Saturday, September 30, 2006

EFL Pre Game Press Coverage September 30th

ESPN 1390, WCAT in Burlington, Vermont is pleased to announce the station will air this weekend's Empire Football League playoff contest between the Vermont Ice Storm and the Lake City Stars. The game can be heard outside of the Champlain Valley on the web at

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 Middlebury College football play-by-play duties for sister station ESPN 1490, WFAD in Middlebury, Vermont. Fells says of the broadcast, "This has been a tremendous year for Ice
Storm football. Vermont has a class organization, and we are looking forward to a long relationship with the team."

Contact Information:
Chris Fells--Sports Director--802-318-1012

Sports Director--ESPN 1240 WSKI, ESPN 1390 WCAT, ESPN 1420 WRSA, and


 Stars, Ice Storm meet again in Empire Football League playoffs

Staff Writer

September 30, 2006

PLATTSBURGH — It's now or never for the Lake City Stars.

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 Colchester, Vt. in game 1 and a 34-25 triumph at Melissa L. Penfield Park in the rematch.

Tonight, Lake City and Vermont tangle for a third time — in the first-round of the Empire Football League Northern Division playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7:30 in Colchester, Vt. with the game to be broadcast over 1390-AM.

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," Lake City head coach Ed McCallister said this week. "In two games against us he had 15 catches for 351 yards.

"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 Lake City is that they have been there until the end in both games. The Stars held a late advantage against Vermont in Colchester, despite losing starting quarterback Kellen Nolan to a broken rib in the first quarter. The Ice Storm scored the game-tying touchdown with less than 30 seconds remaining and kept Lake City from getting the ball in overtime.

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 Lake City to within eight points.

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 Vermont.

"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 Albany and Watertown, who were the two division leaders. They are a good football team, I believe we can beat them as long as we are solid and do not make mistakes.

"I think it will be a very good game and when the dust settles we hope to be in Watertown next week. It's the end of the season for whoever loses and I know we don't want to go home early."


Semipro football

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.

Vermont went 8-2 in its first season in the Empire League, including two wins over the Stars of Plattsburgh, N.Y.

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 Lake City twice in the regular season.

"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 Essex High School standout Austin Partain, who finished the regular season with 40 catches for 889 yards and eight touchdowns.

Troy Canada, who has scored six TDs this year, said the team's chemistry is a big reason for this season's success.

"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 Lake City. Ruderman has passed for 588 yards and six TDs in the two victories.

Canada, however, feels offensive balance makes this group so effective. "That's been key. It's our passing that sets up our runs," he said.

The Ice Storm rushed for 348 yards in their first two matchups with Lake City.

As tough as it is to beat a team for a third time and then face perennial power Watertown for the Division title, Perez feels good about his chances in the postseason.

"I think they're very good."

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