Sunday, August 17, 2008

EFL Post Game Press Coverage August 17

Ice Storm roll past Massena

August 17, 2008          

COLCHESTER -- Brad Ruderman piled up 210 passing yards and three touchdowns and the Vermont Ice Storm kept their record spotless with a 57-0 pasting of the Massena Raiders on Saturday night.

Austin Partain hauled in six catches and a pair of touchdowns four the Ice Storm, who led 36-0 at halftime and improved to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the Empire Football League.

Rob Joy notched a 29-yard touchdown reception from Ruderman and back-up quarterback Matt Paul hit y Hershenhorn with 37-yard strike in the fourth quarter. Ruderman completed 13 of 18 passes.

Jason Young, Jed Randall, Adeem Williams and John Fahey tallied rushing touchdowns for the Storm.

Vermont's air-tight defense was keyed by six tackles and two sacks from Kevin Fournier and two Core Belida interceptions. Collin MacDonald also had a sack and Kyle Bombardier and Sean Thomas each had interceptions for the Ice Storm, who play host to Plattsburgh on Saturday in a battle for first place in the Empire.


Published August 17, 2008 12:30 am - Plattsburgh recuperates for tougher stretch in Empire Football League.

Bye gives North Stars break

Staff Writer

Plattsburgh North Stars defensive back can't corral Chateauguay runner last week in Empire Football League action. Stars suffered their first loss of the season and, with a rash of injuries, were happy to have a bye this week.
Staff Photo/Rob Fountain /

PLATTSBURGH -- Last night, the Plattsburgh North Stars had their first Saturday off from Empire Football League play in five weeks.

And with the team (4-1, 6-1) suffering its first loss of the season last week at home against Quebec, the bye couldn't have come at a better time -- especially since the Stars travel to first-place Vermont next week.

"It's beneficial -- we were beat up," head coach Pat Keleher said. "It gives another week for us to heal."

Top receivers Matt St. Clair and Kelly Gordon missed the last two games due to injuries, and the team may have felt the effects last week in a 23-8 loss to Quebec.

Though quarterback Kellen Nolan went without the two speedy downfield threats, driving the ball into the Titans' territory wasn't as much of an issue as finishing the drive with the ball still in Plattsburgh's possession.

The Stars turned the ball over five times in the game: four Nolan interceptions and a fumbled handoff.

"The bottom line is you can't cross the 50-yard line six times and only come away with eight points," Keleher said. "We certainly had opportunities."

Nolan's four picks totalled more than in his six previous starts combined.

"It was a reality check, I think it brought us back down to earth," Keleher said. "The guys know we didn't play our best game against Quebec."

Plattsburgh also went without leading rusher Brandon Keleher the last two games and had players moved around on the offensive line due to injuries within the unit.

Safety Joe Conway got hurt midway through the Quebec game, as well.

"I'm expecting most of them to be back," Keleher said.

The team's two-week break from games also benefits in game-planning for the first of two meetings against the Vermont Ice Storm.

"An extra week to prepare for the number one team is also a good thing," Keleher said.

EFL standings as of 8/16/08

Late score lifts Zephyrs to win over Watertown

By MIKE ZUMMO, The Leader-Herald

POSTED: August 17, 2008

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Bill Cain
Amsterdam's Cedric Pearman (1) stiffarms Watertown's Dustin Houppert during Saturday's game in Amsterdam.


AMSTERDAM - Conventional sports wisdom says to play for the tie at home.

With fourth-and-the-game from the Watertown 1-yard line and 40 seconds left in Saturday's Empire Football League game, Amsterdam Zephyrs coach Tom Manny was ready to subscribe.

His quarterback, Kenny Schaefer, however, was not.

Manny was ready to send out Brian Barrett to kick a field goal to tie the game at 31 and send it to overtime. Schaefer wanted to go for the win in the fourth quarter.

In the end, Schaefer convinced the coaches.

