Sunday, August 06, 2006
EFL Post Game Press Coverage August 6th
Sun, August 6, 2006
Deacon Demons battle heat, mosquitoes and football foes for the love of the game
By CHRIS STEVENSON,
It's a hot, humid night at
The only thing closer than the humidity are the mosquitoes. They have come screaming out of the thick woods that surround the illuminated football field, which is lush and green in the artificial lighting.
In the thick of the humidity and the ravenous bugs, the Ottawa Deacon Demons football club grinds through the last few minutes of practice, one of three they have each week.
Coach Jim Brunton doesn't have a great turnout tonight, but the players who are here are working hard in the heat.
The Deacon Demons compete in the Empire Football League, playing four-down American football (it's the league in which the Ottawa Bootleggers played in the '90s).
The players, who range in age from 23-45, have jobs and families and lives away from the field, but the fire to play the game burns bright enough to bring them out on this hellish night.
The sweat glistens on their faces and their jerseys are dark with perspiration as assistant coach Jeff Pinck gathers them under the south goal posts to wrap up practice.
"I just love the game," quarterback Garry Pelletier says as he comes off the field, helmet in hand. The mosquitoes don't stand a chance when he swings it at them.
"I've played it since I was eight. I think I still have a lot in the tank and I just love the game."
"Football is my passion. I've grown up with it all my life," says defensive back Filipop Flocco, who leads the Empire League in interceptions with four this season. "The game has made me who I am. I think I've got a strong work ethic and I think the discipline I learned in football carries through everything I do."
There's no locker room after practice. The players change in the parking lot, fighting off the bugs, sitting on the back bumpers of their cars or the tailgates of pickup trucks to change their shoes.
Brunton, who played with the Bootleggers, took some time away from football to focus on his contracting business. When the Deacon Demons needed some players when the franchise moved here from
There are nights like this when work or family commitments limit the number of players at practice, but the guys who show up are working hard.
"For the most part, we have a bunch of guys in their late 20s who are out for the love of the game," Brunton says. "We want to have fun, but we also want to be productive.
''We're looking better this year than we have the last couple of years. We've kind of let ourselves down at times because some of the guys weren't up for the game. You have to work to keep the spirits up. We want to win. We've got to win, put out some good showings to get some respect."
The Demons have had a tough go of it this year. They are coming off a 21-0 loss to the Lake City Stars and now sit at 0-3-1 and in fifth place in the six-team Northern Division of the Empire Football League.
"For me, it's discouraging. Losing sucks," says Pelletier. "But we're this close. It's just a matter of a couple of little things. A couple of bad calls, a couple of missed plays can take you right out of it. Losing doesn't sit too well with me. Winning makes everything more fun."
Pelletier grew up playing with the Nepean Rams, then the Redskins and was a contemporary of Jesse Palmer, who's still trying to make it in the NFL.
Pelletier played for the Junior Riders and was told he was good enough to play Canadian university ball, but the prospects for a Canadian quarterback were, and are, bleak. He's seen guys at scouting combines he thought would be great Canadian pro quarterbacks switched to other positions without getting a chance at pivot.
"I knew it would be going nowhere," he says of his football career as a Canadian QB.
He started a cleaning business and took six years off from playing football, but he says he still had the desire.
"I have no regrets (about not playing university football)," says Pelletier. "I knew what reality was and wasn't."
He's played in the Empire League the last four years, spending money each year to do it. Last year, he commuted to
"That was a little costly," he says.
He commutes now from Barrhaven for the Demons' practices three times a week at Ken Steele. Gas, road trips, meals ... Pelletier figures it costs him at least $500 a year to play football.
Players drive themselves to games in upper
Pelletier says he figures he'll keep playing as long as his body holds up. The subtleties of the game keep him coming back, too.
"I'm still learning. I wish I could learn more. I'm always learning," he says. "There's guys in their 40s in the league. There's a quarterback in the States who's 44 and he's been in the league for 20 years.
''It's fun and the competitiveness of the league is huge. Some guys don't think it's that competitive, but the calibre of the ball is way up there, way better than junior ball in
"But what it boils down to," he says, "is it's fun."
