countryman. He plays the whole game and plays without any cheap shots. He is a natural leader and people around him aspire to pick up their level of play. He adds so much more to what they already have."

    The Stars head into tonight’s game after a week off from their first win in the EFL season, a 22-13 win over the Montreal Titans on July 9.

    Heath Geiser had a strong rushing attack for Lake City with 172 yards on just 16 carries. Kyle Nolan scored a touchdown for the Stars with 53 yards on the ground on nine carries while Vern Harrison added 42 yards on eight carries.

    Eddie Castine only completed two passes for 62 yards in what was a rain troubled game, but did manage to hit James Blocker on a 41-yard touchdown strike for the go-ahead score

    Defensively, Lake City dominated in the second half as the Titans were unable to find the end zone, while Earl Parks made a key interception.

    "Offensively we seem to be solid as far as everyone who has been playing will be playing tonight, a theme I hope to continue all season," McCallister said. "We should be at full strength and have addressed those missing already with our game in Montreal."

    The main problem the Stars have been facing this season is that they have been unable to string together games as teams have folded the past two weeks from the league.

    "We can’t get on a roll," McCallister said. "Right now we will play two physical ball games in a row, so to have a bye after that is OK.

    "When you play Watertown, no matter the score, you always expect a good football game. If it isn’t, I hope it is because we are running away with it.

    Lake City has had a strong week of practice according to McCallister after a week before of being a little lackadaisical due to the bye week.

    "It was a lot easier this week for the guys to focus knowing that they are playing Watertown this weekend," McCallister said. "We are a young ball club and a lot of players aren’t aware of Watertown and the physical football game. We have some players on this team that I have a great deal of respect for that are leaders and heading into tonight’s game that leadership is important.

    "Watertown definitely has our respect."

    Preview: Empire Football League

    Times Staff Reports
    First published: Saturday, July 23, 2005

    St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers vs. Orange County Bulldogs

    When, where: 7:30 p.m., today, Smith-Clove Park, Monroe.

    2005 records: St. Lawrence Valley 2-1; Orange County 3-0.

    Last meeting: Orange County won 56-6, Aug. 16, 2003.

    Notes: The Bulldogs were the EFL champions in 2002. ... Orange County defeated Broome County 21-0 in its EFL opener last Saturday. Wide receiver Ricky McVay made six catches for 96 yards and a touchdown in the victory. ... Look for the Trailblazers running game to rebound after being held to 23 yards on 12 carries against Albany. ... Trailblazers linebacker Cheyenne Dashnaw, the EFL's leading tackler last season, recorded 11 tackles last week.

    Watertown Red and Black vs. Lake City Stars

    When, where: 7:30 p.m., today, Melissa Penfield Park, Plattsburgh.

    Records: Watertown 1-1 overall, 1-0 EFL; Plattsburgh 1-0.

    Last meeting: Watertown won 10-0, Sept. 11, 2004, EFL playoffs.

    Notes: Tonight's game will not count in the EFL standings as both teams were left with an open date when Amsterdam and the Green Mountain Gladiators withdrew from the league. ... Plattsburgh was one of two teams to defeat Watertown in 2004. ... The Red and Black host the Albany Metro Mallers next Saturday in the home opener.

    SLV receivers sharing a lot more than position

    by Max DelSignore, Times Sports Writer
    First published: Saturday, July 23, 2005

    St. Lawrence Valley trailblazers wide receiver Dan Staton floats a spiral about 30 yards into the air. Joe Hutchinson darts up the field, extending to make a one-handed grab, tip-toeing an imaginary sideline. He turns to Staton, both of them flashing smiles. A sign not just of camaraderie, but friendship.

    Whether it's on or off the field, it's normal to see Staton and Hutchinson together. Their relationship goes much further than playing the same position on the football field.

    "We're really close," Hutchinson said. "We hang out all the time, play video games. He's a cool guy."

    "When I'm not in practice, we're hanging out," Staton said.

