Saturday, August 27, 2005

Lake City guards against taking EFL foe too light



PLATTSBURGH — Lake City Stars head coach Ed McCallister knows better than to take any team for granted.

The Stars travel to Sandstoner Park tonight for a 7 p.m. matchup against the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers. The Trailblazers bring a 2-4 record into the contest, with both victories coming in the form of forfeit wins over disbanded Amsterdam and Green Mountain.

In the four games decided on the field for the Trailblazers, they’ve been outscored 176-14, including a 20-14 loss to the Montreal Titans. The other games were a pair of 46-0 setbacks to Albany and the Broome County Dragons and a 64-0 shellacking by the Orange County Bulldogs.

"We’re going to practice this week and hopefully play this week like it’s the Albany Metro Mallers, because that’s the first-place team, you need to play every week like it’s the championship game," McCallister said as his team suited up for practice earlier in the week at Melissa L. Penfield Park.

"I want us to come out and execute on every series, that doesn’t mean that we have to score every series but I want to see execution. I want to see us moving the ball, when we’re running the ball I want to see us hit the holes by design, I want to see us complete passes...obviously I want to put the ball in the endzone but I want us to score as the drive operates."

Lake City is coming off a 27-6 victory over the Scranton Eagles a week ago, a game that was 12-6 at halftime before the Stars pulled away on rushing touchdowns by Brandon Kelleher in the third quarter and Jed Randall in the fourth.

"I was real happy with the way we played the second half, but the first half it kind of looked like we were just going through the motions," said McCallister, whose team stands at 4-2 in EFL play and 5-3 overall. "When this team wants to play to our ability and not to someone else’s ability, we’re a good football team."

The two losses were by a combined eight points, 12-7 to Orange County and 14-11 to Broome County.

"It’s been a good season of football but there’s a lot of season to go and fortunately or unfortunately the last four games are going to determine where we’re going to be at the end of this thing," said McCallister. "We just need to go over there and we need to execute because the following week the league is off on a Labor Day bye."

Running back and last year’s EFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Ernie Miller’s 117 yards on 36 carries are both team highs for St. Lawrence Valley, while Joe Hutchison — an all-league selection last year — leads the receiving core with eight catches, 123 yards and a score. James Compeau hauled in the only other touchdown this season for the Trailblazers, pulling in one of quarterback Dave Currier’s two scoring strikes against Montreal. Currier is 21-of-70 for 256 yards on the year and has been picked off nine times.

The Trailblazers are led on the other side of the ball by linebacker Cheyenne Dashnaw, who has a team-high 41 tackles and six forced fumbles. Dashnaw, a league all-star, was the leading tackler in the EFL last season.

St. Lawrence Valley hasn’t played a game since the loss to Broome County on the opening weekend of the month, coming off a bye-week and a forfeit win over Green Mountain.

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