Saturday, September 13, 2008

EFL Pre Game Press Releases 9/13/

Zephyrs to host Quebec tonight at Lynch

By MIKE ZUMMO, The Leader-Herald

POSTED: September 13, 2008

Football League, the Amsterdam Zephyrs will return to Lynch Field tonight to face the second-place team in the league, the Quebec Titans.

The two teams last faced each other Aug. 2 in Quebec, with the Zephyrs falling just three points short, 15-12.

It was a game that Amsterdam played short handed due to injuries and border issues.

"We have a full roster for this week and we feel a lot more confident than we did when we went up there," Zephyrs coach Tom Manny said. "We're not going to have people out of position. We feel the outcome is going to be much better for us."

Even with those issues, the Zephyrs' defense limited Titans quarterback Kevin Wyeth to only 72 passing yards and one touchdown. On the ground, Recardo Moreau ran for 114 yards on 24 carries helping the Titans set up a pair of field goals, one of which was the game-winner in overtime.

"We worked on that [Thursday]," Manny said. "We reviewed the routes and what they run. They have a solid ground game. Some adjustments have been made and we put more responsibility on lane assignments."

The Zephyrs didn't have Elijah White on offense and Schaefer wound up as the team's leading rusher with 30 yards on four carries. Brian Barrett couldn't get anything going as he managed only 20 on 10 carries.

However, Schaefer did most of his damage through the air to Cedrick Pearman, who pulled down five receptions for 51 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, Schaefer was 10-for-31 for 128 yards and two touchdowns.

Despite suffering a 22-10 loss to the Vermont Ice Storm last week, the Zephyrs (2-4) featured an improved defense and# gave up only one big play during the game, a long touchdown pass from Brad Ruderman to Mike Jabour.

Overall, Ruderman threw for 222 yards and three touchdowns, but the Zephyrs did pick him off for a key interception. However, the Zephyrs put together a better pass rush and although they didn't register a sack, they forced Ruderman to move around in the pocket.

Amsterdam also kept the Ice Storm's running game in check as John Fahey carried for 101 yards. Despite an average of 9.2 yards per carry, Vermont chose to put the ball in Ruderman's hands and ran the ball 11 only times.

"They're confident, but they felt like they let themselves down," Manny said. "They felt they should have held Vermont to less than that, but we can't give up 45-yard punt returns. I'm glad to see they're hungry and annoyed at themselves."

The Zephyrs, however, controlled most of the clock on offense, but the Zephyrs' offense got stuck in the mud last week as White, who ran for a game-high 143 yards on 22 carries, suffered a groin injury late in the first half and didn't have the same speed and explosiveness in the second.

Schaefer threw for 198 yards, but couldn't find a receiver in the end zone and he, too, was shaken up on a first-down run during the second half, which Manny said last week limited their effectiveness.

"We have to play with injuries and we'll have to play with pain," Manny said. "We'll have both of those guys at 90 percent and that will be a good thing for us."

However, Manny said the receivers have to catch the ball as 14 passes were dropped last week, including one that would have gone for a touchdown.

"Our passing game has to get back on track," Manny said. "We're going to go with the same game plan we had before and it should be effective."



Published September 13, 2008 12:16 am - Plattsburgh to host Ottawa tonight with chance to clinch EFL postseason spot.

North Stars look to lock up playoff berth

Staff Writer

PLATTSBURGH -- Win, and they're in.

The Plattsburgh North Stars have a chance to clinch an Empire Football League playoff spot with a victory over the visiting Ottawa Deacon Demons tonight in a 7:30 kickoff at Melissa Penfield Park.

The Stars, who beat Ottawa on the road 34-17 earlier in the season, will face an improved team hungry for a playoff berth of its own.

"I look at it as almost a trap game," Head Coach Pat Keleher said. "I'm very cautious with the guys in not overlooking this team because for Ottawa, it's a must-win game. For any chance at the playoffs, they have to beat us."

Plattsburgh will have to keep all-purpose back and league rushing leader Shawn Harkes contained. Harkes will also line up at receiver, as he leads his team in receiving as well.

"Harkes is their game," Keleher said. "He's a very good football player, he's very talented. But he's their focus.

"Our goal is to shut the run down," he added. "If they have to pass to win, that's not a good thing for them."

With a win over Ottawa, The Stars ensure a playoff spot and can gain a home game in the postseason if things go right the last two games against Quebec and Vermont.

"Without the win against Ottawa, we could go from having a chance for a home playoff game to dropping to the last seed," Keleher said.

"I hope the people of the area come out, because we're now a playoff-bound team," he added. "These next three weeks they're going to get a chance to see some good football, especially with the best team in the league, and one of the best in the nation, Vermont, coming to town."

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