    Staton moved to the area in 2000, living in Ogdensburg after being discharged from military duty in 1998. It had been 10 years since he played football. He met Hutchinson shortly after and they became instant friends.

    Hutchinson, an Ogdensburg native, began playing wide receiver with St. Lawrence Valley in 2002 and planned on making an impact.

    "I wanted to prove myself," Hutchinson said. "I wanted to play as hard as I could, and I wanted to start."

    Trailblazers head coach Mike Britton was pleased with Hutchinson's ability.

    "We knew he'd be an impact player for us," Britton said. "Because of his athleticism, and he could catch the ball. He hasn't failed for us as our primary receiver."

    Hutchinson followed up on his personal expectations by being the Trailblazers' leading receiver in the inaugural 2002 season.

    During the 2003 season, Hutchinson brought home a piece of hardware that made Staton realize how much he missed playing the game he loved.

    "He was showing me a plaque from one of his games, and that sparked my interest," Staton said. "I missed it terribly. I wanted to find a place to play. I didn't know about the Trailblazers until I met Joe."

    Hutchinson told Staton to play the following season, which was a decision Staton doesn't regret.

    "This is what I've always wanted," Staton said. "I'm living my dream right now. I wouldn't have it any other way."

    "He's a good all-around athlete," Hutchinson added.

    Staton and Hutchinson prepared for the 2004 season together. They played pick-up football at Lincoln Park in Ogdensburg, played catch for hours, and helped each other with conditioning.

    "Starting in the spring, I carried my football everywhere we went," Staton said.

    Hutchinson was the team's leading receiver for the third straight season in 2004, grabbing 27 passes, seven for touchdowns. He was also named to the Empire Football League All-Northern Division second team.

    Staton struggled, however, much to the chagrin of Britton. He started the season as a defensive back, but was switched to receiver at midseason. Unfortunately, Staton couldn't catch the football.

    "We couldn't figure out why he wasn't picking up the ball," Britton said.

    Staton declined to tell Britton that he needed contacts, afraid that he might lose playing time. "Without contacts, I couldn't see three feet in front of me," Staton said.

    After making the optical investment, Britton has seen vast improvements in Staton's playing and blocking ability. Both receivers continue to improve in hopes of solidfying the position as a legitimate threat on the field.

    "With them controlling the ball and being effective with the pass, we'll be able to keep the defense off the field," Britton said.

    "We've got more talent, and we've got good speed," Hutchinson added. "We just got to get it together."

    Staton believes it's possible, as long as his friend lines up with him.

    "Our receiving unit, myself included, is a lot better than it was last year," Staton said. "Also, Joe's a real good friend of mine. I wouldn't want to play with any other guys right now."

    Friday, July 22, 2005

    Albany Metro Mallers Press Release July 22, 2005

    Empire Football League action returns to Albany's Bleecker Stadium, tomorrow, Saturday, July 23rd, when the Albany Metro-Mallers take to the gridiron and host the Deacon Demons from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Metro Mallers are atop the standings in the EFL after the first two weeks of the season, combining a hard hitting defense with a high powered offense. Albany is 2 - 0, having scored a combined 95 points in their games with Scranton and St. Lawrence (Potsdam) without giving up a point to their opponents on the scoreboard.

    This is the Metro Mallers second season back in the area after a 13 year hiatus and are committed to bringing the Capital District the same high caliber football action that made the Metro Mallers a staple on the Metroland sports scene back in the 1970's and '80s.

    Metro Maller Football is Fan Friendly - Family Friendly Sports Entertainment & features low cost tickets and concessions making it an affordable sports value to the average fan. Tickets are $6 for Adult General Admission, $4 for Seniors & Students w/ID, $3 for Children 6-12 and Children 5 & under are free with a paid adult. A limited number of Premium On-Field Endzone Corner Seats are also available.

    Tickets are available at the Stadium Ticket Tent.

