Sunday, August 26, 2007

EFL Post Game Press Coverage August 26th


Scranton Eagles defense key in win over Ottawa



A stout defense got just enough help from the offense to lift the Scranton Eagles to victory Saturday night at Scranton Memorial Stadium.

Rob Wehner scored on a three-yard run with three minutes left as the Eagles rallied for a 10-7 win over the Ottawa Deacon Demons in an Empire Football League game.

The defense, which held Ottawa to a third-quarter touchdown and little else, put the exclamation point on the victory. Defensive back Deshwan Meyers picked off a pass after Ottawa had driven to the Eagles 40-yard line with 35 seconds left in the game.

Scranton (3-4) moved into second place in the EFL Western Division with the victory, dropping Ottawa (2-4-1) to third place.

The Eagles offense moved the ball early in the game, driving deep into Deacon Demons territory before stalling. Scott Perry, whose first run with the Eagles began in 1989, salvaged three points from the drive by booting a 32-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Defensively, George Romiti and Nick Parlanti started racking up tackles, as Romiti finished with 12, two more than Parlanti. Parlanti, a Mid Valley product, delivered one of the Eagles' three interceptions, as did Wehner.

But the Deacon Demons finally got on the scoreboard in the third quarter as Sean Harkes scored from the 1 six minutes into the second half. Dave Walters tacked on the extra point to give Ottawa a 7-3 lead.

The Eagles turned to the pass on their game-winning drive, as quarterback Ted Wallingford connected on a 23-yard pass to Cory Champi to the Deacon Demons 1 to set up Wehner's game-winning touchdown.

Wallingford finished 14-for-22 for 162 yards and one interception. Matt Williams hauled down five passes for 55 yards while Champi accumulated 62 yards on his three receptions.

Former Valley View standout Phil Ross led the running game with 65 yards on 17 carries for the Eagles, who return to action on Sept. 8 to play division-leading Vermont at Memorial Stadium.

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©The Times-Tribune 2007




Watertown Daily Times

Red & Black rollicks on road

EMPIRE FOOTBALL LEAGUE: St. Lawrence Valley fails to put up much fight




Sunday, August 26, 2007

POTSDAM — George Ashcraft has had enough of the long road trips.

The longtime head coach of the Watertown Red and Black hopes his squad won't have to leave their football field at the Watertown Fairgrounds for the remainder of the Empire Football League season. The Red Black capped off a monthlong stint of away games with a convincing victory on Saturday night.

Behind four touchdowns from its defense and special teams, Watertown steamrolled St. Lawrence Valley, 47-0, in an EFL matchup at Sandstoner Park. It was Red and Black's third straight road win and the team's final regular-season game away from home.

Watertown (6-1) will play its final three games in September at home, and Ashcraft figures that with a little help, the playoffs will have to be completed at the Fairgrounds.

"I hope Amsterdam can back up what they said in the paper," said Ashcraft of Amsterdam's plans to knock off unbeaten Vermont on Saturday. "If they do what they say they're going to do, then Amsterdam still will have to play Vermont in the playoffs. If they can do that, we can still run the playoffs through Watertown."

The Red and Black wasted little time disposing of the Trailblazers (0-7) on the way to punctuating the road trip with a win. Just a minute after the opening kickoff, Keith Jones ran back a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown to get Watertown on the scoreboard.

Following Anthony Noel's first of two rushing touchdowns to begin the second quarter, Mike Dumaw tiptoed into the end zone with a 60-yard punt return for a score.

"We haven't been rushing (the punter) lately because we've been returning so well," Dumaw said. "We've returned a bunch back (for touchdowns) this year, but most of them get called back. This game, it didn't seem to go that way. Everyone blocked the right way."

Watertown's defense was equally impressive with another stingy performance against an inept Trailblazers offense. The Red and Black notched its best statistical output of the season by holding St. Lawrence Valley to minus-38 yards of total offense.

Defensive back Brian Harris supplied the R&B with a pair of interception returns for touchdowns. The defense totaled three turnovers and three sacks, and Ron Troxler and Rob Hughes also added six tackles apiece.

"We've had that go on in nearly every game this year," Ashcraft said. "Even when we lost up in Vermont, the defense played an outstanding game. They made two mistakes for two touchdowns. They were both for over 30 yards, but take those two mistakes away, and I'm not going to complain."

The Trailblazers staggered through most of the game hoping to come out unscathed. Quarterback Christopher Tom was shaken up on a blind-side hit in the second quarter and didn't return. The lone highlight was Joe Hutchinson's interception in the first half.

"People weren't where they're suppose to be," Trailblazers defensive coach Jim Compeau said. "People are playing out of position and playing in places they haven't been before. We had to make some game-time decisions."

The Red and Black also started backup quarterback Gary Pelletier on Saturday. Ashcraft said Pelletier shook off some early rust and became more comfortable as the game progressed. Noel also finished with a game-best 99 yards on the ground on 12 carries.

Even though Watertown is running away in the EFL's West Division, Jones said the loss at Vermont earlier this month is proof that the team must remain focused on a title run.

"It shows, that by no means, we are immortal," Jones said. "On any given day, any team can be beaten. We want to make sure no one sneaks up on us, and we're our biggest opponent."


Watertown's Anthony Noel drives upfield during Saturday's Empire Football League game against St. Lawrence Valley at Sandstoner Park in Potsdam.


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



Zephyrs let another one

get away vs. Ice Storm

For the second time this season, the Amsterdam Zephyrs had the first-place Vermont Ice Storm right where they wanted them.

And for the second time this season, they let Vermont slip away with a victory.

Amsterdam led 13-0 in the second quarter, but a pass interference penalty led to a Vermont score late in the second quarter, and the Ice Storm returned a punt for a touchdown late in the third en route to a 21-13 Empire Football League victory.

"We had them beat, we just couldn't close the door," Zephyrs coach Dominic Ruggeri said.

The Zephyrs fell to Vermont, 26-14, in the teams' first meeting on July 21.

Amsterdam fell to 4-3 on the season, still good for second place in the EFL East, while Vermont improved to 7-0.

The Zephyrs took control of the game early on a pair of Elijah White touchdown runs, giving him five in the last two weeks since his move to tailback.

Amsterdam is off this week before hosting Ottawa in its final home game of the season on Sept. 8 at Lynch Middle School.

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