Sunday, August 20, 2006

EFL Post Game Press Coverage August 20th

Sunday August 20, 2006                             SPORTS                                                                                          

Turnovers key Dragons' win
By Robert Bonaparte
Press & Sun-Bulletin

BINGHAMTON -- Heavy rain at Binghamton Alumni Stadium didn't bother quarterback Ty Fish and the Broome County Dragons in their most comfortable victory of the Empire Football League season.

Fish threw a season-high three touchdowns and the defense did not allow a point for the second straight game as Broome County completed a season sweep of the Scranton Eagles, winning 36-0 Saturday night.

"The Wilson footballs, being true leather, actually have a good grip on them when they're wet," Fish said.

The Dragons (4-2) are in second place in the Southern Division with their next two games on the road against the division leaders. They play the Southern Division-leading Albany Metro Mallers next week and the Northern Division-leading Watertown Red & Black the week after.

Ahead 7-0 late in the first half, the Dragons took over at the Eagles' 10-yard line after Jamie Hoover blocked a punt with 1:08 remaining in the second quarter.

On fourth-and-2, Fish followed with the first of his two touchdowns to tight end Jonathon Bechy giving the Dragons a 13-0 lead. Steve Tammariello's PAT gave B.C. a 14-0 lead at halftime.

With 3:55 left in the third quarter, Hoover recovered Scranton's Andre Sholay fumble at the Eagle's 5 and carried it in for a TD. Duane Short, the holder for the PAT, picked up a bad snap and scrambled before finding Bechy in the end zone for a two-point conversion and a 29-0 lead.

"Defense once again set the tone, defense gave us great field position to score, and the defense scored," Dragons coach Thomas Manny said. "The defense did everything it possibly could do to win this ballgame."

John Kennedy, a 42-year-old quarterback, struggled for the Eagles (1-4-1). He completed two of seven passes for 1 yard and was intercepted once.

The defense will be tested against Albany, who won the teams' first meeting, 28-21.

"Our guys definitely believe we can beat Albany," Manny said.


Broome County shuts out Eagles



A week off did not help the Scranton Eagles.

Turnovers and special teams mishaps combined the ruin the Eagles’ trip to Binghamton, as the Broome County Dragon blanked the Eagles, 36-0, before 110 die-hard fans who sat through a steady rain Saturday night.

Ty Fish threw three touchdown passes for the Dragons (4-2), who are second in the Empire Football League standings.

The Eagles (1-4-1) had a chance to open the scoring, as Andre Chollette had three runs covering 33 yards on an opening drive that rolled to the Dragons 12. But quarterback John Kennedy was intercepted, and their best chance at scoring went by the way side.

Four minutes into the second quarter, Fish connected with Sam Ragsdale for a 45-yard touchdown pass to start the scoring.

A turnover gave the Eagles a chance to score in the second quarter after Scranton’s Rob Wehner recovered a fumbled punt at the Dragons 19.

But on a field goal attempt, the snap was bobbled, and with it the Eagles last good scoring opportunity.

The Eagles nearly got to halftime trailing by just seven, but a blocked punt gave the Dragons the ball at the Eagles 2. A stout defense led by George Romiti, Jason Sandly and Jim Schaffer denied the Dragons on three running plays, but Fish dumped a short pass to Jonathon Bechy for a one-yard scoring play as the half ended.

In the second half, the Eagles started going for broke, faking a punt in their own territory, but when it fell short, Fish hit Bechy for a 27-yard touchdown on the next play for a 21-0 lead.

It got worse on the next play from scrimmage as the Eagles fumbled and the Dragons’ Jason Hoover picked up the ball and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown. Duane Short hit Bechy with a pass on the conversion try for a 29-0 lead.

A fumbled punt snap left the Dragons with the ball at the Eagles 11, and three plays later, Jemal Johnson scooted in on a 10-yard run to close the scoring.

The Eagles return to action next Saturday at Scranton Memorial Stadium to play the Tri-State Bulldogs, who beat the Eagles 70-0 earlier this season.

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Vermont deflates, defeats St. Lawrence Valley



Sunday, August 20, 2006

POTSDAM — Their body language told the entire story.

