Saturday, August 18, 2007

EFL Pre Game Press Coverage August 18th

Lake City looking up in EFL race

Staff Writer

— PLATTSBURGH "" As the second half of the Empire Football League season gets under way, the Lake City Stars find themselves at the bottom looking up in the East standings.
The Stars (1-3-1) face an uphill climb that begins tonight as they face the undefeated Vermont Ice Storm (5-0) for the second time this season. The contest gets underway at 7:30 p.m. at Melissa L. Penfield Park.
The Ice Storm had the upper hand the first go around in Colchester, Vt. Vermont scored 35 points during the second quarter in a 35-7 victory.
Lake City was plagued by five turnovers in the game, including four interceptions, that helped lead to 21 points for the Ice Storm.
Vermont is coming off a 28-7 victory over the Ottawa Deacon Demons last weekend.
Brad Ruderman was 13-of-21 for 168 yards while tossing two touchdowns and an interception. Jason Young hauled in two passes for 62 yards and a touchdown while Austin Partain also added a score through the air.
Jason Young paced the rushing attack with 73 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown.
Lake City, however, is coming off a difficult 22-6 loss to Watertown a week ago. The Stars' defense was strong in the defeat, but the offense had a hard time moving the ball on the Red & Black's defense.
Watertown held Lake City to just 58 yards of total offense in the game, while the Red & Black finished with 281 yards of offense.
Matt Bezio completed 8-of-19 passes for a net of 47 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Matt St. Clair caught four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown.
With just five games remaining, the Lake City Stars are on the outside looking in at the playoffs.
Vermont leads the Eastern Division while both Amsterdam and Chateauguay stand at 3-2 heading into this week. Lake City needs to leap frog one of those two teams to land in the 2007 playoffs.
The Stars could get some help tonight as Chateauguay heads to Amsterdam to take on the Zephyrs.
Family Fun Day
The Lake City Stars are holding a Family Fun Day today from 3-6 p.m. at Melissa L. Penfield Park.
The day will include games, food, raffles, autographs, a bounce house, photos and DJ service provided by A&J DJ Services.
Empire Football League

Tonight's games
Vermont Ice Storm at Lake City Stars
Chateauguay Titans at Amsterdam Zephyrs
Watertown Red & Black at Ottawa Deacon Demons
Scranton Eagles at St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers

Copyright © 1999-2006 cnhi, inc.

All Ice Storm home games, and this week's game at Plattsburgh can be heard on ESPN 1390 WCAT in Burlington, and on the web at



Eagles' Klimek delivers game-saving play



In today's sports world, things happen in the heat of battle that may come off to the casual fan as unsportsmanlike or disrespectful.

The taunting after a defensive back makes a highlight-reel hit on a wide receiver. A batter "styling" down the first-base line after hitting a home run.

For most purists and traditionalists, these things leave a bitter taste, knowing how sports used to be. Athletes would go about their job in a business-like fashion, without a lot of flash or style, but still getting the job done.

Then, there is a moment like this.

It happened Aug. 11 in an Empire Football League game between the visiting Scranton Eagles and the Amsterdam Zephyrs.

With 13:42 left in the fourth quarter, Amsterdam running back Jorge Rodriquez took a handoff and was tackled on a hard hit by Eagles defensive back Paul Shanaman on the Zephyr 35-yard line. While Shanaman was able to get to his feet, Rodriquez remained on the turf at Lynch Middle School, having sustained a potentially severe neck injury.

Then, out of nowhere, Nathan Klimek, a 23-year old rookie linebacker with the Eagles, jumped into action to help out.

"It was a bad hit, the two players just collided," Klimek said. I told coach (Mike Arcure) that I think I should go out there."

Klimek, a graduate of Pittston Area and Bloomsburg University, is a paramedic with Lackawanna Ambulance as well as White Haven Medic 22.

"I told them I was a paramedic," Klimek said. "Together, we were able to get him immobilized and on a backboard for transport. (Rodriguez) was conscious and was able to move."

Twenty minutes after the play had ended, Rodriguez was taken to a local hospital.

According to Amsterdam coach Dom Ruggeri, Rodriquez sustained a severely sprained neck as well as several pulled muscles in his back. Ruggeri also said Rodriquez will be held out of this week's game with the Chateauguay Titans, but should return next week.

"Thank God that Nathan was there," Arcure said. "He just went in there and took charge. He just did a great job."

For Klimek, a gut reaction turned into something that some people will remember for years to come.

"I just ran on instincts. That's why I became a paramedic," Klimek said. "It just felt really good to have helped out."

Contact the writer:



©The Times-Tribune 2007


Watertown Daily Times



Saturday, August 18, 2007

Watertown Red and Black vs. Ottawa Deacon Demons

When, where: 7:30 p.m. today, Nepean Sportsplex, Ottawa.

