Sunday, August 05, 2007

EFL Post Game Press Coverage August 5th

Lake City, Ottawa play to tie

OTTAWA "" The Lake City Stars rebounded from a difficult loss to the Vermont Ice Storm a week ago.
Unfortunately, it wasn't with a win.
The Stars came back to tie the Ottawa Deacon Demons, 10-10 in overtime, to move their Empire Football League record to 1-2-1 on the season.
Trailing 10-7 with just over five minutes remaining, Ryan DeCamp kicked the Stars into overtime with a 27-yard field goal.
"Both teams had their chances in overtime," Lake City head coach Pat Keleher said.
Ottawa appeared to have pulled out the victory late in overtime as Doug Watters lined up a 25-yard field goal.
Kevin Fessette had other ideas, however, as he broke through to block the kick and give Lake City one last chance to drive for the victory.
"We hit a couple of passes and got the ball down the field into field goal range with 24 seconds remaining and no timeouts," Keleher said. "We took a chance for the end zone and the ball was deflected. Their player dove and caught the ball, but there was a little bit of controversy because we felt he was out of bounds.
"It was my call to take a shot at the end zone, or at least get closer, instead of kicking the long field goal. In retrospect we probably should have kicked it, but that's the way it is."
Ottawa took over with about 18 seconds remaining, but couldn't find the end zone.
The Deacon Demons opened the game with a 3-0 lead on Watters' 22-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Lake City took the lead at the half, 7-3, when Heath Geiser connected on a halfback-pass to Matt St. Clair for a 40-yard touchdown.
Ottawa reclaimed the lead when Brent Hill found Shaun Harkes on a five-yard touchdown pass.
"I thought that we played very well defensively," Keleher said. "They tried to run the ball down out throats, but they couldn't. They had to throw the ball and didn't have too much success besides a couple of home run balls "" one of which set up their score in the third.
"Our defensive back was with the receiver stride for stride, but the receiver had great concentration and came down with the ball.
"This was a well played game by both teams. It was hard fought and statistically it was quite equal. Both teams ran the ball OK, but each defense did a good job against the run."
After two weeks on the road, Lake City will be back at Melissa L. Penfield Park next Saturday as the Watertown Red & Black will travel to Plattsburgh. Watertown lost an 18-15 showdown with Vermont on Saturday.
Lake City 10, Ottawa 10, OT
Lake City   0 7 0 3 0"" 10
Ottawa      0 3 7 0 0"" 10
Scoring summary
Second quarter
O- Watters 22 FG, 7:47.
LC- St. Clair 40 pass from Geiser (DeCamp kick), 10:53.

Third quarter O- Shaun Harkes 5 pass Brent Hill (Watters kick), 4:43.
Fourth quarter LC- DeCamp 27 FG, 9:55.

Copyright © 1999-2006 cnhi, inc.


Eagles fall just short of win in Canada



The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Eagles tried to do the unimaginable on Saturday night in Canada — and nearly pulled it off.

With just 17 players crossing the border, the Eagles fell short of a victory.

Andrew Blevings hit a 18-yard field goal with 1:40 to play as the Chateaguay Titans rallied to beat the Eagles, 15-14, in an Empire Football League game.

Quarterback Ted Wallingford hit 18 of 25 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown to Corey Champi, a 26-yarder that opened the scoring in the first quarter. Gary Visnofsky added the two-point conversion run to give the Eagles an 8-0 lead.

Nick Parlanti, who ran for 57 yards on 12 carries, gave the Eagles a 14-6 halftime lead with a 10-yard scoring run in the second quarter.

The Canadian team got on the board in the second quarter with a 40-yard scoring pass from Kevin Wyeth to Marvin Joseph.

Dennis Houle tacked on a five-yard scoring run in the third quarter to close the deficit to 14-12.

The Eagles defense kept the Titans from getting the go-ahead touchdown late, but could not prevent the game-winning field goal.

Wallingford drove the Eagles to the Titans 35-yard line before the clock ran out.

Phil Ross led the Eagles receivers with six catches for 80 yards while Champi added six catches for 77 yards.

George Romiti made 11 tackles and Scott Garrity added seven for the Eagles, who visit Amsterdam next weekend.

