Saturday, September 30, 2006
EFL Pre Game Press Coverage September 30th
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ESPN 1390, WCAT in
Larry Richards will have the call of the game. Richards, along with Sports Director Chris Fells have broadcast six of the team's games this season. Richards is also the play-by-play voice of WCAT's Friday night high school football coverage.
Sports Director Chris Fells will be joining the game in progress. Fells will be returning from
Chris Fells--Sports Director--802-318-1012
Sports Director--ESPN 1240 WSKI, ESPN 1390 WCAT, ESPN 1420 WRSA, and
ESPN 1490 WFAD
Stars, Ice Storm meet again in Empire Football League playoffs
By: KEITH KANE
September 30, 2006
In two meetings this season, the Stars and the Vermont Ice Storm have been virtually equal on the football field. The end results, however, tell a different story. The Ice Storm took a 37-31 victory in overtime in
In both games, the usually stout Stars' defense yielded big yardage — 497 and 439, respectively. Wide receiver Austin Partain, in particular, proved to be a thorn with eight catches for 175 yards in the first meeting and seven catches for 176 yards in the second.
"Somehow we have to figure out a way to slow him (Partain) down,"
"They are one of the most explosive offensive teams in the league and we have to figure out a way to slow them down."
Brad Ruderman's passing attack has been able to pick apart the young Stars' secondary in both games with a combined 588 yards and six touchdowns.
As expected, the Ice Storm rushing attack didn't get a lot of work, but the ground game can be quite effective. It has amassed 348 yards in two games.
"We are going to need to handle their runs," McCallister said. "They don't run the ball very often, but they have excellent runners."
The good news for
Back at Penfield, the Stars dug themsevles a 27-3 hole before the offense finally got track. In his first game back from injury, Nolan hooked up with Chris Verkey on an 11-yard touchdown and Brandon Keleher scored on a 4-yard run — with Trevor St. Clair hauling in two 2-point conversion — to pull
However, a late touchdown by the Ice Storm and a failed 2-point conversion attempt on their next touchdown sealed the Stars' fate.
If nothing else, the Stars showed they could play with
"Kellen is 100 percent healthy," McCallister said.
"He should be rid of a little bit of rust and hopefully in a better groove. We have to take care of shutting them down early in the game; we can't let them go down and score at will.
"They finished 8-2 and their only losses were against
"I think it will be a very good game and when the dust settles we hope to be in
By Andrew J. Westley
Free Press Staff Writer
September 30, 2006
The Vermont Ice Storm head into their first Empire Football League playoff game facing a very familiar foe.
The Ice Storm, who moved up from the AA New England League to the higher level AAA Empire League this year, take on the cross-lake rival Lake City Stars in the first round of the playoffs at 7 tonight at Colchester High School.
Head coach Doug "Doc" Perez offered a little insight into his unique recipe for success: "You have to go into battle a little audacious and a little frightened."
That mix, Perez said, will keep a team from becoming complacent, a condition he worries his team will fall into after having defeated
"There are a lot of examples of teams in the NFL that beat a team two times, but then can't finish them off," Perez said.
Perez has looked to quarterback Brad Ruderman for leadership. Ruderman has passed for 1,787 yards and 20 touchdowns in nine games.
His favorite target has been former
"Most of us have been together for the last three years," he said. "The thing that helps us is that we play well together as a team."
The offense has played well against
The Ice Storm rushed for 348 yards in their first two matchups with
As tough as it is to beat a team for a third time and then face perennial power
"I think they're very good."
Sunday, September 24, 2006
EFL Post Game Press Coverage September 24th
Lake City Stars hold on to win season finale
September 24, 2006
MONTREAL, Que. — After a difficult loss to the Vermont Ice Storm a week ago, the Lake City Stars found themselves in the middle of a battle with the Chateauguay Titans on Saturday in Empire Football League Football.
The Stars held a slim 27-22 lead with the Titans driving inside
But Earl Parks came to the rescue with a huge interception which set up the Stars at their own 5-yard line and helped preserve a 27-22 win in the regular season finale.
"That interception was huge,"
"We were able to run the ball to their 45-yard line and then were able to take a knee to run the last four minutes out."
The Stars opened the game's scoring when Kyle Nolan plunged into the end-zone from a yard out. They took an 8-0 lead when Kellen Nolan hit Trevor St. Clair for the 2-point conversion.
The Titans didn't stop there, however, as they too scored late in the first half and scored the 2-point conversion tying the score at 14 at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Kellen Nolan again found Geiser, this time for a 28-yard touchdown pass. Gus Terry's extra-point gave the Stars a 21-14 lead.
