Sunday, July 26, 2009

EFL Post Game Press Release July 26

Published July 26, 2009 12:21 am - Plattsburgh defeats Quebec 31-7 in Empire Football League play.

North Stars remain unbeaten

Staff Writer

Plattsburgh North Stars' Mike Thwaits recovers fumble in the first half of Saturday's Empire Football League battle with the Quebec Titans at Plattsburgh High. Stars won 31-7.
Michael Betts / P-R Photo
PLATTSBURGH — The stage was set for Zach Blocker.

For the first two games of the Plattsburgh North Stars' 2009 Empire Football League season, the running game was the key on offense. Brandon Keleher and Elija Parks consistently picked up big yardage on up-the-middle runs.

But in the first half of the team's meeting against the Quebec Titans Saturday night, that just didn't seem to be working.

Blocker's outside speed was needed for a spark, and the first-year running back delivered with a momentum-boosting 48-yard touchdown scamper, giving the Stars a 10-0 lead early in the third quarter. Plattsburgh (3-0, 5-0 overall) exploded offensively in the second half on its way to a 31-7 victory over the defending EFL champions.

"I was very impressed with the concentration and the attitude the guys brought tonight," Stars head coach Pat Keleher said. "We were extremely focused and very serious."

Blocker had another big run later in the game for 42 yards behind another crucial block from his fullback. An Elija Parks block set up his first big play and Kyle Nolan set up the second.

Keleher and Parks, despite totaling just eight rushing yards in the first half, moved the ball effectively in the second. 48 of Keleher's 53 yards on the ground came in the second half and included a 14-yard touchdown run. Parks tallied 15 yards in three second-half carries.

"They (Quebec) have one of the best middle linebackers in the league and a very solid front four," the third-year Plattsburgh coach said. "Those inside-the-tackles runs were tough to get."

Stars quarterback Ken Stay was nearly perfect in the second half. Stay completed 7-of-8 pass attempts and hit Kelly Gordon in the end zone twice. He totaled 108 yards in the game and didn't throw an interception.

The same can't be said for Quebec signal-caller Michael Ghorayeb, who was picked off twice by Joey Painter and twice by Brandon St. John.

Ghorayeb hooked up with Sean Kennedy for a touchdown strike in the third quarter for his team's only points. The touchdown brought the score within six, but any Quebec (1-1) momentum was short-lived thanks to a 54-yard kick return by Jordan Keleher. Stay connected with Gordon in the end zone 1:38 later.

Mitch Ryder was good on all four of his extra point attempts and split the uprights on a 21 yard field goal. His field goal was the only points on the board at halftime.

Plattsburgh is on a bye week next weekend before hitting the road in three of its next four games.

Plattsburgh 31, Quebec 7

Quebec 0070—7

Plattsburgh 30721—31

Scoring summary

First quarter

P- Ryder kick, 10:22

Second quarter

No scoring

Third quarter

P- Blocker 48 run (Ryder kick), 4:01.

Q- Ghorayeb 21 pass to Kennedy (kick), 14:56.

Fourth quarter

P- Stay 8 pass to Gordon (Ryder kick), 1:38.

P- Stay 7 pass to Gordon (Ryder kick), 1 0:11.

P- Keleher 14 run (Ryder kick), 13:31.

Individual statistics


Plattsburgh- Stay 15-23-108-2-0.

Quebec- Ghorayeb 7-23-136-1-4.


Plattsburgh- Keleher 13-53 TD, Stay 2-13, Z. Blocker 3-92 TD, Parks 6-18, Nolan 3-8.

Quebec- Vinet 6-68, Dottin 3-13, Moreau 3-1, Spence 1-4, Ghorayeb 4-17.


Plattsburgh- St. Clair 3-29, Gordon 7-29 2 TDs, J. Blocker 1-10, Fish 4-40.

Quebec- Kennedy 2-48 TD, Spence 2-56, James 2-18, Regis 3-10, Dotton 1-14.

Dragons doused by Watertown
Staff report • July 26, 2009
Watertown's Anthony Boebe, left, and Broome County's Michael Tarbox fight for position during a punt return in the second quarter of the Empire Football League game Saturday night at Alumni Stadium in Binghamton. Watertown scored the first 36 points of the game and won, 55-13. (Buy this photo)
Photo GalleriesB.C. Dragons Vs. Watertown Red & Black
Playing in their first home game since 2006, the Broome County Dragons were handed a 55-13 beating by the Watertown Red & Black in an Empire Football League contest Saturday at Binghamton's Alumni Stadium.
Watertown (2-0) scored the game's first 36 points, the Dragons (1-2) finally getting on the scoreboard in the waning moments of the second quarter on Adam Good's 40-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Kendrick that made it 36-7.
The Dragons' other score came on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Steve Tammariello to Kendrick with about 4 1/2 minutes left in the game.
"We couldn't stop their option," said Dragons coach Tom Manny, whose team committed six turnovers. "They ran it well and we just didn't execute on defense."
The Dragons are off the next two weeks before hosting Vermont on Aug. 15 at Alumni Stadium.