©The Times-Tribune 2007


Zephyrs victorious

POTSDAM - Fullback Elijah White scored twice as the Amsterdam Zephyrs got back in the win column downing the St. Lawrence Valley Trail Blazers, 35-7, in an Empire Football League game on Saturday night.

The Zephyrs, 2-2, will return home at Lynch and host the Scranton Eagles.

Quarterback Ken Schaefer connected on 12-of-26 passes for 215 yards and one touchdown.

The Zephyrs' running game shined as Tarquan Pearman reached the end zone once and gained 110 yards. Jorge Rodriguez added another score and put together 70 yards.

White ended the game with 85 yards.

Defensively, Greg Woodard had eight tackles from his end position while John Sausville and Rick Fish combined to star at middle linebacker.

Cedric Pearman caught a 71 touchdown pass from Schaefer and totaled 160 yards on nine receptions.

"I give a lot of credit to my offensive coordinator Mike Finocchi and Tom Manny. They devised a great game plan. It's a good win. I'm happy with their effort. We have some things to work on (against Scranton). We stayed focused and established the running game early," said Zephyrs head coach Dom Ruggeri.

The Zephyrs had a 35-0 lead until late in the game when St. Lawrence Valley scored on an option play.


Amsterdam Zephyrs post 35-7 victory

By The Leader-Herald

Published on Sunday, August 05, 2007

POTSDAM — The Amsterdam Zephyrs picked up 410 yards of total offense in a 35-7 Empire Football League victory over the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers Saturday night.

"We physically dominated them, which is what I wanted to see," Amsterdam coach Dominic Ruggeri said. "I wanted us go on the road and take care of business."

Tarquan Pearman ran for 110 yards and scored a first-quarter touchdown for the Zephyrs (2-2) and Kenny Schaffer went 12-for-26 through the air for 215 yards and a touchdown, which he completed to Cedrick Pearman for 65 yards for the Zephyrs' first score.

Fullback Elijah White scored two second-half touchdowns to put the game out of reach and the Zephyrs pulled their starters in the middle of the third quarter.

St. Lawrence Valley (0-4) scored its only touchdown in the fourth quarter on an option screen pass.

"They played good and didn't quit," Ruggeri said. "Our guys executed well on offense."

It wasn't all good, however, as the Zephyrs got inside the St. Lawrence Valley 10-yard line twice, but couldn't get it in.

"The score could have been a lot worse," Ruggeri said.

The Zephyrs will host the Scranton Eagles next week as the Zephyrs look to get on a roll.

"They're not satisfied, which is what we want," Ruggeri said. "We're going to be home next week against Scranton. This team is on a mission right now. We're not going to let up on anybody."

Amsterdam 35, St. Lawrence Valley 7
Amsterdam             14 0 7 14 — 35
St. Lawrence Valley 0 0 0 7 — 7

First Quarter
A — Shaffer 65 pass to C. Pearman (Montes kick)
A — T. Pearman 25 rush (Montes kick)

Third Quarter
A — White 30 rush (Montes kick)

Fourth Quarter
A — White 22 rush (Montes kick)
S — 45 pass (kick)

Watertown Daily Times

Short-handed Trailblazers fall again




Sunday, August 05, 2007

POTSDAM — Saturday night marked the conclusion of another week where the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers were forced to make too many adjustments on the fly.

And once again, the positive results unfortunately came too late.

With the roster slimming down due to injuries and the best athletes playing two ways, the Trailblazers couldn't keep up with Amsterdam in a 35-7 loss in an Empire Football League matchup at Sandstoner Park.

Where the Trailblazers (0-4) are experiencing a serious state of flux for a second straight year is at quarterback. They were without three-year veteran Dave Currier for a second straight game due to personal reasons. Wide receivers Joe Hutchinson and Christopher Tom each took snaps in relief, but the shot gun offense sputtered. They managed just 35 yards through the air.

"We just haven't had any consistency with the offense in practice," said Mike Britton, the Trailblazers' offensive coach. "Our defense does a great job in game situations, but without consistency in the offense, it really hurts us."

St. Lawrence Valley's defense kept the game close in the first half, halting the Zephyrs (2-2) multiple times in the red zone. Amsterdam connected twice in the first quarter on a 1-yard score by Tarquan Pearman and Cedrick Pearman's 55-yard touchdown reception.

