Monday, August 29, 2005


For Immediate Release:
For the second game in a row, the Empire Football League Leading Albany Metro Mallers found themselves in an uncomfortable position entering the half time break; trailing at the half. Playing the Montreal Titans Saturday Night, at Bleecker Stadium, the Albany semi-pro team went into the break trailing 16 - 9, against the third place Canadians. But the team demeanor changed drastically after  Coach Norman Mann's half time instructions, and the Mallers reeled off 24 straight points in the third and fourth stanza's  to maintain their hold on first place in the EFL with a 33 - 22 win.

Following a strong first quarter in which the Mallers jumped out to a 9-0 lead on the heels of a Farid Baaklini Safety and a 43 yard Collis Martin Touchdown reception from  Quarterback Scott Lawson,  The  Titans, worked to shift the momentum in their favor, with a strong rushing defense which continually kept Lawson off his step in the second quarter
harassing the veteran into a season high 5 sacks and an unforced lost fumble.

As the second quarter began, Albany was deep in their own territory at the 15 and started to mount a  drive. But 5 plays later under pressure Lawson completed a 1 yard dump pass to Martin who coughed up the ball at the Maller 34 to the Titans. The Canadian team tried to advance on the Mallers but to end a 6 play drive Montreal Place Kicker Andrew Blevings
was on the field, to try to remove the goose egg from the board. Albany Nose guard Tony DiChiaro broke the line to Block the Kick.

From that point the Titans returned to the field more intent on stopping the league leaders and for the rest of the half they commanded the turf. After picking up a first down on a 12 yard pass to Sylvester Cooperwood, Lawson was out of options, as a pair of penalties and a 10 yard sack by Corbel Isaacs, forced an Albany punt by Jason Bradwell. This started a 62 yard 7 play drive capped off by a Sean Hoas 7 yard scoring strike to Zawdie Parahoo with 2:03 left in the half, followed by a successful 2 point conversion toss from Hoas to his brother Tyrell.

The Metro Mallers took over after the kick off and again appeared to shoot themselves in the foot, starting on their own 37 and ending up 3 plays later at their 21 from which Bradwell again set up to punt. Again, disaster ensued as a bad snap found Bradwell's Punt being blocked by Jean Marc Michael and Oral Billy with Michael getting the handle on the ball and dove into the endzone for the touchdown from the 1 yard line, with just 44.8 seconds on the clock. 
The ensuing kick off added even more to the first half action as it caught a gust of
wind and sailed into the endzone where it was retrieved by Maceo Clinton for Albany.
Clinton brought it out of the endzone but could only muster 4 yards on the return. Lawson took a knee to end the half.

Following the half time conferences,  both teams came back with a new look, as each changed quarterbacks; Hoas out and Michael Hyatt in for Montreal while Kenneth Schaeffer stepped in for Lawson. Both changes yielded dramatic results. Hyatt, a big strong run & gun QB was promptly intercepted by Damon Walker for the Mallers along with a 37 yard return
to the Montreal 37. Schaeffer went to work, executing the Albany attack, hitting Culture Branch on the 4 yard line with a 27 yard strike, setting up a quarterback sneak from Schaeffer, to bring the Mallers back into the game  trailing 16-15. The remainder of the period was a back and forth affair with turnovers ending 4 of the last 5 drives of the quarter.

The fourth quarter arrived with Albany in possession of the ball at the Montreal 10, following a 30 yard interception return by Brian Domingo on Sean Hoas return to action at QB for the Titans. Albany still couldn't punch it in for the touchdown. Jason Bradwell came on and nailed a 22 yard Field Goal to put the Mallers back into the lead. Now the tide had turned and Albany's defense turned up the heat Tony DiChiaro and Alvin Foy teamed up to drop RB Ricardo Moreau for a loss and Jarris "Train" Jones followed that up with a 12 yard sack on Hoas. Then on fourth down, put 2 more up on the board, as Titan Punter Andrew Blevings, thought better of trying to kick it out of the back of the end zone under pressure and took a knee for Derick Senior to rack up the Mallers second safety of the night. Then the Mallers rolled. On the free kick, WR Maceo Clinton fielded a low liner, and brought it back 42 yards to set up an Albany drive from the Titan 31. The Mallers again turned to the running game as Jadel Whitfield racked up a dozen yards down to the 19 where Schaeffer completed a 15 yarder to Collis Martin at the 4 yard line. With a first and goal at the four, Whitfield went off tackle left and scored with 7:22 on the clock. Jason Bradwell added the PAT.

The Montreal Offense was still in a downspin as they went four and out on their next possession, punting away to Gabe Young who set Albany up with a first down at the Maller 47 from which to operate. Again the Blue & Gold pounded away at the defense and the clock as Cooperwood blasted ahead for 18 yards on two carries, down to the 35 yard line. With a 3rd and 5, Schaeffer bobbled the exchange and lost 7 yards back to the 42 to bring up 4th down. Jason Bradwell came on to punt. Bradwell barked the signals, and the snap went right to  the waiting hands of  the veteran Albany Center  -  Drez  Morris  who lines up as a blocking back in punt formation. Morris powered his way ahead for 11 yards carrying Titans
Steve Crompton and Corvell Isaacs on his back to get the first down. Schaeffer came back on and rewarded his center on the next play by hitting WR Collis Martin 6 yards deep in the end zone with a 31 yard strike to extend the Albany lead to 33 - 16. Montreal managed a final score as time expired to make the final score 33 - 22.

Albany maintains its lead in the Empire Football League, undefeated at 7 - 0 in league action, and 10 - 0 overall on the 2005 schedule. They came into the game ranked #1 on the American Football Association Power Ranking, #2 in the Eastern Region of the US by Minor League Football News, and #6 in the Nation on the National Football Events Coaches Poll.

The Empire Football League traditionally takes the Labor Day Weekend off and so the Metro Mallers return to action on Sept. 10th on the road at Broome County and will return home to Bleecker Stadium for the EFL regular season finale on Sept. 24th as Albany will host the Lake City Stars of Plattsburgh. Kick off at 7:30

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