Brian Williams threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Red Black cruised past the Dragons (1-2) in an Empire Football League matchup in Binghamton.
Williams completed touchdown tosses to Nate Bryant and Rob Woodworth in the first half for Watertown (2-0). His 62-yard scoring run gave the Red and Black a 36-6 halftime lead.
Ernie Miller finished with 111 rushing yards and a touchdown. Anthony Noel followed with 73 yards and two rushing scores.
Mike Dumaw recorded a team-high 10 tackles, including one sack, and added a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown. Dylan Kirker had nine tackles, and Ben Call chipped in two sacks.

A late turnover led to Drew Finkeldey capping off an Ice Storm drive late in the fourth quarter to give Vermont an EFL win at Sandstoner Park in Potsdam.
Austin Partian returned a kickoff 83 yards in the second quarter for Vermont (1-2 overall).
Buddy Compeau rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown for Massena (0-3).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

EFL Pre Game Press Coverage July 25th

Massena hopes for different EFL result

POTSDAM — The Massena Silver and Black meet a familiar Empire Football League foe in the Vermont Ice Storm tonight at Sandstoner Park.
Last season, the Ice Storm handed Massena a pair of losses. The first was 62-0 to start the season and then a 57-0 thump ing midway through. This year, though, both teams are very different.
"They've had a lot of players retire or leave," said Massena coach Jim Compeau. "It's not the same team it used to be."
Neither is Massena, especially defensively.
"The defense, I'm not worried about," Compeau said. "When they play well, I don't think anyone can score. I have total faith."
The Silver and Black allowed just 14 points to Broome County last week in a one-point loss. The Silver and Black had a chance late, but a 40-yard field goal try by Heath Spencer went wide right after a deflection.
"We have the kicker that has the leg," Compeau said. "He had the length, but it was tipped."
The loss moved Massena to 0-2 overall. Vermont, also 0-2, lost to Quebec and Plattsburgh.
"Everybody is looking for their first win," Compeau said. "We're basically trying to take another step forward. We've been working on the offense to get that moving."
Against Broome County, Massena totaled 221 yards of offense with two rushing touchdowns. In the air, quarterback Ryan Mason completed 6-of-18 pass attempts for 81 yards. The long passes weren't there last week, but Compeau said his receivers are good enough to outrun coverage after a catch.
"We have the receivers that have the legs," he said. "We need the short pass and the yards after the pass."
Johnathan Hirshey and Rontenez Flowers each had big-yard receptions against Broome County. That's where the focus was this week in practice, throwing high-percentage passes that result in long yards.
"What we have had to work on is just on the offense," Compeau said. "We've been working on the running and the short passing."
Vermont is led by first-year starting quarterback Matt Paul. He takes over for Brad Ruderman, who passed for over 2,000 yards and led the Ice Storm to a perfect 10-0 regular season a year ago. Paul completed 20-of-30 pass attempts for 285 yards last year.
Compeau expects a close game.
"It's not the same team it used to be," he said. "Our guys are in the right frame of mind, even after the loss. They know they can beat anybody."
Game time is 7:30 p.m.

The last time the Watertown Red and Black traveled to Binghamton, on Aug. 9, 2006, it left with a 25-19 victory. The result of tonight's game may well be similar. Broome County, however, might find a little less offensive success.
The Dragons (1-1) returned to the EFL this season after a two-year absence, and have posted 27 points through two regular season games. While 131/2 points per outing isn't terrible, reaching such a total tonight against a defense like Watertown's may be overly optimistic.
The Red and Black (1-0), which won two preseason games and trounced Massena 41-0 in the EFL opener two weeks ago, has allowed just a fie ld goal all year. The Silver and Black gained just 60 yards of total offense, while Watertown recorded three defensive touchdowns.
The defense also intercepted four passes in its one showing, and recovered two fumbles.

Published July 25, 2009 12:36 am - The Plattsburgh North Stars look to stay undefeated when they host the Quebec Titans tonight.

Stars host Titans tonight

Staff Writer
July 25, 2009 03:23 am

PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh North Stars are back home tonight to face the 2008 Empire Football League champion Quebec Titans at Plattsburgh High School at 7:30 p.m.

The Stars, who sit atop the EFL standings at 2-0, look to a stout defense and a steadily improving offense for the team's third-straight league victory.

"I think our linebackers are as good as anyone else in league and we're solid with running backs and receivers," Plattsburgh head coach Pat Keleher said. "The question going into the season was 'how would the quarterback and secondary handle it?' Well, the secondary has shown a lot of growth since the preseason and Kenny (Stay) is getting better and better each week."

