Saturday, October 04, 2008

EFL Pre Game Press Coverage October 04

Red and Black keeps spirits high as regular season winds down

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Despite disappointing Empire Football League campaign, Watertown values final chance to win




The general attitude surrounding the Watertown Red and Black semiprofessional football team is that the time has come to start looking forward.

But there's still one more game to play in 2008, as the team hosts the Ottawa Deacon Demons tonight in its Empire Football League finale at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

"Hopefully we can close the season strong with two wins," head coach George Ashcraft said.

Last week's 20-7 victory over Amsterdam ended a four-game Watertown losing streak. A win tonight over 3-6 Ottawa would have 2009 already looking a whole lot brighter. Not to mention, it would provide a high point to a disappointing season.

"Our fans are always supportive of us. It's nice to have given them a win," quarterback/cornerback Brian Williams said. "And four our momentum going into next year. We know this is a year we're not used to having. We're looking forward to start building something for next year."

Watertown's defense last week also exhibited the strength for which it been known in recent seasons. Amsterdam passed for 194 yards, but when it needed them most, the Red and Black was able to produce important stops. Most notably, the unit gained mounds of confidence when it stopped the Zephyrs seven times inside the 6-yard line, and yielded no points.

"I think everybody just finally believed in themselves," said Ben Pritchard, who tallied a pair of sacks. "The coaches are just telling everybody to have fun. We have nothing to lose."

Ottawa enters the game having lost two straight, and with wins over only Massena and Watertown. The Deacon Demons, though, have benefited from playing home games north of the border, as several teams have been forced to leave key members behind when visiting Ottawa.

The Deacon Demons pulled out a fourth-quarter victory over Watertown last month, keyed by a late kickoff return for a touchdown.

Ottawa doesn't seem to be riding the same type of emotional high Watertown is from a week ago, however.

"We need to keep that same attitude," running back Anthony Noel said, "and just show up ready to play."

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