    Thursday, July 21, 2005

    Albany Metro Mallers Press Release 7/21/2005

    Working with kids and mentoring is a big part of being on the Albany Metro Mallers Football Team. The Metro Mallers respect and love their football home in the Capital District and take many steps to reach out to help in the community. This summer, the team will appear at many local functions including playing host to the Albany 4-H summer camp with a Team Forum Day which will include a team work seminar, an anti-drug awareness program, a pro education talk, along with some football skills thrown in, and a cookout to culminate the day.

    On July 23rd the Metro Mallers will reach out and donate time to the Northeast Regional Food Bank on Albany Shaker Road helping the facility and their staff. "Why the Food Bank?"you may ask. The facility is one of a number of outreach centers in which  area teens who have had past experiences with the law serve out some of their probation and court ordered community service. The team will take the opportunity to work side by side with these kids and hope to send them a positive message of getting and staying involved with their community, completing their education, and even participating in sports will help to give them a better future and outlook on life. All teens working, whether it be "under orders" or as a volunteer, at the shelter on Saturday, will all receive a "This Kid Free" ticket for Saturday evenings Metro Maller game vs. the Ottawa Deacon Demons from Canada. Kick off is at 7:30 at Bleecker Stadium. The Metro-Mallers hope that our fans will join us as volunteers at the Regional Food Bank Saturday morning helping to make a difference in the Capital District.

    For more information please contact Sharon Barbagallo, Assistant General Manager, Albany Metro Maller Football at 372-2535.

    Sunday, July 17, 2005

    St. Lawrence Valley unable to keep pace with Albany

    by By Max DelSignore, Times Sports Writer
    First published: Sunday, July 17, 2005

    POTSDAM - Perplexed looks covered the faces of the St. Lawrence Valley defense.

    By the time Albany wide receiver Collis Martin slashed and juked his way to a 56-yard touchdown before halftime, the Trailblazers stared off in a state of disbelief.

    The overmatched Trailblazers fell to the Metro Mallers 46-0 in St. Lawrence Valley's Empire Football League opener at Sandstoner Park on Saturday.

    Even though several factors led to Albany's dominance, Trailblazers head coach Mike Britton said the matchup came down to one element.

    "Athleticism," Britton said. "They had more speed, more talent, more athleticism than we had on the field. When you look at their roster, they've got guys who've played Arena football, (NCAA) Division I, or at other college or professional levels."

    However, on St. Lawrence Valley's opening possession, Massena native Dave Currier connected with Dan Staton for a 40-yard completion, catching the Metro Mallers on their heels. However, the play was called back following an illegal procedure penalty.

    "Unfortunately, that one play was the only bullet we had in our gun," Britton said.

    After forcing the Trailblazers to punt, Albany's experienced offense stepped up. The Metro Mallers scored a touchdown on every first-half possession. For the game, they marched inside the St. Lawrence Valley 20-yard line on all but one possession.

    Martin caught three touchdown passes, and running back Jadel Whitfield rushed for two more to give the Metro Mallers (2-0) a comfortable 34-0 lead at halftime.

    Albany starting quarterback Scott Lawson orchestrated shotgun and no-huddle offenses that led to scores. He said an all-around effort attributed to their success.

    "Up front, our guys just dominated," Lawson said. "I believe we have the best receivers in the league. But you've got to respect our runners."

    Trailblazers defensive back Kenny Campbell said the defense struggled at stopping the Metro Mallers' potent offense.

    "A lot of guys went across the middle, safeties are suppose to pick them up, but it's the corner(back)'s job to follow, too," Campbell said. "So I don't know. We just got to work hard next week, especially the secondary."

    The St. Lawrence Valley offense couldn't respond either, gaining only 59 total yards in the first half. Currier threw two interceptions and was sacked three times by an Albany defense that hurried the first-year starter for most of the game. Staton also fumbled twice after hauling in receptions that would've given the Trailblazers two first downs.

    The sloppy performance on both sides of the ball led Britton to one final solution.

    "We need more consistency at practices," Britton said. "Consistency and belief in each other and to help each other in practice. When you're at practice, you got to have competition to make guys better."


