Sunday, October 14, 2007

EFL Post Game Press Coverage October 14th

return to

Ice Storm strike late to capture league title

October 14, 2007
COLCHESTER -- The Vermont Ice Storm won the Empire Football League championship Saturday night and did so in dramatic fashion.

Brad Ruderman hit Rob Joy for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 4 seconds left in regulation and the Colchester-based semiprofessional team snatched a 9-8 victory over the Watertown Red & Black in front of their home fans.

The touchdown came moments after Vermont watched Watertown seize an 8-3 lead and bumped the Storm's record to 15-0.

Watertown took its first lead with 4:03 remaining in the game when it pounced on Troy Canada's fumbled punt return, setting up George Eason's 8-yard touchdown run.

The Ice Storm marched down the field on its ensuing possession. On the pulsating drive, Ruderman converted a 9-yard pass to Canada on fourth-and-2 with 2:41 left. The veteran quarterback followed it up with a 14-yard strike to Austin Partain on another fourth-down situation with 41 seconds on the clock.

Evan Hicks drilled a 30-yard field goal with 2:12 into the second quarter to provide the Ice Storm a 3-0 lead, which carried into the fourth quarter.

With 2:26 left in the first half Leo Grant's 29-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right for Watertown.

Scott Dennis snared an interception for the Ice Storm with 2:15 left in the first quarter. Drew Gordon also had an interception for the Vermont in the fourth quarter.



Watertown Daily Times


Red & Black denied once more

EFL CHAMPIONSHIP: Vermont's late fourth-quarter touchdown drive sends Watertown to one-point loss in title game


Watertown's Alfredo Moore, left, and Ernie Miller meet for a prayer prior to the start of Saturday night's EFL championship game against Vermont. The Red and Black lost in the final for the second straight year.




Sunday, October 14, 2007

COLCHESTER, Vt. — When it comes to championship games, the Watertown Red and Black has witnessed a lot.

It was blown out last year, and on Saturday its kicker completed a prayer of a pass for a two-point conversion.

But Watertown is still waiting for another championship.

The Vermont Ice Storm engineered a 14-play, 65-yard drive late in the fourth quarter to hand the Red and Black a disheartening defeat — 9-8 — for the team's second loss in the Empire Football League final in as many years. The team last won a title in 1980.

Vermont's Brad Ruderman found Rob Joy on a fourth-down play from the four with 4.4 seconds remaining on the clock. Twenty-seven years had come down to four yards for the Red and Black, and its defense couldn't come up with just one more stop. Instead the Ice Storm, which had given the Red and Black its only other loss this season — also by one point — celebrated its first league crown with a victory at Colchester High School.

Vermont's final series was impressive as it was improbable. The Ice Storm (12-0) converted three fourth downs in the final 3:58. Plus, Watertown's defense had thawed its opponent's usually powerful offense as Ruderman completed only three passes prior to leading the game-winning drive. He finished 10-for-24, but solved the league's stingiest defense when it mattered most.

"We're not one to get scored on very often," linebacker Kyle Roshia said. "But 3-for-3 on fourth down? You can't have that and expect to win."

"This one took a lot of wind out of me," head coach George Ashcraft said. "Anytime you go 12-3, you can't cry too much. We had a great year. But this one hurts a lot right now."

Just minutes before Joy snagged the title-saving reception, Watertown (10-2 EFL) had its first lead of the game.

George Eason scored from seven yards out after the Red and Black's Rod Gleisner recovered a fumbled punt return at the Vermont 7-yard line.

But Watertown botched the snap on the extra-point attempt. Kicker Leo Grant picked up the ball, and heaved a pass that Dan Robl somehow reeled in for a two-point conversion. Those on the Red and Black sideline had good reason to celebrate. Its defense had controlled the game until that point. The Ice Storm knew it, too.

"We were down in the dumps then," said Ice Storm coach Doug Perez. "You're not exactly sure if you believe it or not, but we were trying to rally everybody, saying 'we're going to go right down the field and score.'"

The muddy field and steady rain didn't allow for very much consistent offensive play from either team. Watertown quarterback Todd Kiechle did, however, find success running the option in the third quarter as he gained 36 yards on his second second-half series.

But the Red and Black came up empty on the drive as Anthony Noel was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 from the Vermont 5.

"We just didn't put points on the board when we had to," Ashcraft said. "We have to have more of a dimension on offense than to say we are going to run the ball 85 percent of the time."

