Saturday, July 30, 2005

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."

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