"When the timeout was called, we were going to kick the field goal," Manny said. "Kenny didn't like it and I have the respect for Kenny and [offensive coordinator] Mike [Finocchi] and I always listen to what Kenny has to say. Kenny came over and he said, 'I know what you're saying, but if we run that play action boot, I'll get in there.'"

Elijah White had already run the ball through the middle three times and Schaefer dove across the goal line for the game-winning touchdown with 34 seconds left in the game.

Joe Torres picked off Anthony Noel's pass on the last play of the game giving the Zephyrs a 35-31 win.

"Games like this are a lot of fun," Schaefer said. "You want to blow teams out, to run the ball and control the game, but it doesn't get more fun than that right there."

The Zephyrs got the ball 6:11 remaining in the game after the defense followed up Schaefer's 54-yard touchdown pass to Issmal Green by forcing the Red & Black to go three-and-out. The Zephyrs took over the ball on their own 10-yard line and Manny said they needed to use as much time as possible so they didn't give the Red & Black the ball with too much time left on the clock.

"The defense was tired and they came up with two stands we needed and we had to eat [the clock] as much as possible and that was really on our mind," Manny said.

Elijah White advanced the ball 10 yards before Schaefer hit two straight passes to Cedrick Pearman bringing the Zephyrs to the Watertown 45.

White gained 18 and 22 on his next two runs to get bring the Zephyrs to the Watertown 6-yard line with two minutes remaining.

Three straight runs by White got the Zephyrs to the 1-yard line with fourth down giving the Zephyrs their critical fourth-down choice.

"My thinking was I wanted to go for it and I was able to persuade the coaches and we came up with the bootleg," Schaefer said. "We went three times in a row to Elijah and they were really zoning in on him and I figured the bootleg was going to work."

The win sent the Zephyrs (2-3) into two off-weeks before facing the Vermont Ice Storm at Wilbur H. Lynch Field Sept. 6. They'll have a bye next week and the whole league is off Aug. 30.

The break will give the Zephyrs time to get their six injured starters back on the field for another critical game.

"We get six ball players back that have been injured and that's huge because half of them are starters," Manny said. "The numbers get shored up and we get starters back and we have a couple of weeks to get them back in form, who knows."

The Zephyrs' defense had their hands full with the running ability of Red & Black quarterback Anthony Noel, who constantly turned what appeared to be tackles into long gains. He connected with Quattrell Walker for a 60-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter after the pass bounced off Sweeney and into his arms and he ran for a 45-yard touchdown run leading the Red & Black to 16 second-quarter points.

The offense had trouble hanging on to the ball and Schaefer threw two interceptions trying to get the ball deep to Cedrick Pearman. White also fumbled the ball in the third quarter.

"We made three turnovers so we didn't help them much, but they made the stops when they had to and they gave us a chance to win the game tonight," Schaefer said.

The Zephyrs got the offense going after Manny Munoz kicked a field goal to give the Red & Black a 3-0 lead.

Schaefer threw two touchdown passes to Pearman and one to Green giving Amsterdam a 21-16 lead.

"We started off in the first quarter trying to beat them deep because that's part of our game and I think they knew that," Schaefer said. "The second quarter is when we made some adjustments and were able to get some completions out of the slot and out of the backfield for short [passes] and they turned it into big gains."

Amsterdam 35, Watertown 31

Watertown  0 16 7   8 - 31

Amsterdam 0 21 0 14 - 35

Second Quarter

W - FG Munoz 27, 11:34

A - C. Pearman 23 pass from Schaefer (Barrett kick), 7:18

W - Noel 45 run (kick failed), 6:13

A - C. Pearman 12 pass from Schaefer (Barrett kick), 3:24

W - Walker 60 pass from Noel (Munoz kick), 3:12

A - Green 15 pass from Schaefer (Barrett kick), :39

Third Quarter

W - Brennan 39 run (Munoz kick), 4:22

Fourth Quarter

W - Noel 1 run (Noel run), 10:00

A - Green 14 pass from Schaefer (Barrett kick), 8:36

A - Schaefer 1 run (Barrett kick), :34


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