Saturday, July 08, 2006

(no subject)

Eagles’ Kennedy returns as opener draws near
Retirement is apparently only temporary for John Kennedy.

The long-time Scranton Eagles quarterback, who retired following last season, changed his mind this week and will likely start in Saturday night’s season opener against the Broome County Dragons at 7:30 at Scranton Memorial Stadium.

The game is the season opener for the Eagles, who hope to return to the ranks of the elite this year. They are coming off one of the worst campaigns — a 4-6 finish and no playoff spot — in the storied history of the 25-year-old franchise.

The Dragons lost their season opener last week, 33-31 to Montreal, on a last-minute touchdown by the Titans.

Kennedy, 42, suited up for drills last week and will likely start with backup help from Deshawn Meyers, Andre Chollette and rookie J.P. Antosch.

Longtime backup Mark Arcure will likely miss three to four games because of leg ailments, but will be on the sidelines coaching.

Head coach Mike Woodard has reason to be optimistic in his second year at the helm. One reason for that optimism is the presence of Malcolm Singleton on the defensive line. The veteran from Kingston played the last several seasons with Binghamton-area teams.

Woodward is relying on Singleton to spark a pass rush that was nearly non-existent last year.

“Our numbers were down last year and we had a lot of important holes to fill over the offseason,” Woodard said.

Broome County coach Tommy Manny blamed his team’s season-opening loss on his team’s inability to finish a game strong. The Dragons also had trouble late in a handful of preseason games.

“We’ve been striving for consistency,” Manny said. “We’ve been trying to stress to stay strong in the closing moments. But we have not done that two weeks in a row.”

The Dragons led most of the game as quarterback Ty Fish threw for 181 yards and three touchdowns. He hooked up twice with Brian Mister and once with Rob Stokstad for touchdowns. Mister had 104 yards receiving and returned a kickoff 61 yards to set up Stokstad’s score.

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