Head coaches: Watertown, George Ashcraft; Ottawa, Jeff Pinck.

Records: Watertown (6-2 overall, 4-1 EFL); Ottawa (2-2-1).

Last meeting: Watertown won 29-12 on July 28.

NOTES: The Red and Black battered the Deacon Demons defense three weeks ago, mounting two second half drives of over 13 minutes each. ... Ottawa could struggle again as Watertown ran 46 times last week for over 200 yards. ... Tonight is the third of four straight road games for Watertown. ... The Demons lost last week by 28-7 to Vermont, the league's only unbeaten team. ... Ernie Miller (380 yards) has taken the league rushing lead over from Ottawa's Shaun Harkes (318). ... Ottawa's Craig Hodge already has 11 sacks, but he'll have trouble adding to his total against the Red and Black, which has allowed only four all season.

Scranton Eagles vs. St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers

When, where: 7:30 p.m. today, Sandstoner Park, Potsdam.

Head coaches: Scranton, Michael Arcure; SLV, Offense, Mike Britton; Defense and special teams, Jim Compeau.

Records: Scranton (1-4); St. Lawrence Valley (0-5).

Last meeting: Scranton won 28-7 on July 28.

NOTES: The Trailblazers were dealt their most humiliating loss of the season last week, a 52-0 pounding by Chateauguay. Titans quarterback Kevin Wyeth completed five touchdown passes, including four in the first half. ... St. Lawrence Valley's offense is still stuck in neutral and has reached a critical point in the season. In their loss to Chateauguay, the team totaled 43 yards on 39 plays, and quarterback Christopher Tom tossed four interceptions. ... Scranton quarterback Ted Wallingford connected for two TDs through the air and logged 157 passing yards in the Eagles win over the Trailblazers last month. ... Eagles lineman George Romiti is easily leading the EFL with 72 tackles this season. Right behind him are St. Lawrence Valley linebackers Ricky Delaney (54) and Cheyenne Dashnaw (49).

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


Watertown Daily Times

Consistent kicking bonus for Red-Black




Saturday, August 18, 2007

Enough good things have happened this season that Watertown Red and Black head coach George Ashcraft has been able to overlook kicking woes that have plagued the team during the first half of the season.

But that doesn't mean the coaching staff hasn't noticed.

Kicker Leo Grant has been effective, connecting on 5-of-7 field goal attempts. But the two misses were consecutive, and would have helped Watertown beat Vermont, which won a game 17-16 on Aug. 4.

Because one try was from beyond 50 yards, and the other beyond 40, Watertown (6-2, 4-1) isn't blaming Grant for the only blemish on its record.

Instead, the team is concerned that it doesn't seem to take every point it can get.

Grant, who is consistently one of the league's best kickers, is just 12-of-17 on extra-point attempts. That total includes a miss against the Ice Storm, and he also missed two last week.

Grant might not be completely at fault, however. He was also affected by the retirement of quarterback Doug Black, Grant's holder. In Black's absence, Watertown has already employed several different players at his former holder position.

That's why the veteran head coach isn't stressing. Not yet, anyway.

"Missing (extra points) sometimes costs you a game, and other times it doesn't matter as much," he said. "I'm not going to get all hysterical about it."

At 4-1 and atop the EFL's West Division, Watertown has not had to dwell on the occasional special teams flub. The league's highest scoring offense (155 points scored), and stingiest defense (44 points allowed) have assured that, most of the time, one point won't matter.

But as the trip to Vermont displayed, kicking struggles may eventually transform from a nuisance to the difference in a game.

Ashcraft said last week's victory over Lake City was beneficial for Grant, who nailed a long attempt in game's final minute.

"We're working with Leo now, and I think he has confidence back. He missed an extra-point, and got down on himself, but then kicked a 37-yarder," Ashcraft said. "He's fine now. He came out feeling a lot better about things."

Despite owning the league's best offense and defense, Watertown can only look up at Vermont, the EFL's only unbeaten team. If each wins the rest of their games, which they should, then Ice Storm would host the league championship game on Oct. 13.

After being away Aug. 4 and Aug. 11, the Red and Black again play on the road this week (Ottawa) and next (St. Lawrence Valley). The final three regular season games are set for the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

The team doesn't view its unusual schedule as a hurdle.

"We're just rolling with it, like I said we would," Ashcraft said. "The only thing we can do is keep playing, keep winning, and hope that if anything happens, it happens to Vermont."

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



Zephyrs ready for rematch with Titans

By MIKE ZUMMO, The Leader-Herald

Published on Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Leader-Herald/Bill Cain

Amsterdam's Elijah White (44) strains for extra yardage during last Saturday's game against Scranton.

AMSTERDAM — The Amsterdam Zephyrs have been waiting for tonight's game for three weeks.

