Saturday, July 28, 2007
EFL Pre Game Press Coverage July 28
PREVIEW: EMPIRE FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Saturday, July 28, 2007
When, where: 7:30 p.m., today, Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds
St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers vs.
When, where: 7:30 p.m., today, Scranton Memorial Stadium,
Coaches: SLV, Mike Britton (offense), Jim Compeau (defense, special teams);
2007 records: St. Lawrence Valley (0-2);
NOTES: The Trailblazers are looking to rebound after a disappointing 44-0 loss to
Copyright 2007. Watertown Daily Times, Inc.,
Eagles optimistic for matchup against St. Lawrence Valley
BY MARK COONS
The Eagles (0-2), who lost 49-0 to
"He had X-rays and an MRI on the shoulder and the doctor said he was OK to play," coach Mike Arcure said. "He's going to practice, but we're going to take it slow with him just to make sure he's all right."
The Eagles also added some defensive help this week as they signed lineman Dave Drake, a former standout at Lackawanna Trail.
Among the bright spots last week was the play of receiver Louis Verdetto and rookie kick returner Rob Solimini.
Verdetto, from Old Forge, caught five passes for 75 yards. On the season, Verdetto leads the team with 11 receptions for 137 yards.
Solimini, a Bishop O'Hara product, helped get the Eagles solid field position with returns of 35 and 25 yards.
, while a third, a 90-yarder that put the Eagles near the goal line, was nullified by a penalty. Solimini is averaging 29.9 yards on his nine kickoff returns this season.
"Rob is like a little spark plug. He's small and fast, the other team has a hard time finding him," Arcure said. "We're trying to find ways to get him the ball offensively. He's been a nice little surprise for us."
St. Lawrence Valley (0-2, 1-3 overall) looks to do much of their damage offensively through the air. Quarterback Dave Currier has passed for 345 yards with a pair of touchdowns this season while receiver Joe Hutchinson has hauled in a team-high 13 receptions for 149 yards and a score.
"They picked up some players from
Saturday is Big Brothers/Big Sisters Night, sponsored by the Eagles. A percentage of the night's gate receipts will be donated to that organization. ...The Eagles and Trailblazers have met only once, with the Eagles taking a 37-14 home decision in the ninth week of 2005.
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looking for thaw Lake City
By KEITH KANE
A year ago, however, the Ice Storm joined the Empire Football League and quickly became a thorn in the Stars side.
The Stars travel to
"We had an excellent week of practice,"
"Last week did a lot for our confidence. This is the closest thing to a rivalry that we have in the EFL and we are awfully excited to go out there and play."
The Stars rebounded from a first week loss to
Matt Bezio threw for 232 yards and three touchdowns to lead
"My goal is to go in and have a balanced attack," Pat Keleher said. "I think we had that last week and had a pretty good offensive night. Again, if we give Brandon and Kyle (Nolan) an opportunity to run, they can run "" they are good backs."
Brad Ruderman finished with 309 yards on 23-of-38 passing and two touchdowns. Rob Joy (79 yards) and Austin Partain (73 yards) each had five catches in the game. Partain and Troy
Ruderman sliced up the Stars' secondary a season ago, and so far this season
"We have worked hard back there to straighten out our assignments," Pat Keleher said. "I am hoping we are more solid in knowing what we are doing and not blowing late leads. It wasn't like the
"(Pairtain) is tough, but he isn't there only guy. We are going to be very cognisant as to where he is and how they are going to use
"My concern is not really that we will be able to move the ball, but us being able to stop them and stop Ruderman."
Gordon has three touchdowns and 137 yards receiving so far this season on seven catches.
"We are hoping to get the running game going a little more," Pat Keleher said. "With a strong running game it gets the pressure off of Matt and opens the passing game up.
"Every minute that we have the ball then
"It's going to be a battle. They are a good team and there's no question we like to be the underdog. But I don't mind being the underdog."
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Zephyrs ready for shoot out with Titans
By BILL CAIN, The Leader-Herald
Published on Saturday, July 28, 2007
The Amsterdam Zephyrs are set for a shootout at Chateaugay tonight. The Zephyrs are without a large portion of their defense, so the onus is on the offense to keep up with another strong offense.
"The pressure of this week is solely on the offense," coach Dom Ruggeri said. "It's going to be a shootout and we have to outscore them. Thank God we've got an offense like we've got."
Ken Shaffer leads the Zephyrs offense and Ruggeri said he believes his wide receivers can take advantage of slower defensive ends to provide him with open targets throughout the game.
"We're going to attack their secondary," Ruggeri said. "That's where they're slow. Their corners don't have the speed to stay with our receivers. Depending on what kind of coverage they play, that'll dictate somewhat what we do on offense, but we're going to open it up a little bit."
The Chateaugay defense has a large line, Ruggeri said, and they are well-coached and disciplined. The speed of the
"Our offense matches up well with their defense," Ruggeri said. "I think we have the edge with our speed. That could be our advantage, but I think their defensive line may be bigger than our offensive line, which could make it a wash."
The Zephyrs are also missing middle linebacker Greg Woodard and outside linebackers Ricky Fish and Penta Thomas.
In light of the missing personnel and the likely ways Chateaugay will attack the defense, Ruggeri said he will go with a 3-4 defense, manning up at the corners, in an effort to take away the short passing game.
"It's going to be a tall task for our defense," he said. "We've got young guys in place who can step in, but they don't have the experience. They have the talent and I have confidence they can get the job done. It's just going to be baptism under fire for some of them."
Ruggeri said he young players will have to remain disciplined in the secondary against an offense that will throw about 70 percent of the time. Any slip-ups will be costly, he said, because Chateaugay's receivers will find the open spots.
The Zephyrs enter tonight's game with a 1-1 record after dropping last week's sloppy game to the Vermont Ice Storm, 26-14. Ruggeri said he thinks is eating at his players a little bit.
If they can rally around the belief that they should still be undefeated, he thinks they may be able to not only perform well enough to win this game with missing personnel, but turn in a few good weeks in a row and head to
"Even though the guys are upset about blowing last week's game – they knew they were better than them – they're looking forward to winning this one and taking care of the next two," Ruggeri said. "The goal is to be 4-1 when we go up to
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