High expectations at the first practice in May left the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers spirited, hoping to finally work their way to the Empire Football League's apex. Once the Vermont Ice Storm scored on their first possession Saturday night, shoulders sunk, legs became heavy and stares turned cold.

Backup quarterback Matt Paul tossed three touchdown passes as Vermont (5-2) rolled to a 30-0 victory over the Trailblazers at Sandstoner Park. Paul started in place of veteran signal caller Brad Ruderman, who missed the game due to a family commitment.

"We were a little concerned seeing as how Brad Ruderman has 10 years of experience, post high school," Ice Storm head coach Doug Perez said. "Matt only has one."

Paul fit in perfectly, however, completing eight of 11 passes for 143 yards in the first half. Austin Partain caught three balls for 93 yards, including a 40-yard score.

St. Lawrence Valley's quarterback situation, however, is the polar opposite. Joe Hutchinson started for the Trailblazers (0-7) after receiving limited reps in practice last week and was battling flu-like symptoms. Head coach Mike Britton said two-year starter Dave Currier attended practice, but was a no-show for Saturday's game, leaving his future in doubt.

"Obviously (Joe) doesn't know the plays as well as Dave did," said Dustin Burley, offensive tackle and captain. "He struggled a little bit, but he's getting the plays down."

The unfortunate result? The Ice Storm caught more of Hutchinson's passes than his teammates. Vermont hauled in three interceptions on the night to Hutchinson's one completion.

"These guys aren't quitters," Burley said. "We came out and gave them everything we had. It doesn't matter who it is."

After holding Ottawa to two points last week, the Trailblazers' defense was out of sync from the opening snap. Frustrations began to mount when a Paul pass in the second quarter deflected off the fingertips of defensive backs James Compeau and Lamont Lane. The ball conveniently landed in the hands of Vermont receiver Troy Canada for a 25-yard touchdown.

The climax came in the third quarter when the Trailblazers received 60 yards worth of unsportsmanlike penalties and an ejection for defensive end Norm Martel.

Compeau was certainly one of the bright spots on the field for St. Lawrence Valley. In a gritty performance, the second-year back totaled 53 yards on 15 carries.

"Our passing game earlier in this year has opened our running game, and our blockers are doing a great job," Compeau said.


St. Lawrence Valley defenders team up to stop ball carrier Donny LaFleur of Vermont at the line of scrimmage on Saturday.

Compeau and Lane, among others, have continued to play nearly every down in the last two weeks — offense, defense and special teams. Compeau snagged an interception in the third quarter.

"It definitely wears you down," Compeau said. "But as far as toughness goes, it's pure adrenaline. I love being out there, and I'll play every down if they need me to."



The Watertown Red and Black saw its four-game win streak come to an end with an EFL loss to the Albany Metro Mallers at Bleecker Stadium.

Albany quarterback Scott Lawson tossed two touchdown passes, and rushed for another as the Mallers (5-0) remained the only unbeaten team in the EFL.

Red and Black QB Doug Black didn't fare quite as well. He finished 4-for-17 with 38 yards, in addition to two interceptions.

After falling behind 14-2, Watertown running back Anthony Noel hurled a 75-yard scoring strike to Lester Cole, and the Red and Black (4-2) went to halftime trailing by just six points.

Noel added a three-yard touchdown run, and Kiechle scampered four yards for a score as the teams traded touchdowns in the second half. The Red and Black attempted, but failed, to complete a successful onside kick following Kiechle's score with 2:53 remaining. Albany then ran out the clock.

"If we do a couple things differently, this game could be attainable," Watertown coach George Ashcraft said.

On defense, Mike Dumaw recorded 11 tackles, while Jamar Cherry contributed six. Jeremy Podilla and Duane Woodall each notched a sack for Watertown. Defensive back Keith Jones was taken to an Albany hospital with a neck injury, but team staff reported him to be OK following the game.

With its win over St. Lawrence Valley, the Vermont Ice Storm regained a half-game lead over Watertown in the Northern Division standings. The Red and Black are now tied for second place in the division with Lake City, which was idle.

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