Vermont kicker Evan Hicks opened the scoring with a 35-yard field goal in the second quarter, and Watertown responded by driving to the Ice Storm's 11-yard line. But Leo Grant's field goal attempt sailed wide left.

It marked the second time this season Watertown left Vermont with a 1-point loss.

"To watch them walk down the field like that tears your heart out. We expected to win," said Ernie Miller, who rushed for 57 yards in the opening half.

Kiechle finished with 72 yards on the ground, but it was the defense that could have used a few fresh sets of legs down the stretch.

"You can't really take anything away from them," defensive back Brian Williams said. "We were right there, but they made plays. That's what football's about. We should be upset about the outcome, but not the way we played."


A different result might have happened had the Red and Black stuck with what worked in the first half.

Miller, who carried the ball on the team's first six plays, didn't get at a touch after halftime. He averaged 4.07 yards, but was left out of the game plan for the rest of the night.

"I don't know what I did to deserve to not play in the second half," he said.

None of the 18 running plays called after the break involved the team's top rusher. No explanation was offered as to why.

"I didn't know he didn't play in the second half," Ashcraft said. "I don't think there were a lot of touches to get. We just passed the ball a lot more."


Watertown's Brian Beltz tries to shake free of Vermont's Aaron Pyer during Saturday night's Empire Football League Championship in Colchester, Vt.

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




Kevin Wyeth(Photo Dan Rosenburg)

Le Soleil du samedi - Édition du 13 octobre 2007

Wyeth-less Titans eliminated in Vermont

Dan Rosenburg

The Chateauguay Titans' Empire Football League playoff run has ended. The team, without quarterback Kevin Wyeth, was eliminated 31-19 by the Vermont Ice Storm in last weekend's opening round. The Ice Storm clash with Watertown Red and Black in today's championship game.

A six-yard pass from Wyeth's successor Zan Symonds to Sean Kennedy; a one-yard plunge by Andrew Blevings and a Symonds aerial to Treldon James accounted for the three Chateauguay touchdowns.

Wyeth, who left the team prior to the previous week's regular-season finale, told Le Soleil that he left because of "a beef with offensive co-ordinator Victor Oatis. He threw me off the field in practice once because I defended one of my teammates and I tried to give him (Oatis) advice. But he can't take advice or accept criticism. He also threw (long-time veteran) Geoff Brown off the field.

"From then on, Victor had a grudge against me, even though statistically I'm the No. 1 quarterback in the league. That's why he benched me for the most important game of the season (the season finale against Ottawa Deacon Demons). He only told me 10 minutes before the game that I wasn't starting."

Wyeth said he was shocked to see head coach John Mouland, after the Titans knocked off the Amsterdam Zephyrs in their playoff opener, call Oatis "the star of the game" because, in Wyeth's words, "Victor is the big problem on this team." Wyeth said he met with Mouland and co-owner Jeff Craig to discuss his case and marvelled later at how "their point of view had all changed in the space of one week."

Wyeth said he had nothing to do with the fact that a few other players also quit the team.

"In fact, (wide receivers) Zawdie Parahoo and Marvin Joseph left the team before I did, right after the Ottawa game," he recalled. "When Jeremy Dow and Lorne Isaacs quit, it wasn't my doing. Lorne left because he wasn't being played. Jeremy left three weeks earlier because he wasn't getting any playing time either. A lineman named Camille left weeks before I did. So it simply isn't true to say that I took some teammates with me.

"In warm-ups, Victor stood beside me, throwing the ball with another player, and ignored me completely. He even refused to give me a ball. He acted like a child and I became a ghost. I didn't want to end the season on such a sour note."

Wyeth says he is "confused" because Oatis was brought back by one of the team owners "after he was fired at the beginning of the season. I had no problem with Jeff or John, but now it seems as if they are turning their backs on me and the whole story is being twisted around."

Wyeth also accused the club of breaking its own the rules when it came to their treatment of Symonds. "I have nothing against Zan, but he hadn't practised at quarterback all season. They threw him into an important game nonetheless. Before the Ottawa contest he was a no-show at practice and arrived at the field only 30 minutes before the start of the game. But they played him just the same."

Wyeth, who is scheduled to marry Shelley Bevan next May 17, plans to become a full-time minor football coach next season. This season he has been lending a hand to head coach Tony Lalla of the peewee Raiders when time permits. The peewees ended their regular campaign with a 9-1 mark.




Watertown Red & Black Game Videos (click here)
High quality DVDs/VHS available of EFL Playoffs and Championship Games 

See what's new at and Make AOL Your Homepage.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Free Web Site Counter
Free Website Counter