But Zephrys head coach Dominic Ruggeri still credited the Trailblazers for their red zone stops. Cheyenne Dashnaw led the St. Lawrence Valley defense with 15 tackles and a sack.

"We were inside the 10-yard line about four times in the first half, and we just couldn't punch it in," Ruggeri said. "They played and really good defense in the first half. I think we just wore them down in the second half."

The Zephyrs' running attack, combined with a tiring Trailblazers defense, couldn't be stopped in the second half. Amsterdam hammered home three more rushing scores, including two from fullback Elijah White, to lock up the victory.

"The defense needs more time to rest," said Jim Compeau, the Trailblazers defensive coach. "We went to a six-man front to stop the run and did it for the most part. We had a few third-down breakdowns. If the defense can get more rest, they'll be ready to go the whole game."

St. Lawrence Valley finally received a small sign of hope in James Compeau's 60-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter. He finished 87 yards on the ground, played most of the game on defense, and Ruggeri took notice.

"I told (Coach Compeau) that his son was one heck of a player and didn't quit," Ruggeri said. "He played ironman football out there, and he's a real pleasure to watch."

"It at least gives us some confidence going into the next game, knowing that we can score a touchdown in a few seconds," James Compeau said. "Our offense has great plays, we just have to get the ball in the end zone."


Todd Kiechle completed five of 15 passes for 135 yards, including two touchdown passes, but the Watertown Red and Black lost a thrilling 17-16 decision to the Vermont Ice Storm in Colchester, Vt.

Watertown kicker Leo Grant missed a 51-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in the game. An offsides penalty was called on Vermont, giving the Red and Black another shot at victory. Watertown was awarded a 46-yard field goal attempt, which failed.

Watertown head coach George Ashcraft was upbeat, despite the outcome.

"I've been doing this for 17 years, and we haven't lost many games like this when you have two shots for a field goal that was about 50 yards, fell about a foot short of the goal post, and they got a 5-yard penalty for being offsides, and then the next one didn't go through. That's how close this game was."

Watertown's Brian Beltz started the scoring in the second quarter, completing a 36-yard pass from Kiechle.

But Vermont retaliated as Austin Partain caught a 23-yard pass from Brad Ruderman, and Justin Bristol kicked a 26-yard field goal for the Ice Storm, who led 10-7 at halftime.

"We made a couple turnovers in the first half that kind of broke our stride," Ashcraft said. "This was a very attainable game, but nobody gave up. I really believe this will be the championship game the second week of October."

Ruderman also completed a 47-yard touchdown pass to Zack Howe in the third quarter as Vermont (4-0 league) remained undefeated.

Beltz also caught a 36-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter with two minutes remaining to bring the Red and Black within one point of the Ice Storm.

Ernie Miller recorded 16 carries for 110 yards, while Lester Cole caught three passes for 63 yards for Watertown (5-2 overall, 3-1 league).

Copyright 2007. Watertown Daily Times, Inc., Watertown, NY. All rights reserved.


  August 5, 2007

For love of the game

Reverend? Prison guards? Bouncers? Now that's a football team!


Seven years ago, Rev. Rob McGee was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia and given 12 months to live.

So now, when he pulls off his helmet and shoulder pads on another muggy night at this mosquito-infested clearing located in the middle of the woods near Grace O'Malley's on Ogilvie Rd., it is with an even greater appreciation of the hitting and the being hit that's gone on the past two hours than have his Ottawa Demon Deacon teammates.

And that's saying a lot.

"I always wanted to play again, but when I was diagnosed with cancer I didn't think I'd get the chance," explains McGee, a minister at the Life Centre on Innes Rd. and a four-year veteran outside linebacker on the Demon Deacons. "The doctor just scratches his head when he looks at me now.

"This is an amazing opportunity to live outside the church. It's a lot of fun. It's great to be around guys that love the game so much."

Indeed, there can be no denying the passion of the Demon Deacons, who took a 2-1 Empire Football League record into their Minto Field (behind the Nepean Sportsplex) meeting with the Lake City Stars of Plattsburgh last night.