With just under five minutes remaining, Brandon Keleher gave
"I know that nobody believes me when I say (
"We got tested out here and it was touch-and-go there for a bit. It was definitely a game the entire time and we ran the ball well."
Keleher finished the game with 153 yards rushing on 19 carries. Geiser added six carries for 38 yards.
Kellen Nolan was 7-of-20 passing for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Geiser caught two passes — both touchdowns — for 83 yards. James Blocker added 31 yards on a pair of catches.
"Now we play
"On July 5 I looked around and we had 17 guys on the roster, and we almost thought about folding the team. If you would have told me that we would be 7-3 I would have thought you were crazy. They have overcome a lot and we are probably the most inexperienced team with a lot of rookies.
"I am very proud that this team is 7-3, and the sponsors, fans and the team should be proud of what they have accomplished and hopefully we can go to
Retiring Eagles end with loss to
Even though Kennedy scored a rushing touchdown and passed for another, the Watertown Red & Black sent the quarterback and Romiti to defeat with a 21-14 decision at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Kennedy’s No. 17 and Romiti’s 57 were retired by the team, and each had memorable moments in their final game.
Romiti, who made 22 tackles, picked up a fumble and got into the end zone, but was ruled to have been downed.
But Kennedy got the Eagles (1-8-1 in Empire Football League play) points after the turnover, hitting Andre Chollette with a 13-yard scoring pass with two minutes left in the first half, bringing
Noel Anthony tacked on a 3-yard run at 10:10 of the third quarter to finish the Red & Black’s scoring.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Kennedy scored from the 6, then hit Ben Worlinsky for the two-point conversion to close the scoring.
Kennedy went 9-for-24 for 122 yards passing in his final game. Gary Visnofsky ran 13 times for 88 yards in a losing effort for the Eagles.
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Red and Black prevails to claim division crown
Sunday, September 24, 2006
With the win, the Red and Black also earned a bye for next week's first round of the EFL playoffs.
Doug Black completed 8-of-16 passes for 179 yards against the Eagles (1-8-1). A 54-yard connection to Lester Cole in the final minute of the second quarter set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Ernie Miller. The play helped to give
St. Lawrence Valley closes out winless EFL season at Ottawa
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Quarterback Chris Wakeman connected with Chad Culver on a 50-yard touchdown in the first quarter for the Deacon Demons (3-6).
Ricky Delaney recorded a team-high eight tackles, including a sack and a second-quarter safety for the Trailblazers (0-10). Trailing 14-2 at halftime, Greg Roberson broke off a 76-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the third quarter. He also added six tackles.
Jamie Pau's 28-yard scamper in the fourth quarter sealed the win for
"There were only 24 guys that came over tonight," Britton said. "But the guys are determined more than ever to make sure there is a team next year."
Regular Season Finale – a Playoff Tune-up
The Albany Metro-Mallers used the season finale of the Empire Football League regular season as a tune up for the upcoming post season. Taking on a depleted Amsterdam Zephyr squad, the defending champion of the EFL ran away with a 40 – 0 decision.
Sylvester Cooperwood, Culture Branch, and Maceo Clinton each scored 2 touchdowns. League Leading QB Scott Lawson in limited action, threw for two scores including a 95 yarder to Branch early in the second quarter. Ken Schaefer, in second half relief of Lawson connected for Branch’s second score from 36 yards out.
The EFL’s top running back Sylvester Cooperwood opened the scoring with a 32 yard cutback run barely 4 minutes into the game.
Cooperwood would later tally his league leading 15th touchdown of the EFL season on a 2 yard dive at the end of the second quarter.
Coop also kicked 2 point after touchdowns and converted a 2 pointer after an errant snap. Already well atop the league rushing statistics, his sixteen points on the evening cements his spot at the top of the leagues scoring list with 100 points on the night. Culture Branch meanwhile, broke the 1000 yard mark in receptions for the league season.
With a number of Mallers sitting out or playing only part time on the evening to get some additional healing time of nagging injuries, the defense bent but wouldn’t break. Amsterdam threatened on a long drive in the first and second quarter over a nearly 14 minute span marching downfield from their own 33 down to the Maller 1, on the legs of workhorse running back Jared Brown and the 3rd down play of QB Eric Johnson and Evan DeGregorio, but couldn’t get into the endzone, as they turned it over on downs. Their only other scoring opportunity was a 35 yard field goal attempt by Alvaro Montes which fell short of its mark. Ray Russell, Athan Schindler Anthony DeChairo and Terry Cumberbatch anchored the defense, and along with outstanding play from Brian Domingo, June Mitchell, and Sean Snoop Singleton and others resulted in the shutout.
The Zephyrs complete their season with a 3-7 record.