Last week, Jamil McCray gave the linebackers a score when he took an interception into the end zone and the secondary was on lockdown against some big and talented Vermont receivers.

Stars running back Brandon Keleher has rushed for 100 yards in three of the last four games (including preseason), and Stay finished Saturday's game with a 45-yard sideline strike to Kelly Gordon for a touchdown.

So Coach Ke leher definitely understands what he has in his team.

And apparently so does the National Football Events Coaches' Poll.

The Stars have been ranked 19th in the first edition of the 2009 poll and hold the sixth spot in the Northeast Region.

"That was a pleasant surprise. I was obviously very excited and proud about the ranking," Keleher said. "But it's still early. A ranking like that means more in September than it does in July. So I told the guys to enjoy it and respect it, but don't let it get to our heads and that we need to continue playing at a high level."

Plattsburgh won its home opener against Broome County and rode a fourth-quarter scoring wave to victory against the Vermont Ice Storm last weekend in Burlington. Quebec squeaked by Vermont with a 13-6 season-opening win before having a bye last week.

Tonight's matchup against Quebec will give a serious indication of how good the team really is.

"Last year (starting out the season) we had a big win against Watertown and an exciting comeback win against Amsterdam," Keleher said. "But I think when you can beat a team the quality o f Vermont in their house and win against Binghamton, who I think is a better team than people realize, it's a good sign.

Now, facing the defending EFL champions, I feel we're going to be a little more battle-tested than were this time last year."

Plattsburgh will have a bye next week and will be on the road for three of its next four games.
Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Massena gamble too short; SUNDAY, JULY 19, 2009

Massena gamble too short

SUNDAY, JULY 19, 2009
POTSDAM — Massena Silver and Black coach Jim Compeau had a decision to make with 9 minutes, 42 seconds left in Saturday's Empire Football League game against the Broome County Dragons at Sandstoner Park.
Quarterback Ryan Mason had rushed two yards into the end zone to pull Massena to within a point. A kick would tie the game and Broome County would have nearly 10 minutes to regain the lead.
But Compeau wanted the win. Instead of kicking, Mason handed the ball to Rontenez Flowers on the outside. Flowers, however, couldn't turn the corner and came up short as Broome County held on to win 14-13.
"I was kind of surprised (Massena went for two)," said Broome County coach Tommy Manny. "Kicking the extra point would have given us an extra shot, though. There are a lot of ifs there, but (Compeau) knows what his team can and can't do."
What Massena did well was execute on defense. The Silver and Black didn't allow the Dragons a first down until midway through the second quarter. It did, however, lead to the game's first score as Dragons quarterback Adam Good found Bill Smith over the middle for a 36-yard touchdown on third down.
"The middle was working for us all game," Good said. "The line stepped it up and gave me some time. That was huge."
For Massena, it was one of only two big defensive mistakes.
"We had two breakdowns in coverage and that's how they scored," Compeau said. "Otherwise, our defense was stellar. It was just mental breakdowns at different times. Once we cleared that up, I don't think any team's going to score."
Massena's offense didn't back down, either. Mason led a 52-yard drive following Broome County's first score, highlighted by a 25-yard run by Buddy Compeau and an 18-yard reception by Johnathan Hirshey. Compeau finished the drive with a 5-yard TD carry to pull Massena into a 7-7 tie.
"I think we had a little slow start for us," Mason said. "Once we got things working, we moved the ball and things started to come together for us."
Despite Massena gaining momentum heading to the half, it was Broome County who struck first in the third quarter.
Cook again made Massena pay on a missed coverage, finding Sam Whitney for a 30-yard score with 1:27 left in the third period.
Manny thought the short passes over the middle were there all game, but three dropped passes prevented the Dragons (1-1) from ever pulling away.
"I don't know if it was timing, a lack of concentration or both, but the bottom line is I'm a realist. We dropped it," he said. "I'm pleased with the win, but I'm never satisfied."
The win marked Broome County's first in two seasons after sitting out the 2007 and 2008 campaigns. Massena is in it's second year after it formed and joined the EFL last season. The Silver and Black (0-2) have yet to record a franchise victory.
"We thought we could take larger steps, but I guess we're taking baby steps," Compeau said. "We'll accept the baby steps as long as it improves. You can't improve much more than what it is tonight unless it's a win."