Ever since Zephyrs coach Dominic Ruggeri and defensive coordinator Rod Schur had to suit up to fill out the team roster. Amsterdam was missing seven players before leaving for Canada and lost even more as quite a few weren't allowed to cross the border.

Overall, the Zephyrs were without 23 players and suffered a 34-18 loss to the Chateauguay Titans.

"I've got about 23 guys that didn't make the trip that are chomping at the bit to get them," Ruggeri said.

This time, the Zephyrs expect to have their full squad and Ruggeri said he's looking for his defense to shut out the Titans (3-2).

"We want to shut them out," Ruggeri said. "We don't want them to score. We want them to know that if we had our full team, they wouldn't have won. They're a class organization, but that was a hard one to swallow and the guys have not forgotten it."

The Titans' win over the Zephyrs (3-2) started a three-game winning streak and Chateauguay is coming off a 52-0 blowout victory over the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers last week.

"We're going to go right at them and attack them," Ruggeri said. "We're not going to sit back and wait. We're going to throw the ball and run the ball."

The Week 3 loss to Chateauguay put the Zephyrs two games behind the Vermont Ice Storm in the EFL East. A win tonight will give Amsterdam sole possession of second place.

"This is a must-win not only for the standings," Ruggeri said. "We want to keep the momentum going when we head to Vermont. We know we can beat them. We just have to execute and not make mistakes against them."

The Zephyrs played last week's game without starting quarterback Ken Shaffer, who found himself lying on a locker room bench with a migraine headache.

"That was a big blow," Ruggeri said. "You've got the top quarterback in the league and he can't go. That throws a monkey wrench into our plans. That's hard to adjust from."

Eric Johnson — normally a wide receiver — was forced into the starting quarterback slot on a moment's notice. He went 7-for-16 through the air for 72 yards with one interception in the Zephyrs' 15-6 victory over the Scranton Eagles last week as the offense did just enough to win the game.

"That was the object of what we were trying to do," Ruggeri said. "We asked Eric Johnson to step in. His timing was off and he hadn't run the offense. He did a great job managing the game. He did just what he had to do just to let the defense win it for us."

Ruggeri said he spoke to Shaffer Wednesday and he expects his quarterback to be ready to for tonight's game.

He'll have a new target tonight as well.

Ruggeri learned Thursday that the Zephyrs have added Bo Gaudreau, most recently of the Albany Metro Mallers, last season's Empire Football League champions. The Metro Mallers left the EFL after last season and now play in the North American Football League's Empire Division.

"He's been one of the premier slot receivers for the last five or six years," Ruggeri said. "He's decided to leave Albany and come to us and he will play [today]."

Defensively, the Zephyrs will need to stop Kevin Wyeth, who has thrown eight touchdown passes this season against two interceptions, and leading rusher Denis House.

"I had eight defensive starters that didn't make that trip," Ruggeri said. "It's going to be an emotional game for us because that was an easy win for us that was taken away."

Section: Sports

Zephyrs looking for some revenge


Recorder Sports Staff

The Amsterdam Zephyrs and Chateauguay Titans will play each other for the second time tonight at Lynch Middle School with stakes much higher this time around.

Both teams enter with identical 3-2 record and will be vying for sole possession of second place. in the Empire Football League East Division.

The Vermont Ice Storm own the top spot in the EFL East with a 5-0 record.

"We're in the hunt right now, but we need crowd support," said Amsterdam head coach Dom Ruggeri. "The crowds have been okay, but we need more people. This is a big game for us. We're not looking past Chateauguay. The guys have been focused all week. They're on a mission."

The first meeting between the teams on July 28 was the low point of the Zephyrs season — a 34-18 loss that featured 24 Amsterdam players unable to cross the United States border into Canada. Those 24 players spent seven hours at a McDonalds on the U.S. side.

"It was a very emotional game," Ruggeri said. "We had everybody out of position and no position players. It would have been a different story if we had all our guys there."

Ruggieri won't have that problem tonight. He'll have the services of 6-foot-7, 348-pound offensive tackle Aaron Robinson, who recently finished his fireman training. Another welcome addition is the arrival of Bo Goudrea, a wide receiver for the Albany Metro Mallers. Goudreau has been one of the top receivers in the EFL the last five years. He signed with Amsterdam on Thursday and later practiced with the team.

Ruggeri got more good news when quarterback Ken Schaefer put in a solid practice on Tuesday. He had been battling migraine headaches. Schaefer, one of the top quarterbacks in the EFL, is 64-for-129 with 894 yards this season. He has thrown for eight touchdowns and just own interception.

"He looks 100 percent," Ruggeri said of Schaefer. "He's definitely ready to go."

Gametime tonight at Lynch is set for 7:30 p.m.

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