Tri State Bulldog contest for the Southern Division Title on October 7th. An
Le Soleil du samedi - Édition du 23 septembre 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
EFL Pre Game Press Coverage September 23rd
Route 5 Rivals Close out Empire Football League Regular Season
The 2006 Empire Football League Regular season comes to a close Saturday night as 10 teams
across the Northeast meet in 2 countries and 2 states to close out the leagues 37th regular season, with the playoffs getting underway next weekend.
Locally the Amsterdam Zephyrs travel Route 5 to the State Capital to take on the defending champion Albany Metro Mallers at Bleecker Stadium, kicking off at 7:30 PM. Amsterdam comes in at 3-6 having been eliminated from playoff contention last weekend by Broome County, while Albany at 8-1 in league play leads the Southern Division and will have a bye in the first round.
Six of the leagues eleven teams will meet in the playoffs leading up to the Empire Football League Championship Game on October 14th at a site to be determined.
The rest of tonight’s schedule includes St. Lawrence Valley (
Kennedy, Romiti to retire
BY JOBY FAWCETT
It pains both to admit it, but the clock is striking midnight.
Longtime Scranton Eagles standouts John Kennedy and George Romiti will play their final game tonight — both are retiring from semi-professional football — when the Eagles host
“I know that I’m going to miss it,” Kennedy said. “It will have to happen before I realize how much. We have had some tough years and I wanted to be around when we turned it around. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.”
For Kennedy, the decision to step away from the game closes a career that began 24 years ago out of
During his career, the 42-year-old was the leader during the glory years of the 1980s, helping guide the Eagles to seven Empire Football League championships with the last coming in 1999, and four national championships. He was the EFL Offensive Most Valuable Player in 1993 after throwing for 2,466 yards and 34 touchdowns.
Kennedy, who had tryouts with the New England Patriots and the Miami Tribe of the Professional Spring Football League, has thrown for 39,556 yards and 387 touchdowns, completing 2,632 passes on 5,158 attempts with just 280 interceptions.
What Kennedy was to the offense, Romiti was to the defense for the past 11 years. He has 704 tackles, 10½ sacks, seven fumble recoveries and five interceptions in his career.
In the last two years, the 45-year-old has led the EFL in tackles with 109 and 122. He has also played 140 straight games.
“We both came to the conclusion that we should retire now,” Romiti said. “I think it’s about time that we step down. I had fun for 11 years. Me and John are two of the last ones to have championship rings, so it’s going to be tough. I had a blast.”
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By: KEITH KANE
September 23, 2006
PLATTSBURGH — The Lake City Stars, a week after falling to the Vermont Ice Storm, look to regroup tonight against the Chateauguay Titans at 7:30 p.m. in Montreal.
The Stars' defense struggled against the Ice Storm, giving up 257 yards through the air by quarterback Brad Ruderman. He connected with Austin Partain seven times for 179 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
"From what I have seen this week, practice could have been a lot better," Stars head coach Ed McCallister said. "Obviously, we are coming off a big letdown in losing to
"The good news is we are in the playoffs, but we are going to
In their first battle, the Stars knocked off the Titans 38-14, including scoring 21 unanswered points in the second half.
Heath Geiser's punt return and Earl Parks' interception return — both for touchdowns — capitalized an extraordinary second half for
"If we are going to be a serious contender, then we need to go and win this game and we have to play well," McCallister said. "I hope the guys can stop feeling sorry for themselves and realize that we need to get back on the right track.
"We are going to have to learn to execute better," McCallister said. "The good news is we will get a good test tonight. Both of their quarterbacks are good passers. I think it's a good thing to play them now and be able to get some work for
There is still an outside chance that
"There is only one way to win and that is going through both
"Tonight is about getting ready to play and we are going to have a real test, but hopefully we will be able to get it done."
Zephyrs wrap up season tonight
By BILL CAIN, The Leader-Herald
“There’s nothing on the line,”
The Metro Mallers boast the Empire Football League’s top-rated passer in Scott Lawson. He has thrown for 2,059 yards, completing 65.5 percent of his passes. They also have Sylvester Cooperwood, who has gained 1,020 yards on the ground for
When they met in
“He’s an awesome back and he knows how to run downhill,” Ruggeri said. “When he gets outside, he doesn’t go out of bounds, he’ll come right at you.”
The Zephyrs will start the same secondary that held Lawson to 110 yards passing in their first meeting. In that game, the young secondary of
While the secondary is back in coverage, Ruggeri said Rick Hewlitt and the rest of the pass rush will attempt to keep Lawson and Cooperwood off balance.
“We’re going to blitz,” he said. “I’m going to tell the guys to blitz and get after him and hopefully we can disrupt them.”
