Saturday, August 25, 2007
EFL Pre Game Press Coverage August 25th
Stars' future can still include playoffs
By KEITH KANE
The Stars weren't able to find the end-zone, but showed glimpses that fortunes could be turning the corner in a 10-0 defeat to the undefeated Vermont Ice Storm.
Brandon Keleher rushed for 70 yards on 15 carries to lead the way as
Nolan, who guided the Stars at quarterback last season, was hesitant in his first stint under center, but completed 7-of-22 passes for 80 yards and an interception. Matt St. Clair hauled in five passes for 70 yards.
The Stars' defense again was strong in defeat, limiting a powerful Ice Storm offense to just 10 points in the game.
Lake City still has a lot of work to do to make it into the Empire Football League playoffs, but a small step could be taken tonight as the Stars face off against the Chateauguay Titans (3-3), out of Quebec, who currently reside just ahead of them in the standings.
Tonight's game gets underway at 7:30 p.m. in
The Titans fell to
The Zephyrs' Elijah White scored a touchdown with just over two minutes remaining to tie the game. On the ensuing kickoff, however,
The Titans' Kevin Wyeth was 19-of-28 throwing the ball for 187 yards and a three touchdowns. Zan Symonds added 84 yards on four completions and a touchdown.
Sean Kennedy (6-for-78), James Treldon (4-for-77) and Akked Moore (6-for-66) hauled in a total of 16 passes for 221 yards and four touchdowns.
The EFL is off next week for Labor Day weekend. With a win tonight,
The Stars, after tonight's game, will finish their season with home games against St. Lawrence Valley and
Despite such a poor start in the victory department,
Vermont Ice Storm 10, Lake City Stars 0
Amsterdam Zephyrs 35, Chateauguay Titans 28
Watertown Red & Black 20, Ottawa Deacon Demons 14
Scranton Eagles 25, St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers 19
Amsterdam at Vermont Ice Storm
Lake City Stars at Chateauguay Titans
Ottawa Deacon Demons at Scranton Eagles
Watertown Red & Black at St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers
Trailblazers try to hang tough
EMPIRE FOOTBALL LEAGUE: St. Lawrence Valley gets most out of dwindling number of players
By MAX DELSIGNORE
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Any of the remaining players on the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers could be in line for the recognition. The squad is once again facing the unfortunate circumstance of filling in the holes left by injured or departed players. As a result, the best athletes participate on almost every snap.
The Ironman Award, which is one of several awards presented in October following the conclusion of the EFL season, can be explained or defined in a plethora of ways. Trailblazers offensive coach Mike Britton describes an "ironman" as someone who "does an outstanding job in all levels of the game."
Britton and defensive coach Jim Compeau can check off several viable candidates on this year's team.
"It's been a tough adjustment, but the guys want to do it," Compeau said. "They actually are coming to us and asking to play those positions. And the ones that want to do it are natural athletes."
The latest example is veteran lineman Norm Martel. Not only is he currently ranked third on the team in tackles, but he volunteered to play center for the first time two weeks ago at
"It's worked out well, but the injuries are taking a toll at this point," Compeau said. "So, now we have more players going both ways than we had before."
Compeau's son, James, is the epitome of an "ironman" player for St. Lawrence Valley. He plays every down except for punts. He's the team's top running back and defensive back, and even earns time at safety. He's also recorded the most interceptions (four) and logged the most yards on kickoff returns.
But for the first time, Jim said his son is beaten up, and James wishes they had more help.
"Every practice we have is critical," James said. "To see someone come once a week or not at all, it's not going to help us at all. We need those guys that want to play and be here to play in the positions we need."
St. Lawrence Valley had approximately 25 players in uniform in last week's slim defeat to
You also can't forget starting wideout Danny Staton, who volunteered to return to his natural position as a defensive back against
"I first converted from defensive back to a wide receiver mostly because of my speed, and my hands developed after a while," Staton said. "(The adjustment) hasn't really been hard. I've been waiting four years to play defensive back."
Granted, the coaches would never nominate the Trailblazers for the Ironman Award as a team since they're forced into this scenario every season. But Martel, Compeau, Tom, Staton and others deserve mention for grinding it out on every snap.
More importantly, it's those core players who are keeping the franchise afloat, hoping that victories will soon follow.
"That's why everyone keeps coming back," Compeau said. "It's these guys that know we have a chance that keep coming back."
MELANIE KIMBLER-LAGO /
Copyright 2007. Watertown Daily Times, Inc.,
Zephyrs hit the road looking to avenge loss
By MIKE ZUMMO, The Leader-Herald
Published on Saturday, August 25, 2007
The Leader-Herald/Bill Cain
They avenged the second last week when they beat the Chateauguay Titans 35-28. They'll get a chance to pull themselves within a game of first place if they can manage a win against the first-place Vermont Ice Storm, which enters today's game with a 6-0 record.
"It's going to be very difficult,"
The Ice Storm beat the Zephyrs 26-14 at
"We've been waiting for this one," Ruggeri said. "We knew that if you take them away, we had them beat at home. We're really looking forward to this one."
Brad Ruderman did most of
The rushing game wasn't effective, as the Zephyrs allowed only 43 total yards on the ground, 18 to Jason Young and 15 to Akeem Williams.
"We're going to make some changes defensively to match up to their passing game," Ruggeri said. "They weren't able to run on us the first game. We have to play much better in the secondary."