    A leisurely four and a half hour bus trip through Adirondack Park did little to dull the competitive senses of the Albany MetroMallers as they rolled into Potsdam this afternoon, and rolled back out tonight with 46 - 0, Empire Football League victory over the St. Lawrence Trail Blazers.


    Maller Quarterback Scott Lawson hooked up with wideout Collis Martin 4 times for 149 yards and three aerial touchdowns, enroute to a 8 for 11 overall performance to rack up 217 yards. Meanwhile the Maller running back tandem of Jadel Whitfield and Sylvester Cooperwood took the control on the ground combining for 156 yards on 13 carries and 2 touchdowns each.


    The Albany defense led up front by "Team Brian" Domingo and Northern, Shawn Hardy and Chip Everett stopped the Trail Blazers at every juncture, with team defense. Everett was credited with 4 solo stops, and a team high 2 sacks. The Maller secondary also had an exceptional night as Farid Baaklini, Mo James, and Del Gomes each tallied interceptions against the over matched St. Lawrence Offense.


    Albany is no 2 - 0 on the regular season atop the Empire Football League. St. Lawrence falls to 1 - 1 after the second week of the season.


    The Metro Mallers return home to Bleecker Stadium next Saturday evening, July 23rd at 7:30pm when they host the Canada's Ottawa Demon Deacons  from Canada, in Empire Football League Action.













    St Lawrence







    Qtr      Time                    Who                                   How               

      1             7:47              J. Whitfield                  24 Yard Run  [Bradwell Kick]

      1             1:12             C. Martin                       49 Yard Pass from S. Lawson [Bradwell Kick]

      2            12:04             J. Whitfield                  24 Yard Run  [Bradwell Kick]    

      2             8:32             C. Martin                       30 Yard Pass from S. Lawson [Bradwell Kick]

      2            0:36              C. Martin                       49 Yard Pass from S. Lawson [Kick Failed]    

      3             4:16             S. Cooperwood            20 Yard Run   [2pt Conversion Failed]

      4             8:17             S. Cooperwood              5 Yard Run   [Kick Failed]

    Eagles roll past Ottawa

    After a long week of soul-searching, the Scranton Eagles had much on their minds Saturday night at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
    All it took was a jolt of energy from Riverside graduate Eric Paroby to make a great difference this weekend.

    The Eagles went for the jugular early Saturday, converting a turnover into a 25-yard scoring reception by Paroby to spark a 32-7 victory over the Ottawa Deacon Demons in Empire Football League play.

    One play after Jon Marion recovered a fumbled punt, the Eagles extended their lead to 13-0 late in the first quarter.

    Paroby streaked down the middle and hauled in a John Kennedy spiral in stride for a 25-yard touchdown.

    “We jumped on them early. Sometimes, momentum can mean the game,’’ said Paroby, who finished with four catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns. “You get a team down, and it’s not often they come back.’’

    After not scoring last week in a 49-point loss to Albany, a 13-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game seemed like heaven to the Eagles (1-1).

    “That’s the best time to take a shot and go for it all,’’ said Mike Woodard, who was given the game ball for his first coaching victory for the Eagles.

    What it meant was a slightly more relaxed team that was ready to protect its lead and grind out a victory.

    They were content to do that, until Paroby nearly put the game out of reach.

    Mid Valley graduate Nick Parlanti had scored on a nine-yard run with 3:40 left in the half before Jim DeJoseph stepped up with his second interception of the game.

    His 39-yard return set the Eagles up at the Ottawa 28, and three plays later, Paroby got into the end zone again, taking a short pass and breaking it up the middle for a 32-yard touchdown play and a 25-0 lead.

    “It’s a little dig route, designed to go 15 yards,’’ Paroby said. “It’s not meant to be a big play. I got a lot of blocking.’’
    ©The Times-Tribune 2005

    Saturday, July 16, 2005

    Dragons' home opener spoiled by late touchdown


    BINGHAMTON -- The B.C. Dragons let victory slip away in their Empire Football League home opener.