The players --who range in age from 18-year-old wide receiver Bobby Massie to 44-year-old defensive end Dan Turton -- do not get paid. In fact, it cost them $200 each to join the league and then they have to either buy or rent their own equipment.

They have a variety of jobs, from bouncers to business owners to prison guards, and almost all have folks at home depending on them. Now, this isn't some over-35, non-contact hockey league we're talking about here. This is a sport that promotes vicious body contact. These are guys risking their very livelihood, and digging into their pockets to do it.

"It's all about the love of the game," says running back Eddy Napoleon, a 33-year-old former Sooner who is leaving practice at Ken Steele Park and heading to his midnight shift at the OC Transpo garage. "I'm not ready to coach. I still thought I had it in me. I still think I do.

"I'd been out of football for 11 years and I heard about this team through (through former Sooners teammate Derek Manning). He said, 'you gotta come out.' I told him I'm out of shape. I'm fat, I'm ugly and I can't play football any more. Then I thought, why not? I got myself a personal trainer. I went on a diet, I shed 25 pounds. And as far as being in shape, well, now I'm in shape.

"In the back of my head, I always wondered if I could still take a hit. Well, the guys on this team are the hardest hitters in the league. And I go up against them at practice. I can still take a hit."

So could 24-year-old T.J. Williams.

He was an exceptional running back with the Demon Deacons until partway through the team's first home game a couple of weeks ago. He must have caught his finger in the shoulder pads or facemask of a tackler before he fell, the thinking is, for when Williams got to his feet, he screamed that he thought the bone was broken.

It was a little more serious than that. When Williams pulled off his glove, the top part of his finger, from the knuckle up, came off with it.

"I was right there," says safety Grady Tucker, cringing at the memory. "It wasn't pretty."

Tucker is the lone American on the Demon Deacons. He's from south central Los Angeles and is in Ottawa for two years as part of the military personnel exchange program. He's a strapping dude who last played in 1999 for the semi-pro California Dolphins of the Southwest Football League.

The Demon Deacons will have to do without Tucker for the next two weeks, as he is returning home to exchange his championship ring for a wedding band.

"I was at McArthur Lanes in a bowling league when some guy saw my ring and asked me what it was," Tucker, 37, recalls when asked how he became a Demon Deacon.

"I told him, and he said, 'We have a football team here?' I went home, looked on the Internet, and saw there was a team in North Bay ... that wasn't going to work for me ... then I found this one. I called the coach, he invited me out, and it's been awesome.

"This is a very tight-knit team ... the tightest I've ever been on."

It appears that new coach Jeff Pinck is more than partly responsible.

Pinck was the defensive co-ordinator last year, and "five or six years" before that, he was a linebacker on the team.

Originally from Toronto, he's also a former York University DB coach who appeared at an Ottawa Rough Riders camp as a guest coach under the late Jim Gilstrap.

With an approximate 50% turnover in personnel from last season's 3-9 Demon Deacons, Pinck says there's also been a major attitude adjustment.

"We've gone from a me-first team to a team-first team," says Pinck, a 44-year-old sales rep for Nestle Waters who has to leave practice at 10 p.m. and make the overnight drive to Guelph for a meeting with his bosses. "The one thing about this city is, nobody knows who we are. We're owned by Wilbert Scott and Wilbert Scott Jr., and the team used to be the Montreal Condors.

"But just say we're the old Bootleggers. We've got a pretty good team."

The Demon Deacons could use more coaches (they have a staff of three, plus a trainer), as well as sponsors and fans, although a decent-size crowd (about 300) paid $7 a ticket to attend the first home game of the season in the American rules football league.

What they have in abundance is the commitment and dedication to continue the chase of their dream, even while the years creep up on them.

"It doesn't affect my church attendance," says Rev. McGee. "Sometimes it's hard to get going on a Sunday morning after a Saturday night game, or getting home at 5 a.m. from a road trip.

"But the sacrifice is worth it to play the game you love."


Aug. 11 -- at Vermont Ice Storm

Aug. 18 -- vs. Watertown Red and Black

Aug. 25 -- at Scranton Eagles

Sept. 8 -- at Amsterdam (N.Y.) Zephyrs

Sept. 15 -- vs. St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers

Sept. 22 -- vs. Chateauguay Titans

(All home games 7:30 p.m. at Minto Field)

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