Saturday, August 20, 2005

Stars look to bounce back against Scranton


By KEITH KANE Staff Writer

PLATTSBURGH — The Lake City Stars have suffered two heart-breaking losses over the past two games.

With the Scranton Eagles coming to Melissa L. Penfield Park tonight, game scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start, Stars coach Ed McCallister feels the team will be able to break back into the winning mode.

"We played a good football game against Orange County," McCallister said. "But we did not against Broome County. We gave one away last week and we cannot allow that to happen this week or anytime again for the remainder of the season.

"We made it very difficult on ourselves last week as we committed far too many turnovers. We made too many mistakes, especially offensively, we have to pick it up and be more productive in the red-zone and I think we can do that."

The Eagles are coming off a 36-0 loss to Orange County last week. Quarterback John Kennedy, now in his 23rd Empire Football League season, completed 4-of-11 passes for 62 yards. Scranton finished with a total of 93 yards rushing on 38 carries.

For the season, Kennedy is 23-of-48 for 317 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. Kennedy’s favorite target appears to be Eric Paroby, who has hauled in nine passes for 173 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Eagles, like the Stars, use a platoon backfield as four different backs take the bulk of the hand-offs. Andre Chollette leads the team in yardage with 132 on 32 carries and has scored one of the two rushing touchdowns by the team. Gary Visnofsky (32-125), Bill Sandly (26-84) and Marvin Wilson (23-82) round out the backfield.

The Stars last week were led by quarterback Eddie Castine’s 34 yards on eight carries. Castine also completed 11 passes for 173 yards. Matt St. Clair pulled in three passes for 69 and James Blocker added four catches for 44 yards.

"I think the team knows we gave one away to Broome County," McCallister said. "We had a good week of practice and I think we have fixed some of the mistakes and got some people back healthy that we didn’t have and hopefully they can make a difference."

Lake City’s starting running back Heath Geiser, who injured his leg against Orange County, gave it a go last week and picked up 24 yards on nine carries, but the leg was not at 100 percent.

"Geiser is still not at 100-percent," McCallister said. "He had some runs last week that he wasn’t able to finish where he normally could make a cut and finish, but he will be in the lineup. Vern (Harrison) should be more comfortable tonight after taking some reps last week and Brandon Kelly should get some touches out of the backfield."

The Stars have hit the halfway mark of the season and are now looking to position themselves for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

"I think we will be a different team tonight as opposed to last week," McCallister said. "We are a young team and hopefully we have learned something and we are lucky enough to learn it early in the season. We can control our own destiny and it starts tonight. Losing is not an option — expect a team that is extremely aggressive and that will play 60 minutes of football.

"I am excited about this game. This can start us on a good run for the final half of the season and we will see what happens."

To contact the Press-Republican, Phone: (518) 561-2300 or send mail to:
Press-Republican, 170 Margaret St., P.O. Box 459, Plattsburgh, NY 12901

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