Saturday, August 04, 2007
EFL Pre Game Press Coverage August 4th
BY MARK COONS
Coming off their first win of the Empire Football League campaign, the Scranton Eagles take to the road Saturday as they make their second trip to Canada in three weeks when travel to Montreal to battle the Chateauguay Titans at 7:30 p.m..
The Eagles (1-2), a 28-7 victor over St. Lawrence Valley, are led offensively by quarterback Ted Wallingford and receiver Louis Verdetto.
"Offensively, we needed to get our running game going," Eagles coach Mike Arcure said. "Before the game, I challenged our (offensive and defensive lines) to be more aggressive."
Defensively, player-coach George Romiti has 44 tackles in three games this season, including 14 in last week's win. Linebacker Nick Parlanti of Mid Valley added nine tackles and safety Cory Champi intercepted the Eagles' first pass of the season last week.
In the Eagles' return game, rookie Rob Solimini from Bishop O'Hara continues to impress, averaging 30.7 yards per kickoff return.
As far as injuries are concerned, fullback Bill Sandly from
Like the Eagles, coach John Mouland's Titans picked up their first victory of the regular season with a 34-18 home win over the Amsterdam Zephyrs.
"That is a tough place to play," Arcure said. "And according to our reports, they have a big, fast and tough team."
This is the first of three straight road games for the Eagles, who will also visit
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©The Times-Tribune 2007
PREVIEW: EMPIRE FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Saturday, August 04, 2007
When, where: 7:30 p.m. today, Colchester (
Last meeting: Oct. 7, EFL playoffs,
NOTES: Tonight's game is the first of four straight on the road for the Red and Black. ... WR Lester Cole has caught a touchdown in each regular season game. He has six scoring catches to go along with 279 yards. ...
When, where: 7:30 p.m. today,
NOTES: The Trailblazers suffered a difficult road loss against
Copyright 2007. Watertown Daily Times, Inc.,
Trailblazers take pride in stingy line
PROTECTION PLUS: Winless St. Lawrence Valley has given up just 1 sack
By MAX DELSIGNORE
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Despite a winless start to the 2007 campaign, the Trailblazers' offensive line has gradually improved during the course of the franchise's existence. What used to be a porous unit has become one of the more consistent facets of the team.
And Miller said he and his linemates don't mind if they're never lauded for their effort.
"There is more heart on the offensive line this year," Miller said. "It's not the most popular position because no one gets the glory."
Where the offensive line will gladly take credit is in the one recorded sack they've allowed in three games this year. They surrendered 18 sacks in 10 games in 2006. Installing a shotgun offense from the beginning of the season has also helped improve those numbers.
"I think it goes back to the leadership and team work that the unit has demonstrated," said Ray Holz, who's in his third year as the offensive line coach. "Honestly, as the coach of the offensive line, I take no credit for that. They let me hold the clipboard. At this level, they're working their own deal."
Holz said the anchor to the offensive line happens to be first-year center Gordie Leonard. Leonard sacrificed touchdowns and receiving yards as a former wide receiver and tight end to aid an offense that's now moving the ball with more consistency.
"We try to give our quarterback confidence," Leonard said. "In the last three or four years, we've really struggled at that position because our quarterback always seems to be running for his life back there. We wanted to instill confidence in the leader of our offense."
Leonard is flanked by two capable veterans on his right side — Malone's Barry Hazen and Lee Blythe of
In Michael Lewis's recent book "The Blind Side," he explains how the position of left tackle has evolved into one of most critical positions in the NFL today. Lewis said the player's presence is felt solely by limiting the number of sacks against crazed pass rushers.
Lewis's opinion holds true for Miller and even Bogart, who said he gets his best work in twice a week.
"We've got some of the best defensive ends and linebackers in the league," said Bogart, the team's left guard. "We get to go against them in practice and that's the biggest challenge for us; (it) keeps us ready all week."
Quarterback protection should eventually lead to more points for the Trailblazers. Because of the group's ability to make quick adjustments and communicate positively, Leonard hopes their mission goes beyond this year.
"We're not afraid to make mistakes, even though we're young," Leonard said. "... It would be nice if we could stick together for three or four more years."
Copyright 2007. Watertown Daily Times, Inc.,
looks to get even Lake City
By KEITH KANE
Their rivals from across
Tonight, Lake City will look to even its record to 2-2 as it travels to Ottawa to take on the Deacon Demons at 7:30 p.m.
"Vermont is a good football team," Stars head coach Pat Keleher said. "They are solid right across the board. They have the size, the experience, the speed and the depth.
"That being said, we played with them for two quarters. We had a very good opening drive, but couldn't finish. We moved the ball well, and we played with them in the first quarter and early on in the second."
"The play that was most detrimental was the fumble that
"Before we knew it, it was 21-0, and that really rattled us. We had been down to both
Besides the turnovers "" and the 35 points in the second quarter "" the Stars played pretty well.