The Zephyrs are looking to patch up a defense that allowed 287 yards in the air as the Chateauguay Titans exploited the Zephyrs' secondary.
"We had some blown coverages and guys weren't dropping in their areas," Ruggeri said. "They did tightening up when they needed to, but they were giving up too much in the meantime."
Special teams nearly undid the Zephyrs last week as the kickoff return squad let two possessions go back over to the Titans.
"I [focused Thursday] on special teams," Ruggeri said. "We're going to really work on that. The focus is special teams and cutting down on mistakes."
Ken Shaffer was just as effective through the air, completing 20-of-41 for two touchdowns. Cedrick Pearman hauled in 10 of those passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns and eight passes for 85 yards to Evan DeGeorgio.
The Zephyrs also added Chucky Dukes, who Ruggeri expects to help shore up the running game.
"I think Chucky's going to be a big asset," Ruggeri said. "He's a top-notch tailback. He's been out of the game about five years, but he's going to be ready to go. I would anticipate about 10 to 12 plays out of Chucky this week."
The offense got itself going against the Titans last Saturday as Shaffer completed 15 of 24 passes for 175 yards, completing five each to Cedrick Pearman and Eric Johnson, who Ruggeri said could be a big key in tonight's game.
"They're going to be so concentrated on other guys that Eric can have a big game," he said. "He made some big catches for us last week. He's one of the guys that knows where the sticks are."
Tonight's game will have serious implications on the Empire Football League playoffs, as Ruggeri said if the Zephyrs win by 12 points, they'll have home-field advantage over the Ice Storm if both teams have identical records at the end of the season.
"The guys are really focused and we've been waiting for this one," Ruggeri said. "We're going into the lion's den and we really have to come out fighting."
Zephyrs facing key game
By TONY PASTORE
Recorder Sports Staff
Amsterdam Zephyrs head coach Dom Ruggeri is describing tonight's road game against the Vermont Ice Storm as "huge" for the team's playoff standing.
With a record of 4-2,
Ruggeri says the key to the early season loss to
"We made bad mistakes that were really uncharacteristic of this football team. We made mistakes on our part and they capitalized,"Ruggeri said. "They are a disciplined, good football team that plays well at home. It's like going into the lion's den. It's going to be tough."
In the teams' first meeting,
Despite being on the road and the early season loss, Ruggeri says his team is ready for the big game.
"They are really focused this week. We are stressing special teams going into this game. We can't make any mistakes on the road. My guys are going to go up and fight to the end. They know it's a huge game," said Ruggeri.
"Elijah is coming into his own. He is a powerful guy who is gaining confidence with every game. He is going to get even better as he gets stronger and more confident," Ruggeri said.
Ruggeri says Dukes, who now in his mid-30s and has not played football in six years, is in shape and ready to play.
"Chuck Dukes will play at tailback this week. Chuck is in phenomenal shape and he is healthy. He looks like he has not lost a step at all. He is eager to get going and help us make a push. He is going to be an asset and help Elijah come along," said Ruggeri.
Despite last week's win,
"We lost Hulett, which is a big hole to fill. We moved around guys' positions to try to counter balance
Ice Storm sit 10th nationally
August 25, 2007
The Ice Storm secured the No. 10 position.
"The ranking is a tremendous accomplishment for the entire organization," said head coach Doc Perez in a news release. "We have been putting the pieces together for seven years and are beginning to see the hard work pay off.
"We can't celebrate too much. An extremely talented football team is coming to town (tonight) and we need to be ready to play.
Central Piranha (7-0) of
Eagles battling financial woes
BY MARK COONS
As the Eagles prepare for tonight's 7:30 game against the Ottawa Demon Deacons, the team has fallen into desperate financial straits. So bad, in fact, there is a distinct possibility they may not finish the 2007 season.
According to General Manager Ben Simmons, the combination of a decline of sponsorship revenue and poor drawing at the box office have brought the Eagles to this point.
"Right now, it's the crowds that are the big thing. It's the thought that we've had big crowds over the years," Simmons said. "We are just not getting the crowd size that a sponsor needs."
Another factor in the decline in attendance is the constant struggle for the area's entertainment dollar.
"I think the real decline started when the Red Barons came to town (in 1989)," Eagles vice-president and head coach Mike Arcure said. "Now, you have the Penguins, movie theaters, concerts. There is just so much more now to do in this area."
The term "semi-pro" is a misnomer. The Eagles' players do not draw a salary. Monies derived from the team's revenue streams help defray the cost of team expenses, including stadium rental, referee's fees, uniforms, medical tape for players and travel costs. While the team furnishes jerseys and game pants, a player is responsible for the remainder of his equipment.
Despite the off-field problems, the Eagles bolstered their kicking game this week when they signed former kicker Scott Perry. Perry, an
The Eagles (2-4), sit just a half-game behind second-place
"On the field, this team is good enough to make the playoffs and possibly win the championship," Scranton Eagles team president and linebacker George Romiti said. "Off the field, it's been tough to pay the bills. Every week, we scrimp and scrape to pay them."
"Since the last time that we played them, we've moved some players into different positions," Arcure said. " Phil Ross has seen more time at tailback and Cory Champi has played some wide receiver."
Last week, Ross ran for 61 yards on eight carries while Champi grabbed a pair of passes for 63 yards in the victory over St. Lawrence.
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©The Times-Tribune 2007
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