    Sean Hoas threw to his brother, Tyrell, for a touchdown with 1:12 remaining to give the Montreal Titans a 33-31 win at Binghamton's Alumni Stadium Saturday night.

    "We've been striving for consistency," said B.C. coach Tommy Manny. "We've been trying to stress to stay strong in the closing moments. But we have not done that two weeks in a row."

    The Dragons led most of the game. Quarterback Ty Fish threw for 181 and three touchdowns. He hooked up twice with Brian Mister and once with Rob Stokstad for touchdowns. Mister had 104 yards receiving and returned a kickoff 61 yards to set up Stokstad's score.

    Montreal's first possession of the game lasted only two plays thanks to the Dragons' Brandon Franklin. Franklin stripped the ball out of the arms of Titans' Ricardo Moreau and Eric Mantalvo recovered it on the Montreal 32-yard line. Three plays later, Mister was hauling in Fish's first touchdown pass for 7-0 Dragons lead.

    The Titans responded with a 13-play drive that ate up just over eight minutes. It ended with Michael Coles scoring on a 2-yard run.

    Mister returned the ensuing kickoff 61 yards to the Montreal 23-yard line. Three plays later, Stokstad tip-toed the sidelines to catch Fish's second touchdown pass, giving the Dragon the lead again at 14-6. Stokstad had 51 receiving yards.

    The Dragons continued to set the pace into the second half, scoring 10 unanswered points between the second and third quarters.

    Matt Davis turned the Dragons' offense into a ground assault. He gained 82 of his game-high 105 yards in the second half, including a 10-yard run to give the Dragons 24-17 lead in the third.

    Still, the Titans stuck around as their offensive line paved the way for two Andrew Blevings' touchdown runs up the middle. Montreal also scored the final 12 points of the game to steal the win.

    "We had a lot of momentum, but one or two plays broke our back," said Mister, who saw Hoas slip past him into the corner of the end zone to score the game winner.

    "Our secondary seemed to have left us in the second half," Manny said. "When we didn't get the pass rush, our secondary fell apart."

    Eagles coach looking for improvement

    Mike Woodard Jr. runs across a field at McDade Park, eagerly catching passes while wearing a New York Jets’ Wayne Chrebet shirt.
    Unfortunately, he is much too young to help out his father, Mike, the 48-year-old first-year head coach of the Scranton Eagles.

    Too bad, because with just two wide receivers, the Eagles need depth at the position.

    Still, his youth is a reminder to coach Woodard that the rebuilding of the Eagles is going to take some time.

    “We have a lot of inexperience, and the worst thing about that is we played the best team in the league last week,’’ coach Woodard said. “This team has to learn, buckle up its chin straps.’’

    The next building block comes at 7:30 tonight at Scranton Memorial Stadium, when the Eagles play their home opener against Ottawa.

    They will do their best to erase the memories of last weekend’s season opener.

    A 49-0 loss to Albany last Saturday was not the way Woodard hoped to start the season. But, it’s hard to imagine how it could have gone otherwise, considering the circumstances.

    The Metro Mallers were the defending Empire Football League champions, with 60 to 70 players suited up for their league opener.

    The Eagles had 30 some players, many of whom were making their debut with the team.

    “For my new guys, to see 60 of them coming out of the tunnel, it had to make them wonder, ‘Why did I do this’,’’ Woodard said.

    With that shock behind them, the Eagles can concentrate on making improvements, even in the smallest areas — a lineman keeping a defender from reaching the quarterback, a linebacker wrapping up a ball carrier, doing what they’re supposed to do on a play — little things that really could mean a lot.

    “You learn from your mistakes, and that makes you better,’’ Woodard said. “If they’re not learning, they shouldn’t be out here.

    “We’re going to give a better showing than we gave the other night.’’

    That loss, one of the worst in the Eagles storied history, will be considered the low point of the season if Woodard has his way.

    “We have to get better every game, every practice,’’ he said. “We have to make sure everybody knows their assignment. We may not have the most athletic ability, but we have ball players with heart.’’