Brad Ruderman, who normally torches
"Like in the
"The biggest issue is we gave them 21 points "" I think if we don't fumble on the first play after they scored then it's a different game. Do we beat them? I don't know, but I don't think that they beat us 35-7."
The Deacon Demons are coming off their first loss of the season, 28-13, to
"Traditionally, they are a physical team," Keleher said. "They are a run-control type of team that tries to muscle you. But, so much can change from year-to-year, so they could be a completely different team."
Shaun Harkes is leading the way on the ground for the Deacon Demons with 258 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns.
Quarterback Brent Hill has completed 16 pass for 285 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite receivers have been Derek Manning (117 yards, touchdown) and Doug Watters (79 yards, three touchdowns).
"Our focus this week in practice was to eliminate the mistakes," Keleher said. "We have to go to
"I really believe that we will get better every week. The more game experience that they get, the better they will become. I think we have the potential to be better each week, and so far we have played three really good teams.
"The whole mindset was different once
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Zephyrs to meet winless Trailblazers
By MIKE ZUMMO, The Leader-Herald
Published on Saturday, August 04, 2007
The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo
Then, they lost seven more that weren't allowed to cross the border into
With limited personnel, the Zephyrs were unable to keep up with the Titans and lost 34-14.
"For the 19 guys that we had, they did well. I'm very proud of them," Ruggeri said.
Numbers shouldn't be as big a problem tonight as the Zephyrs will remain in
"We'll be fully loaded," Ruggeri said. "We've got our full squad. We're not going to
Fully loaded, but with some injuries. Rick Hulett is still out and offensive lineman Bob VanHoesen is still expected to be out for the next three or four weeks.
"Everything but that, we're pretty healthy," Ruggeri said.
The Zephyrs will also get Terry Coleman this week, who Ruggeri said is one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Coleman tore his hamstring last year and has been rehabilitating it ever since.
"That's a big boost to us in the secondary," Ruggeri said.
The Zephyrs have had some frustration building up between the loss to the Vermont Ice Storm two weeks ago and last week's fiasco at the border and Ruggeri said they're looking to take out that frustration tonight on the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers.
"They know we had
The Zephyrs also came home from
"We're giving him all the support we can and the guys are really rallying behind him," Ruggeri said. "It's making us even tighter."
The Zephyrs are looking to get on a roll against St. Lawrence Valley, which is currently 0-3 and last week suffered a 28-7 loss to the Scranton Eagles.
"We played them here last year," Ruggeri said. "They're very organized. Coach Mike Britton does a great job. We need to go up there and get the job done. There are matchup problems for them, but we can't afford to take anybody lightly at this point."
Ruggeri said the Zephyrs need to get the running game going to take the pressure of quarter back Ken Shaffer and the wide receivers and defensively, Amsterdam has to react to the ball and prevent the Trailblazers from running their trick plays.
"We have to react to what they do," Ruggeri said. "They're good at reverses and counters and we have to stay home."
Zephyrs looking to snap two-game slide
By MIKE COLLAR
Recorder Sports Staff
Head coach Dom Ruggeri is hoping the Amsterdam Zephyrs can regroup and stop a modest two-game losing streak when they visit the St. Lawrence Valley TrailBlazers in Empire Football League play today at 7:30 p.m.
After beating the Lake City Stars in game one, the Zephyrs lost to Vermont Ice Storm and then experienced a frustrating defeat to Chateauguay Titans.
"We are ready for them (St. Lawrence). We will be at full strength minus the same injuries as before," said Ruggeri.
The injury list has Rick Hulett out for at least three more weeks, Brian Thompson will miss the rest of the season and Bob VanHoesen sidelined for four weeks.
"The guys will bounce back in a big way. They know they had an easy win taken from them due to the border. They have something to prove right now and they are very focused," said Ruggeri.
Prior to the
The situation became worse when more players were denied entrance into
"It's unbelievable how we were treated. It was just a fiasco. The guys who missed the game stayed at a McDonald's for seven hours. That's just not right," said Ruggeri.
Jared Brown has been reinstated to the team after disciplinary actions by Ruggeri. That should give a boost to the running game.
The Colonials received bad news that tailback Tarquan Pearman's three-year old daughter died, but he's scheduled to make the game.
"The team is dedicating the game to Tarquan's daughter. The rest of the season will be in memory of her. It's just tragic," said Ruggeri.
The Zephyrs are tied for second place in the EFL East Division with
"After those games, we go to
The Zephyrs also welcome the return of cornerback Terry Coleman who experienced work issues.
So what is Ruggeri's game plan against St. Lawrence Valley?
"We want to take them out early and rest the starters. They are a good organization, but don't match up well with us. Mike Britton, their head coach, is a class act and always has his team ready to play. We can't take them lightly. I can see us getting on a roll and it's unfortunate St. Lawrence (0-3) is first in the path," said Ruggeri.
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