Albany Metro Mallers 45 - Scranton Eagles 9
The Defending Champion of the Empire Football League has eight games under their belts in 2006, yet the comforts of home have been few and far between as the Albany Metro Mallers have played six games out of the Capital District. So today’s trek across the state and south to
So out of the gate as Scranton QB John Kennedy tried to keep the Eagles in flight, and managed to get Scranton an early lead up 9 – 6, but from there it was all Albany, as the Maller Bus revved up their engine. Quarterback Scott Lawson, a roster question mark after leaving last weeks comeback after the third quarter, was back in form after Scranton took the lead, completing a 46 yard pass to Maceo Clinton on the left, and followed it with a 14 yarder to John Mulinio on the right to set up a first and goal on the 4. Then Lawson handed off to
Lake City Stars fall to Ice Storm in overtime
August 06, 2006
On Saturday, however,
Brad Ruderman completed 17-of-31 passes for 322 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime. Ruderman hit Matt Bombardier on a 24-yard strike on the first drive after winning the coin toss.
Ruderman also had a pair of rushing touchdowns and finished with 10 yards on the ground.
"They moved the ball very well,"
"They beat us at our own game and we did not stop them.
"Unfortunately, this was a night where the team that had the ball last was going to win the game. And, unfortunately, we lost the coin toss."
The Stars were able to get on the board first in the back-and-forth battle and took a 14-10 lead into the half.
The Ice Storm grabbed a quick lead at 17-14 to open the second half, but
After Vermont took a 24-21 lead, the Stars jumped back on top with a touchdown and later added a Ryan DeCamp field goal to take a 31-24 lead.
The Ice Storm, however, had one last crack to tie the game and did so with 34 seconds remaining.
Ruderman then came through in the extra stanza with his touchdown hurl to Bombardier for the game-winner.
"They won the toss and (Ruderman) threw a pass into coverage in the end zone," McCallister said. "Our players knocked into each other and (Bombardier) was able to come down with it.
"This was a very good ball game. They shows up to play and they played well. They fought very hard and they won.
"Hopefully we can regroup and get ready for next weekend. In no way is this loss the end of our season, but it's just a little frustrating — we looked confused at times tonight.
"We have to put it behind us and move on. It's time to get ready for Chateaugay."
Zephyrs prevail in OT
By ERIC FONTES, The Leader-Herald
The setting was a little different Saturday at
Montes still felt the same rush as he watched his kick fly through the uprights and the Amsterdam Zephyrs mobbed him on the field to celebrate their 13-10 overtime victory over the Broome County Dragons.
“It brings back a lot of memories from 1995,” Montes said. “It’s my job. I have to go out there and do it. It’s not just me, but the whole team wins it. I kicked the game-winning field goal, but it’s all about the team.”
Facing a 10-0 deficit with three minutes left in the second quarter, it took the whole
On the opening drive of the second half,
With Brown, Penta Thomas and Ken Hudson chewing up clock with a solid ground game that featured 101 yards after halftime, the defense stayed rested enough to pitch a shutout in the second half. The Zephyrs forced the Dragons into two turnover on downs and an interception.
Then, after the Dragons conservatively ran the ball with the clock running down in regulation to set up a field goal for Steve Tammariello, Rick Hulett blocked the 30-yard attempt to force overtime.
“We had three huge defensive stands,”
That’s exactly what happened in overtime, as the Zephyrs won the toss and their defense never took the field.
The Zephyrs couldn’t get one more on third-and-4 at the Dragons’ 20, as Thomas came a yard short.
Ruggeri already had his mind made up, telling Montes, “If we come up short here, I’m putting it in your hands.”
“Coach, I’ll make it,” Montes said.
That’s exactly what he did, easily clearing the crossbar.
“I went and got Alvaro Montes for a reason,” Ruggeri said. “He’s the best kicker in the area, and he’s probably one of the best kickers in the league. He’s been under fire in
Montes’ kick helped cover up several
After his 3-yard touchdown pass with 2:55 left in the second quarter, everything changed. Ruggeri credited
“Our ball control went out the window,”
Once it got there,
Now, the Zephyrs should be sitting in third, right in the middle of the pack.
“This game was an absolute must [win],” Ruggeri said. “If we didn’t win this, we were done.”
Zephyrs 13, Dragons 10
Broome County 3 7 0 0 0 — 10
Copyright © 2006 — The Leader-Herald
Montes' field goal lifts Zephyrs
By MIKE COLLAR
Recorder Sports Staff
It was just like old times for Alvaro Montes at
This time he drilled a 33-yard field with 6:03 left in overtime to give the Amsterdam Zephyrs a 13-10 victory over the Broome County Dragons Saturday night in Empire Football League play.
"It felt good. I was comfortable. Everything was great. It brings back memories. That's my job. It's the whole team," said Montes.
Montes is a part of history for the Rugged Rams football team when he hit a 23-yard field goal to beat Lakeshore in the Class B state final.
Ragsdale lost two yards and then Steve Tammariello sent a 30 yard field goal through the uprights and a 3-0 advantage with 10:56 left in the first quarter.
