Saturday, October 11, 2008

EFL Pre Game Press Releases October 11

Published October 11, 2008 01:02 am - Plattsburgh to visit Montreal to take on the Quebec Titans in Empire Football League.

North Stars head north for playoff contest

Staff Writer

PLATTSBURGH -- The Plattsburgh North Stars hope three's a charm when they travel to Montreal to take on the Quebec Titans in the semifinal round of the Empire Football League playoffs tonight at 7:30.

The third-seeded Stars dropped 23-8 and 38-28 decisions to the second-seeded Titans during regular-season play, but are still just a win away from the EFL Championship game.

During the teams' last meeting, the game was relatively even throughout. Plattsburgh had a 28-14 lead at one point in the third quarter but the Titans sparked a late comeback and put the game away with a fourth quarter interception on a Kellen Nolan pass.

"I feel we can play with them and beat them," Head Coach Pat Keleher said. "I feel even more strongly after last game. For three quarters we were toe to toe and ahead of them, but ran out of gas in the fourth quarter."

Quebec carries a seven-game win-streak into tonight's game, with its most recent loss coming in July to the first-seeded Vermont Ice Storm.

Like the Stars, the Titans are well-balanced on offense.

Titans running back Denis Houle ranks third in the league in rushing yards with 750 and second in scoring on the ground with 10 touchdowns, and quarterback Kevin Wyeth has added 19 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions on the year.

Defensively, the Stars are a little beat up on the line and will need solid play from the linebackers and defensive backs to contain Wyeth's passing game.

Plattsburgh's secondary has made 18 interceptions during the regular season, but lacks the advantage in height against the Titans' tall receivers.

"(Our secondary) has gotten better." Keleher said. "We haven't been getting beat with speed, we're just getting beat with height."

On offense, finishing drives will be key for Plattsburgh -- something the Stars have struggled with from time to time throughout the year, most notably in its last home game against Vermont.

"Vermont had five trips inside 30 yard-line, and we had five trips inside their 30 yard-line," Keleher said. "But we scored seven points and they scored 27. When you get into a playoff game and get the ball inside the 30, you've got to come away with points."

Plattsburgh running back Brandon Keleher has been productive in the second half of the season since returning from injury, and has totaled 622 yards and seven touchdowns during the regular season.

Fullback Kyle Nolan added five of his own scores, and the team's speed-back Heath Geiser tallied 338 yards despite missing a portion of the season due to injury.

"We had a good week of practice and I think the guys are excited to play," Keleher said. "We haven't been in playoff game for a few years. They know if they play well and limit the mistakes, they have a real opportunity to beat Quebec and get into the EFL championship."

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