To motivate his players, Ruggeri said he told some of them how he’d like to see them finish up the season. Eric Johnson has been a receiver playing quarterback for the Zephyrs and Ruggeri thanked him for his contribution and told him to have fun tonight. Next year, Ruggeri expects increased numbers and already has his eye on a new quarterback, which will allow Johnson to move back to his natural position.
On defense, Ruggeri wants Hewlitt and Mike Philo to finish on a high note. He expects Philo, and possibly Hewlitt, to retire after the game, but he is trying to talk Hewlitt into staying. Hewlitt currently leads the EFL in sacks with 8.5, ahead of
“We had a talk and I told Rick he has a good two or three years left in him,” Ruggeri said. “I’m trying to talk him into staying around, but it looks like he might be retiring. I told him if he is going to do that, to go as hard as he can and go out on top. That’s the way to finish.”
Philo, who has also taken on punting responsibilities, has been a solid presence on defense, Ruggeri said.
“He’s the heart and soul of our defense,” he said. “He’s worked hard all year and he’s going to retire. He’s 41 now and he played like a 20-year-old all year. It’s amazing. He did a hell of a job for us.”
If all the players step up and play as if it were their last game, the Zephyrs could give the Metro Mallers more of a run than they did last time around. More importantly, they could finish their return to the EFL with a win over a quality opponent and build momentum for next season, when they expect to have more numbers following their February team meeting.
Tall order faces struggling Zephyrs
By MIKE COLLAR
Recorder Sports Staff
Amsterdam Zephyrs head coach Dom Ruggeri would like to see his team finish the season on a positive note — but it won't be easy.
The 3-6 Zephyrs take on the Empire Football League Southern Division-leading 8-1 Albany Metro Mallers at 7:30 tonight at Bleecker Stadium.
In the first meeting on Sept.12,
Cooperwood leads the EFL in rushing with 1,020 yards on 152 attempts (6.7 average) and 13 touchdowns. Culture Branch is the primary receiver hauling in 41 catches for 808 yards (19.7 average) and eight touchdowns.
The veteran Scott Lawson will again direct signals. He's experiencing a banner year with 114-of-174 for 2,059 yards and 16 touchdown passes.
The Mallers come at their opponents in every direction and are tough to defend.
Eric Johnson is the Zephyrs quarterback and has put together numbers like 52-of-190 for 735 yards and seven touchdowns.
Evan DeGeorgio leads the EFL in punting with 38 attempts for 1,306 yards (34.4 average) and defensive end Rick Hulett is tops in sacks at 8.5. Both are bright spots for the Zephyrs.
The Mallers have a two-game lead over the Tri-State Bulldogs 6-3 followed by Broome County 5-4, the Zephyrs and Scranton 1-7-1.
"The guys who went to the game last week (against
Of course, the Mallers will have plenty to say about that as they get ready for the playoffs.
Ruggeri also points out it depends on how many players make the trip, if they can give the Mallers a game.
"We played the year with 40-42 guys but on some road trips we missed some people. This has been a successful year. I'm hoping the guys will fight to the end. I think this year was a learning experience for me," said Ruggeri.
After posting just one win two years ago in its first season,
"I'm definitely not going anywhere. I will be back," said Ruggeri.
PREVIEW: EMPIRE FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Saturday, September 23, 2006
When, where: 7:30 p.m., today; Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Last meeting: Sept. 24,
NOTES: A lot is riding on this game for the Red and Black.
St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers at Ottawa Deacon Demons
When, where: 7:30 p.m., today,
Records: St. Lawrence Valley (0-9);
Coaches: St. Lawrence Valley, Mike Britton;
Last meeting: Aug. 12,
NOTES: The Trailblazers didn't suffer a more heartbreaking defeat this season than their last meeting with the Deacon Demons. Gary Pelletier scored on a 2-yard run with approximately four minutes remaining in regulation, which was enough to edge St. Lawrence Valley. ... The Trailblazers' Cheyenne Dashnaw is back to full strength after he recorded a league-best 15 tackles on Saturday in their 21-2 loss to
September 19, 2006
The Vermont Ice Storm, coming off a 34-25 victory over the Lake City Stars in their regular-season finale Saturday, await the result of other Empire Football League games before learning if they will have the opportunity to play host to more than one playoff game.
The Ice Storm are 8-2 and sit atop the Northern Division with one home playoff game guaranteed.
Against Lake City on Saturday, Brad Ruderman threw a pair of touchdown passes to Austin Partain and another to Troy Canada as the Storm took a 20-3 lead at the half.
Ruderman hooked up with
Ruderman was 11-for-19 for 266 yards and four touchdowns. Partain had seven receptions for 176 yards and the two TDs. John Fahey rushed for 79 yards on seven carries and Jason Young collected 71 yards on 10 carries
Regular Season Standings as of 9/16/2006