    They’ll need players with a whole lot of heart.

    After all, it’s not child’s play out there.

    Contact the writer:
    ©The Times-Tribune 2005

    Trailblazers' defensive backs prepare for tough passing game

    by By Max DelSignore, Times Sports Writer
    First published: Saturday, July 16, 2005

    Not many teams in the Empire Football League run an offense like the Albany Metro Mallers.

    They utilize the passing game to set up their running attack. A contrasting scheme such as that can place formidable pressure on the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers' defensive backfield.

    But the Trailblazers' secondary isn't intimidated.

    Defensive coordinator Ernie Miller plans on making minor adjustments for today's EFL home opener, but there won't be a change in strategy.

    "We made our changes in the preseason," Miller said. "I've thrown a lot at these guys. We've got five coverages now, and that's enough."

    St. Lawrence Valley faces a Metro Mallers squad that trounced the Scranton Eagles 49-0 in their first EFL game Saturday.

    Albany scored four touchdowns through the air, all thrown by seasoned starting quarterback Scott Lawson. Two touchdowns were thrown to Lawson's favorite target and primary receiver, Macio Clinton. Even though the offense may seem explosive, Trailblazers defensive back Butch Bice wouldn't want another opponent.

    "Doesn't matter who it is," Bice said. "We're going to be ready with who and what we have. Coach (Miller) has put in an excellent defense. We've got Kenny (Campbell), Eric (Saunders), me, and Jimmy (Compeau). We should do quite well."

    Compeau, a Massena native, had two interceptions in two preseason games, while Saunders collected an interception and a fumble recovery just in the preseason opener against Glove Cities. One person who isn't surprised by the secondary's impact is Miller.

    "These guys are good open-field tacklers," Miller said. "They work hard, and I'm proud of that."

    Bice is a three-year veteran in the defensive backfield. He said Miller's new strategies are focused on little things that will make the secondary more effective.

    "Coach (Miller) tells us to not bite on the pump fake, being at the right place at the right time," Bice said. "We've got the ability and the know-how."

    In the past, the Trailblazers struggled with depth and insufficient numbers at certain positions. However, the secondary is at full strength and continues to get stronger.

    Cody Thompson, brother of St. Lawrence Valley linebacker Jeremy Thompson, started practicing at safety July 7. He said that practice has gone well enough that he might see some action in the opener.

    "I've been getting prepared with all the plays," Thompson said. "I've been watching Compeau a lot, his stance, his eyes and how he watches plays. (Aaron) Barksdale picks things up well. He's a good tackler and catcher. I hope I can step up and play like them."

    Thompson played this past season at Cornwall Collegiate Vocational School in Cornwall, Ontario, and led the team in interceptions.

    Bice said he recognizes the talent and has seen the progression. Perhaps, teams are unaware that the St. Lawrence Valley secondary could also be a challenging force.

    "Our guys are sticking to our game," Bice said. "As long as we execute, I don't think we'll have any problems at all."

    Dragons set for EFL home opener

     Dragons set for EFL home opener

    It wasn't all gloom and doom for coach Tommy Manny, whose B.C. Dragons opened its Empire Football League season with a loss.

    Manny said there were some positives in the 21-0 loss to Orange County last Saturday.

    The score would likely have been much closer if not for a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown with less than 10 minutes left. It gave Orange County a 14-0 lead.

    "They learned a valuable lesson," said Manny, referring to the importance of making plays late in the game. "That's the way we're looking at it."

    The Dragons' first chance to put those lessons into action is at 7:30 tonight in the team's home opener against the Montreal Condors at Binghamton's Alumni Stadium.

    Many said he plans to expand the offense with additional formations, but stressed that play selection would revolve around the running game.

    Matt Davis, who Manny feels has a good combination of speed and power, is expected to get the brunt of the team's carries.

    "The guys have worked hard," Manny said. "We have a good product and we're ready to show the people in Binghamton what we're all about."

