Saturday, August 13, 2005

Lake City looks to get back on track


Stars coming off first loss, bye week, play host to Broome County tonight

By KEITH KANE Staff Writer

PLATTSBURGH — Two weeks ago, the Lake City Stars went into their game against the Orange County Bulldogs with an undefeated Empire Football League record.

Despite solid play on both sides of the football, the Stars came away just short and were handed their first loss of the season, 12-7.

Lake City is hoping with the extra week of practice it received with its bye week and with a few injuries able to heal that losing will not become a habit as they head into tonight’s game against the Broome County Dragons at Melissa L. Penfield Park at 7:30 p.m.

The Dragons come into the contest with a 2-2 record, but off a 46-0 dismantling of the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers. Quarterback Ty Fish hooked up with Brian Mister on two 41-yard touchdown scores to put the game out of reach before halftime.

"Judging from their statistics — and stats aren’t everything — they can definitely put the ball in the air," Lake City head coach Ed McCallister said. "Mister appears to be their go-to-guy, but I am sure they have more than that. Broome County always has good athletes and good size."

The Stars took a hard loss in their last game against the Bulldogs, but had a strong showing. Defensively, Lake City had another superb outing, but gave up a couple long plays which allowed Orange County to put points on the board.

Starting tailback Heath Geiser suffered an ankle injury during the game, but looks to be healthy enough to give it a go tonight. John Faheey was a reliable backup to Geiser as he posted 45 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Speedster Vern Harrison also has shown the ability to fill in at the position.

"Geiser will be in the lineup," McCallister said. "The good thing is that between Harrison and Faheey, either of those guys could be starters on any given night. We have had several guys touching the football already this season and that has been a benefit. It isn’t like we are plugging people in that don’t have any carries.

"In the end the offensive line has to block and the back has to hit the hole and keep two hands on the football."

Lake City has always been a hard-nosed football team and McCallister says that is the way it is going to stay.

"Our passing game isn’t our strength," McCallister said. "We come out and we run the football. We have three backs and we are going to come after you. That is not going to change and so far it has worked."

For the Stars to continue to pile up victories this season McCallister believes that they will have to limit their mistakes, especially in tonight’s football game.

"More at this level than in any other, if we play our type of football then we have a chance to win," McCallister said. "Our type of football is playing mistake free and smart. And when I say we have a chance, that doesn’t mean we have to be flawless to stay in the game. We will be there because we are a good football team."

Hitting the mid-way mark of the season already the Stars are already looking at the playoff picture and McCallister feels a win tonight will help them when the playoffs come around.

"Even though it is still early in the season the playoffs are already taking shape," McCallister said. "With a team traveling to you, you want to take advantage of that and pick up the victory. In the chance that you see them in the playoffs I would rather have them come to Plattsburgh then have us travel to Binghamton."

Lake City will be hoping to take care of business on the football field tonight and start another winning streak.

"It should be fun," McCallister said. "It has been fun lately, the last several years have been pretty enjoyable."

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