Sunday, June 22, 2008

EFL Press Coverage June 22, 2008

 Published June 22, 2008 12:45 am - Plattsburgh rolls to victory in first preseason football contest.

North Stars stop Rampage

Plattsburgh North Stars Quarterback Kellen Nolan (10) gets off pass under pressure in preseason opener Saturday at Lahtinen Penfield Park. Stars won 33-6.
P-R Photo/Kelli Catana /

Contributing Writer
PLATTSBURGH -- After holding their opponents to just two yards rushing through three quarters Saturday night, it became apparent that stopping the run may again be a strength with the Plattsburgh North Stars.

Limiting the Central Vermont Rampage to only two pass completions for 21 yards on the night could prove that the secondary isn't so bad, either.

"I was very pleased with the defense," Head Coach Pat Keleher said after a 33-6 preseason rout of the new Rutland-based Rampage. "I thought the secondary did a good job. A couple times they tried to go downtown, and we were there."

The Stars, however, understand the Rampage are a brand new team, and haven't had much time to develop team chemistry.

Keleher was able to rotate different players throughout the game.

"The nice thing about a game like this is you get to evaluate everyone and get a good feel for how your personnel is in game situations," he said.

Most of the Stars' offensive production came on the ground.

Brandon Keleher led the team in rushing, accounting for 74 of the 200 yards on 12 carries. He reached the end zone on two occasions.

"The running game is always in front of the passing game at the beginning of the year," Keleher said. "It takes time to get timing down and get the quarterback used to being back there."

"Even Kellen (Nolan) said he wasn't comfortable, yet," he added. "He had to scramble a couple times because he missed some reads. But he still made some good passes."

Though Nolan only completed seven of his 14 pass attempts, two were for scores. He also picked up 29 yards on the ground on five carries.

Heath Geiser gained 35 yards on seven carries while Kyle Nolan and Matt St. Clair each caught a touchdown pass. Kelly Gordon had 40 yards on two catches, and 24 yards on his only carry.

Keleher credited the offensive line for its ability to keep tempo throughout rotations.

"I didn't see a lot of loss of production on the offensive line," he said. "That really excites me."

"The thought of having eight guys that I can keep fresh and rotating on the offensive line is a good thing," Keleher added.

Plattsburgh held the Rampage to just 50 total yards, 47 of which came in the fourth quarter.

Mike Thwaits, Ryan Carey, Joe Conway, and Adam Frennier each were in on five tackles, and Thwaits forced a fumble which was recovered by Elija Parks.

The Stars' Craig Lamoy injured his leg on a punt block, but the extent of the injury was not known.

The Stars will play their second of two preseason games next weekend when they travel to Ticonderoga to take on the Vermont Ravens.

"Next week will be a little tougher," Keleher said. "We'll be playing a little tougher opponent and won't have as many home fans."

The team will open the regular season in Watertown on July 12.

Plattsburgh 33, Central Vermont 6

Central Vermont 0 0 0 6 -- 6

Plattsburgh 6 14 13 0 -- 33

First quarter

Plat- B. Keleher 1 run (PAT no good)

Second quarter

Plat- B. Keleher 9 pass from Nolan (Ormsby kick)

Plat- M. St. Clair 31 pass from Nolan (Ormsby kick)

Third quarter

Plat- B. Keleher 14 run (PAT no good)

Plat- Geiser 10 run (Ormsby kick)

Fourth quarter

CV- Litler 3 run (conversion failed)

June 20, 2008

Storm expect more success

By John A. Fantino
Free Press Staff Writer

Vermont Ice Storm head coach Doc Perez admitted that his team pulled off a couple upsets last year en route to winning the Empire Football League and being named American Football Association national champions.

He insists that won't be the case this summer for the Colchester-based semiprofessional team.

"Any game we win this year will not be an upset," Perez said. "Every week, until and unless we lose, we are going to be favored in every single game."

The Ice Storm kick off their eighth summer at 4 p.m. Saturday with a preseason game against the Southern Vermont Storm at South Burlington High School. It will be the first of three exhibition games before the Ice Storm begin defense of their Empire Football League title.

The Ice Storm -- whose 62-member roster consists of veteran pro players, college players and former high school standouts -- are one of roughly 700 semiprofessional teams across the country.

The Vermont Ravens, based in central Vermont, will also start their season Saturday with a preseason game against the Glens Falls Green Jackets in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The Ice Storm went 15-1 last year, putting together arguably their most successful season since the team was formed in 2000. They were named the American Football Association national champions but lost 22-14 to the Detroit Black Ravens in the USA Bowl in Florida, which served as the AAA national championship game.

"Considering we went down to Miami and lost our last game that we played, I think everyone's got that tenacity to just go out there and show the whole nation what we can do," said Ice Storm receiver Zach Howe, who lives in South Burlington. "Our expectations are a lot higher than they've ever been before."

And for good reason. Perez said every starter is back and will be pushed by several promising rookies.

"We have four linebackers who were first- or second-team all-stars, led by (Chris) Coppins and (Aaron) Pryor," Perez said. "Three of our four defensive backs were all-stars.

"The biggest change is that we've beefed up our defensive line," Perez added. "Our defensive corps is phenomenal."

The offense also appears solid, led by quarterback Brad Ruderman, running backs Akeem Williams and Jason Young and receiver Troy Canada. Ruderman, the starting QB for seven years, will be challenged by former Mount Abraham Union standout Matt Paul for playing time.

"We are going to give them each a half in these preseason games and see who is the best," Perez said.

After Saturday, the Ice Storm will play their home games at Colchester High School.

Contact John A. Fantino at 651-4851.

June 22, 2008

Paul leads Ice Storm

SOUTH BURLINGTON -- Quarterback Matt Paul threw for a pair of first half touchdowns and the Vermont Ice Storm rolled past the Southern Vermont Storm 30-6 in a semiprofessional football exhibition game at South Burlington High School on Saturday.

Paul, a former Mount Abraham QB, hit Austin Partain for a 31-yard score in the first quarter and Rob Joy on an 8-yard connection in the second quarter. Backup kicker Aaron Pyer connected on both extra points.

Corey Belida added a 61-yard punt return before the half for a 20-0 lead. Pyer booted a 24-yard field goal and quarterback Brad Ruderman connected with Ray Hershenhorn for a 42-yard scoring strike to end the scoring for the Ice Storm, which play in the Empire Football League.

Steve Zachieruski scored in the fourth quarter on a four yard pass from Sean Lennon, for the Southern Vermont Storm, which is a Single A team in the New England Football League. The two-point attempt failed. Paul ended the game 9-for-17 for 129 yards and two TDs, while Ruderman was 8-for-16 for 144 yards and one TD. Partain had five catches for 92 yards in the first half, while Joy ended with four catches for 50 yards in the game. Mike Jabour hauled in two catches for 70 yards.

Jason Young rushed seven times for 51 yards, while Akeem Williams had seven carries for 47 yards.

On defense, Chris Coppins made eight tackles. Delbert Randall had six tackles, including three sacks, while Kevin Fournier had six tackles and one interception. Collin MacDonald, Andrew Beeman and Pyer each had a sack.

The Ice Storm continue their exhibition season next Saturday night by hosting the New England Hawks, a Triple A team from the NEFL.

The Ice Storm will move back to their home field at Colchester High School, which was unavailable for Saturday's game because of new sod being installed.



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