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Gladiators Cancel Season

    Published: July 13. 2005 12:00AM
    By Mike Donoghue
    Free Press Staff Writer

    The Green Mountain Gladiators semiprofessional football team will not take the field this summer, the Empire Football League said Tuesday.

    "It's official. They are not going to field a team this year," Deputy Commissioner Gary Shaver of Hudson, N.Y., said about the three-year-old team that requested a leave of absence from the league.

    Attempts on Tuesday to reach Sean Sulikowski, team president or Robert Carpenter, team treasurer, were unsuccessful.

    The Gladiators, who had trouble finding a permanent home in their first two seasons, had inked a contract with Winooski High School to play all their home games under the lights on Saturday nights this summer.

    Shaver said he was shocked when he received an e-mail late last week from Sulikowski, who asked that the Gladiators be given a leave of absence because he believed it did not have enough players for the full season.

    "Sean has worked hard. He has the money, a field and the organization. He doesn't have the number of players," Shaver said.

    Shaver said the Gladiators had enough players for an exhibition game in late June. Green Mountain lost 26-0 to the Mohawk Valley Vikings in Waterville, N.Y.

    The regular season opener for the Gladiators was set for Saturday at Winooski High with the Orange County Bulldogs of New Hampton, N.Y. Green Mountain had a bye in the league's opening week Saturday.

    The Gladiators began three years ago with a small nucleus of players who shifted over from the Vermont Ice Storm, who formed five years ago as the state's first semiprofessional football team. The Ice Storm are a Double A team in the New England Football League, while the Gladiators are a Triple A team in the Empire League.

    Shaver said the Ice Storm applied to jump up to the Empire League during the winter, but the Gladiators vetoed the request at the annual meeting in February.

    Ice Storm spokesman Scott Aguglia said Tuesday the team never formally applied, but did make an "inquiry." He said the Ice Storm never sent a representative to the annual Empire meeting. Shaver said the Ice Storm may not have attended because they knew the outcome before the meeting.

    Under Empire Football League rules, only one team is allowed within a 50-mile radius unless a waiver is granted. Three years ago the Lake City Stars of Plattsburgh, N.Y., granted a waiver to allow the Gladiators the right to join the Empire League.

    Lake City allowed the Storm into the league this summer, Shaver said.

    The Gladiators are the second team in recent weeks to ask for a leave of absence from the Empire League. The Amsterdam (N.Y.) Zephyrs said they were ready to play on June 26 only to pull the plug two days later, Shaver said.

    Nine teams remain as active members in the Empire League, he said. The New Jersey Ravens have been on leave for a couple of years in the 12-team league, he said.

    Shaver said the Empire teams that will lose games due to the last-minute leaves by the Gladiators and Zephyrs are free to pick up games with New England Football League teams.
    Contact Mike Donoghue at 660-1845 or <>

    Sunday, July 10, 2005

    Bulldogs blank Dragons in football opener

    The Orange County Bulldogs opened their season with a 21-0 rout of the Broome County Dragons last night at Smith Clove Park in Monroe in an Empire Football League game.
    Quarterback Dave Post threw for 158 yards and a touchdown to Ricky McVay for the Bulldogs. McVay finished with six catches for 96 yards. Ray Morales rushed 16 times for 86 yards and a touchdown and Maurice Nash had a 40-yard interception return for the other touchdown.
    The Bulldogs next play the St. Lawrence Valley Trail Blazers at 7:30 p.m. July 23 in Monroe.

    Record Online is brought to you by the Times Herald-Record, serving New York's Hudson Valley and the Catskills.

    Watertown claims win in opener

    Times Staff Reports
    First published: Sunday, July 10, 2005

    OTTAWA - Doug Black completed 12 of 22 pass attempts for 110 yards and the Watertown Red and Black opened its 2005 Empire Football League campaign with a 20-3 victory over the Ottawa Deacon Demons on Saturday night at the Nepean Sportsplex.

    Watertown (1-1 overall, 1-0 EFL) got all of the scoring it would need with three rushing touchdowns in the first half. Al Countryman, Eddie Berube and Vince Williams each ran for a score. Williams led the rushing attack as he finished the game with 58 yards on the ground.

