Sunday, October 07, 2007

EFL Post Game Press Coverage October 7th

Watertown Daily Times

Watertown to play for crown

EFL PLAYOFFS: R&B takes down Ottawa in West Division final




Sunday, October 07, 2007

The final score of Saturday night's Empire Football League playoff game between the Watertown Red and Black and Ottawa Deacon Demons was a bit deceiving.

The gap on the scoreboard was much narrower than the one between the two teams on the field.

Watertown wrapped up its second consecutive division title with a 16-10 victory in the West Division final at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

With it comes a berth in next week's EFL title game at Vermont, which beat Chateauguay 31-19 for the East title.

The Red and Black (10-1) will have a chance to avenge its only loss and win the team's first league crown since 1980, thanks mostly to its line-of-scrimmage dominance of Ottawa (4-7). Such an effort has come to be expected against the Deacon Demons.

"I think we could have scored more points," head coach George Ashcraft said. "I believe we're the best-coached team in the league. It will take 11 guys doing everything right at the same time, but I think we're capable of scoring 40 points against anybody."

Watertown again displayed its rushing prowess by tallying 191 yards on 38 carries. The Red and Black did most of its damage on the first possession of the second half.

Leo Grant booted a 24-yard field goal to give Watertown a 16-3 advantage with 5 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The 14-play, 62-yard drive ate up over 11 minutes. In three meetings, the Deacon Demons never challenged Watertown up front.

"You come in ready to play, and we know we can get underneath and move them," center Matt Greene said. "Once we get the lead, we're playing against the clock, not the other team. It tires out their defense and shortens the game when we keep that clock running."

But for the first time in a long time, and even though it was only three points, Watertown was forced to play while facing a deficit.

Doug Watters finished off Ottawa's initial series with a 23-yard field goal, but the Deacon Demons stalled until quarterback Davin Corbett raced 16 yards for a touchdown at the end of the game. Ottawa, which recorded just six first downs in the game, played without its top runner, T.J. Williams. He just didn't show up, according to coach Jeff Pinck, but it would have been difficult for him to make a difference from the sideline with Watertown controlling possession.

"Watertown has a hell of a fullback and tailbacks," Pinck said. "We struggle to stop them."

Anthony Noel and Matt Quay each notched first-half touchdown runs in the second quarter for Watertown, which sacked Watters six times.

"We can man-up against any team in the league and do well," Ashcraft said. "I don't care who we play."

Watertown's Todd Kiechle attempted only six passes, and completed three. He said the playoff win was sweet, even though it didn't feature a high-scoring attack.

"We'll take the W," he said. "We knew they'd take away the big plays, but if they want us to run 5 yards at a time, our offensive line loves that. We have a bunch of running backs who do, too."

Kiechle, who left briefly with a sore back, said the memory of last year's disastrous showing in the EFL final still lingers, and there is only one way to make it go away.

"We're bound and determined not to let that happen again," he said. "We will be ready to play."


The Red and Black's Matt Quay, front, celebrates after a touchdown during Saturday's Empire Football League playoff game.



Watertown's Lamont Lane returns a kick while trying to avoid Ottawa's Peter Kassotis during Saturday's EFL playoff game.

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



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Ice Storm advance to league championship game

October 7, 2007
COLCHESTER -- Brad Ruderman threw for three touchdowns as the Vermont Ice Storm claimed a 31-19 Empire Football League semifinal victory over the Chateauguay Titans at Colchester High School on Saturday night.

With the win, the Ice Storm earned the Eastern Division title and will play for the league championship next weekend.

The Ice Storm (14-0) jumped out to a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter when Ruderman hooked up with Matt Bombardier on the 33-yard pass.

Chateauguay responded with 9:18 left in the second quarter when Andrew Bledings slammed in from the 1-yard line. With the extra point the score was 7-all.

On the final play of the first half, former Essex standout Drew Gordon tipped a pass by Chateauguay quarterback Zan Symonds and Kyle Bombardier grabbed it, racing 40 yards to the end zone for a 14-7 Vermont lead.

The Titans closed to 14-13 when Sean Kennedy caught a 6-yard TD pass from Symonds with 7:20 left in the third. Then Ruderman -- who passed for 86 yards -- hit Matt Bombardier on a 12-yard TD pass with 1:25 left in the third for a 21-13 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, Ruderman connected with Troy Canada with a 14-yard TD pass for a commanding 28-13 advantage.

Evan Hicks, who hit four extra points, kicked a 28- yard field goal for Vermont.

James Treldon caught a TD pass from Symonds for the Titans' final score.

Vermont's defense held Chateauguay to 52 rushing yards for the game.

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