After a Zephyrs punt,
The Zephyrs' offense woke up as quarterback Eric Johnson spotted Jared Brown for a 55 yard pass and that set up a 28 yard field goal by Montes with one second remaining. The kick was successful and the Zephyrs trailed, 10-3.
When the second half began,
Montes' kick was good and the Zephyrs tied the score 10-10 with 8:30 showing on the board.
The Dragons were driving late in the third quarter when Rich Johnson picked off a pass to end the threat.
Thanks to a turnover, the Dragons had another chance to go ahead with a 30 yard field goal and Hulett blocked the kick with his right hand. The teams battled to a 10-10 regulation and sudden death overtime was coming.
The Zephyrs won the toss and started from its 40. Dominating play with an effective ground game,
After each side called timeout, Montes calmly kicked a 33 yard field goal and the celebration began.
"We needed that, we needed that," shouted offensive lineman Bob Van Hoesen who sat out the game with an injury.
"We expected a tough fight. We didn't execute well in the second half. Our ball control went ouf the window. You see the score," he said.
The Zephyrs improved their record to 2-3 and will host the Albany Mallers on Saturday at Lynch.
"I don't have anything left. We went zone (cover two) defense in the middle of the second quarter and that helped. They (
Metro Mallers crush Eagles
For a time, turnovers were helping the
But once the turnover bug bit the Eagles, the defending EFL champion Metro Mallers took advantage and rolled to a 45-9 victory.
Even though the fourth-ranked Metro Mallers scored first, on a six-yard pass from Scott Lawson to Culture Branch, the Eagles (1-3-1) used some hard hitting to get the lead.
On a John Vitovsky punt, the Eagles recovered a fumble at the
Although the extra-point kick was blocked, the defense picked up the tempo and got the ball back when Jason Sandly recovered a Sylvester Cooperwood fumble at the
Vitovsky kicked the Eagles into a 9-6 lead by converting a 37-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
Scranton tried answering, driving behind the running of Andre Cholette, but the Eagles fumbled and Albany converted the turnover into a 6-yard scoring pass to John Molino, giving the Metro Mallers a 19-9 lead.
The Eagles tried beating the clock, but fumbled at the
Macio Clinton shredded the Eagles kickoff team with a 76-yard scoring return to start the second half when
Lawson hooked up with Branch for a 46-yard scoring pass and Julius Irving ran for the first of his two scoring runs, a 7-yarder with 7:27 left in the quarter.
Reserve quarterback Mike Arcure had a pass picked off and
The Eagles, who fumbled inside the
Miller, Red & Black race from Bulldogs in 4th quarter
Sunday, August 06, 2006
HILLBURN — Ernie Miller scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, helping the Watertown Red and Black to a 44-31 comeback victory over the Tri-State Bulldogs on Saturday night.
The visiting Red and Black (3-1) trailed 14-0 before a 58-yard scoring pass from Doug Black to Lester Cole started
Watertown added a pair of second-quarter touchdowns before a third-quarter Leo Grant field goal from 26 yards out gave the Red & Black a 23-14 lead.
A 59-yard TD pass by Andre McCloud to Paul Reed pulled Tri-State (3-2) within 30-28 with 13:30 remaining in the game. Miller then responded with the first of his two scores, a 12-yard dash up the middle to restore a nine-point edge for
Miller, who carried 11 times for 54 yards, sealed the Red and Black win with a 1-yard score in the game's final minute.
Black threw TD passes of 79, 58 and 30 yards, completing 12-of-22 passes for 321 yards with one interception.
Lester Cole also tossed a TD, connecting with a wide-open Anthony Noel on a 30-yard halfback option pass during the second quarter.
Mike Dumaw led the
Andy Blevings rushed for two touchdowns, and Zan Symonds completed two scores through the air as the Chateaugay Titans trounced the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers in an EFL matchup at
Chateaugay (2-2) took advantage of multiple Trailblazers' miscues in the second quarter to blow the game open.
St. Lawrence Valley (0-5) trimmed the deficit to 7-3 on a Mike Darling 17-yard field goal, but Jean Lerouge returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a Titans touchdown. Jean-Marc Michel followed with a 30-yard fumble recovery for a score.
"They came at us with a lot of blitzing," Trailblazers head coach Mike Britton said. "We did fine with it last week (against
Several Trailblazers players, such as James Compeau and
Compeau did have his best offensive performance of the regular season, totaling 59 yards on eight carries. Joe Hutchinson added five catches and 85 yards.
"We had to do a different type of running style to complement our shotgun offense," Britton said.
Jeremy Thompson led the Trailblazers with six tackles, and Ricky Delaney added four tackles