    Wide receiver Earnie Wash grabbed six receptions for 68 yards.

    Defensively, the Red and Black, which features nine former Ottawa players on its team, allowed just a first-quarter field goal while forcing three Ottawa turnovers in the contest.

    The Red and Black will host the Albany Metro Mallers at 7:30 p.m. on July 30 at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds. The game scheduled for July 23 has been canceled due to the Amsterdam Zephyrs withdrawing from the EFL. The Red and Black will receive a forfeit victory for the game.

    The St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers were idle Saturday as they were scheduled to take on Amsterdam.

    MetroMallers Start Strong on Both Sides of the Ball!

    The 2005 Empire Football League season got underway tonight as The Scranton Eagles traveled from Pennsylvania, to take on the Albany Metro Mallers.

    In front of a small but enthusiastic crowd at Bleecker Stadium, The Mallers wowed the fans with exceptional play from both the offense & defense as they shut out the Eagles 49-0.  Starting Quarterback Scott Lawson ended the evening early bowing out in the 3rd quarter after posting numbers of 9 completions on 16 passes for 148 yards & 4 Touchdowns.

    He spread the ball among the Albany Receiver Corp as his favorite target Macio Clinton hauled in  a team high of 3 passes for 45 yards & 2 Scores; and Lawson connected with Running Back Sylvester Cooperwood twice for a total of 65 yards, but in each case, Cooperwood used his athleticism and power to turn short gains into Touchdowns of 20 and 45 yards. The Maller Running game also showed power and balance as 6 backs combined for 213 yards on 28 carries with Tailback Jadel Whitfield leading the way with 9 caries for 63 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end David Jenkins added the final score on the ground with a 15 yard reverse.

    On the other side of the ball Albany's swarming Linemen and Linebackers led by Rick Fish,  Greg Woodward and Tony DiChiaro were more than a match for the Eagles as the Pennsylvania team was victimized on the run stopping runners for a loss on 10 out of 27 Rushing plays with 4 other stopped for no gain while  allowing only 84 total yards on the ground. Using 2 quarterbacks, EFL Veteran John Kennedy and his apprentice Michael Arcure, the Eagles passing game was also no match for the Mallers secondary as Albany victimized the Scranton Passers.  Eagle QB's completed 5 of 17 and had 3 passes intercepted and 5 knocked down. The Eagles managed to get inside the Albany 30 twice but in both instances the drives were stifled on interceptions by Alvin Foy and  Jeff Turman. 
    James Mitchell accounted for the third interception.
    Even the Mallers Special Teams were near perfect as Jason Bradwell was 7 for 7 on PAT's. Bradwell also punted twice, one for 37 yards and no return and the second glanced off an Cover man Jim Schaeffer and Albany recovered the free ball.

    The Mallers are on the road next Saturday as they travel to Potsdam to take on the St Lawrence Trailblazers, and will return home to Bleecker Stadium on July 23rd  at 7:30pm when they host the Ottawa Demon Deacons from Canada, in Empire Football League Action.

    BOX SCORE :   
                          1      2      3      4      Total
    Scranton         0      0      0      0           0
    Albany           7     21     14    21         49


    Qtr      Time Remaining      Who                      How                                   PAT
       1                8:18                M.Clinton            16 Yard
    Pass from S. Lawson         Bradwell Kick
       2                12:35              J. Whitfield          10 Yard
    Run                                    Bradwell Kick
       2                2:47                M.Clinton            19 Yard
    Pass from S. Lawson         Bradwell Kick
       2                1:43                J. Whitfield          13 Yard
    Run                                    Bradwell Kick
       3                10:55              S. Cooperwood   20 Yard Pass from
    S. Lawson          Bradwell Kick
       3                7:05                S. Cooperwood   45 Yard Pass
    from S. Lawson          Bradwell Kick
       4                13:00              D. Jenkins           15 Yard
    Run                                     Bradwell Kick

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