Saturday, September 29, 2007

EFL Pre Game Press Coverage September 29th


Eagles get kick out of Perry



Scott Perry is bringing two things to the Scranton Eagles as they prepare for the Empire Football League playoffs, plenty of big game experience and a steady foot for an inconsistent kicking game.

Perry will look to pay some dividends as the local team travels to Canada tonight to battle the Ottawa Demon Deacons in an EFL quarterfinal game. The 40-year old kicker, a former Abington Heights and Moravian College standout, came back to the team after a chance conversation with Eagles coach Mike Arcure.

"Believe it or not, I ran into him in the supermarket," Arcure said. "I just asked him if he would like to play." It took a little coaxing, but Perry agreed to return.

After getting a tryout with the Philadelphia Eagles, Perry originally joined the local squad in 1989. In his first two seasons, he helped the team garner a pair of national championships. Perry still holds the team record with a 54-yard field goal against the Newburgh Raiders in 1996. Leaving the Eagles in 2000, Perry returned to help the Northern Tier Bruins to a national title in 2004.

"Scott can still make kicks and is able to kick it deep on kickoffs," Arcure said. "He also brings a lot of character and leadership to this team."

During the first six games this season, Eagles' kickers accounted for just four points. At one point, the team was living and dying by the two-point conversion.

In the last four games, Perry scored 12 points on three extra points and three-for-five in field goals.

In his first game back, Perry converted an extra point and a field goal in a 10-7 victory over the Deacon Demons. "When I came back, only Mike and my girlfriend, Ellen, felt I could do it," Perry said. "Everybody said that I was too old and couldn't play anymore."

The Eagles (3-7) finished the regular season in third place in the EFL Western Division, one-half game behind Ottawa. Scranton and the Deacon Demons split their two regular season matches, each team winning at home. The winner of tonight's game will travel to division champion Watertown next Saturday with the league championship scheduled for the October 6.

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©The Times-Tribune 2007


 Zephyrs take to road for playoff opener

By The Leader-Herald

Published on Saturday, September 29, 2007

AMSTERDAM — Still stinging from their 14-3 loss last Saturday to the Watertown Red and Black, the Amsterdam Zephyrs will take to the road for their opening round game of the Empire Football League playoffs.

"We finished in a tie for second place in our division," Zephyrs coach Dom Ruggeri said. "Chat-eauguay won the home field advantage on scoring differential."

The Zephyrs entered the game against the Red and Black shorthanded, then lost running back Elijah White on the first series with an ankle injury. Early-game errors hurt the Zephyrs in their attempt to bring an opening round home game to Lynch Middle School.

"We made two mistakes early in the game where they only had to go a total of 25 yards for two scores, " Ruggeri said. "We are going to be shorthanded again this week, which will be a huge disadvantage against Chateauguay. We are going to be down about 20 guys, but we are going to give it everything we have. I am proud of these guys. We went from winning three games last year to winning seven this year. That says a lot about this organization."



Recorder Sports Staff

The Amsterdam Zephyrs' worst fear came true last Saturday. The only way the Zephyrs could have lost the right to play a home game in first round of the Empire Football League playoffs was their own loss to the Watertown Red and Black combined with a Chateauguay Titans win over the Ottawa Deacon Demons and a Lake City Stars win over the Scranton Eagles and it happened.

Amsterdam finished 5-5, for a second place tie with Chateauguay in the EFL's East Division. The tie breaker came down to head-to-head point differential which Chateauguay had an eight point advantage over Amsterdam

The reason this is Amsterdam's worst nightmare is because more than half their roster is unable to cross the Canadian border. Amsterdam is left with 17 players that will compete tonight in Chateauguay, located near Montreal.

Amsterdam head coach Dom Ruggeri says the atmosphere of his team is optimistic despite the odds being stacked against them

"My guys are saying they will be there for Vermont," Ruggeri said. "Just win this week and we'll be back next week is what they are saying. I'm glad they have a winning spirit. They'll play hard for four quarters. It's a tough situation that hurts us tremendously. The Canadian laws are what they are. If we can somehow win, then going to Vermont will be much easier when we're fully loaded."

Some of Ruggeri's key players he will be missing include starting running back Jorge Rodriguez and wide receiver/backup quarterback Eric Johnson. On defense the team will be missing their top star Rick Hulett as well as starters Rick Fish, Greg Woodard and Penta Thomas.

Starting tailback, and the EFL's leading rusher, Elijah White will also be out of action but not because of the border situation. White hurt his ankle on the first play from scrimmage in last week's loss to Watertown.

"We're missing quite a few starters and will be undermanned," said Ruggeri.

Ruggeri will have Ken Shaefer returning to the lineup after a one week absence. Shaefer missed last week's game due to a family commitment. At one point Shaefer led the EFL in passing. Shaefer's favorite target, the EFL's leading receiver, Cedrick Pearman will be available as well.

Ruggeri also has his full defensive secondary available which could become the biggest factor in the game. Ruggeri suspects that Chateauguay will try to attack Amsterdam with their passing game.

"Their quarterback has had a great year and we handled their running game well this season," said Ruggeri.

Ruggeir will also attack Chateauguay threw the air.

"We are going to put the game in Kenny's (Shaefer's) hands. He is more than capable of carrying the offense on his shoulders and has done it before," said Ruggeri.

When Amsterdam visited Chateauguay in the regular season with the same 17 players, they lost due in large part to an interception that went for a touchdown and a kickoff return touchdown from the Titans. Amsterdam lost the game 34-18 on July 28. They defeated Chateauguay 35-28 at home on August 18.

"I'm very proud of this team. Our first goal was to make the playoffs, second was to advance and third to win the championship. It's amazing what we've done with this team in two years," said Ruggeri.

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