EFL Press Coverage July 19th

Stars stop Ice Storm
Interception return breaks stalemate, sends Plattsburgh to 21-0 win
By Alison Wells • Free Press staff writer • July 18, 2009
Vermont quarterback Matt Paul tries to escape Plattsburgh's Donny Coolidge during Saturday afternoon's game at Buck Hard Field. Plattsburgh won, 21-0.
The Vermont Ice Storm executed three quarters of consistant football but fell victim to the Plattsburgh North Stars' late surge and dropped an Empire Football League contest, 21-0, at Buck Hard Field on Saturday.
A momentum swing established when Plattsburgh's Jamil McCoy returned an interception for a touchdown with 12:47 left in the fourth quarter was the threshold of Vermont's demise.
Ken Stay then threw a touchdown pass to Kelly Gordon with 7:21 remaining to increase the North Stars' lead. At 2:57, Stay delivered another to James Blocker to seal the victory.
"When the momentum swings to the other team, young teams get a little rattled," Ice Storm head coach Darren Haynes said after his team's first home game in Vermont. "That's what happened in the fourth quarter. We ran a bad pass that was intercepted. That really seemed to burst the balloon. That's when the wheels came off."
The Ice Storm's most successful drive was in the first quarter after Corey Belida ran a 30-yard punt return deep into North Star territory. Vermont reached the 8-yard-line before they failed to convert on fourth down.
The Ice Storm (0-3, 0-2 EFL) made another substantial push shortly before the ha lf, highlighted by two completions from Matt Paul to Austin Partain, but were unable to cross the line.
The second half dawned with a long Plattsburgh drive piloted by Brandon Keleher, who ran for four straight first downs before Kevin Fournier and the Ice Storm defense held firm.
"Kevin's a heat-seeking missle," Haynes said. "He just goes right for the ball. When he makes a tackle, it's like being hit by a rocket."
Despite Fournier's strong second half, Vermont was unable to capitalize on vital opportunities due to multiple penalties, incompletions and missed tackles.
"I think a lot of our problem is just youth and inexperience," said Haynes. "When we get the mentality of all 11 guys saying 'I'm going to make this play,' when20they have that confidence in themselves, then we'll begin to see a different football team."
Paul completed 8 of 32 passes and was intercepted twice. Stay finished 5 of 17 with two interceptions for Plattsburgh (4-0, 2-0).
"We're so close to playing together as a cohesive team," said Haynes. "I can see our potential. It's when the players begin to realize it; that's when the league is going to have to look out. This is far from over; we are just beginning."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

EFL Press Coverage July 18th

Stars take on cross-lake rival Ice Storm today
Staff Writer

BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Plattsburgh North Stars begin the road portion of their 2009 Empire Football League schedule today when the team travels to Burlington, Vt. to face the Vermont Ice Storm at 1 p.m.

For Stars offensive coordinator Scott Aguglia, it will be a return to his old stomping grounds, where he spent eight seasons with Vermont.

"Being a founding member there, I was proud in what we accomplished. But (Plattsburgh) is still my hometown, and I wanted to be part of my hometown team," Aguglia said prior to the start of the season.

Vermont (0-1) dropped its season opener to the 2008 EFL Champion Quebec Titans (1-0) last weekend in a 13-6 decision, while Plattsburgh (1-0) ousted Broome County (0-1), 21-13.

Plattsburgh running back Brandon Keleher put in a workhorse performance against Broome County, rushing for 103 yards on 22 carries, including a touchdown. He may again have to shoulder a big load today if things get slippery during possible afternoon showers.

The Stars defense will get a crack at Vermont quarterback Matt Paul, who replaces EFL standout Ken Ruderman behind center.

"Ruderman was an exceptional quarterback for this league," Stars head coach Pat Keleher said of the former Vermont signal caller, who threw 34 touchdowns last season. "Paul is a solid quarterback, but in many ways he's also a rookie."

That should provide plenty of excitement for a Plattsburgh pass -rushing group that has a knack for getting in the quarterback's face when the opportunity presents itself.

Linebacker Jamil McCray recorded one-and-a-half sacks the last time the teams met. McCray played a limited role in Plattsburgh's defense last year but is now a consistent fixture at linebacker.

Kyle Babbie, who led the league in sacks for the past two seasons at defensive end, also showed the defense's potential in the pass rush with fellow end Kevin Gibson last weekend, when the two teamed up to force a big, late-game interception.

However, the Stars will be wary of a veteran receiving corps and a game-breaking backfield in Vermont that has the ability to take some of the pressure off of Paul.

"They still have some very good players on offense in Austin Partain, Rob Joy, Zack Howe and Akeem Williams," Keleher said. "Williams is a very good running back. He's fast, and we definitely don't want to let him get in some open space."

Keleher added that he expects the Vermont defense to be solid up front.

"I always felt the strength of their defense in last couple years was very athletic aggressive linebackers and very solid front four," Keleher said. "They've been able to shut us down in years past.

"We're excited for the game; they're our arch rival and we always seem to play e ach other tough."
Clouds loom over Ice Storm
Football team features new faces, two homes
By Alison Wells • Free Press staff writer • July 18, 2009
Matt Paul has taken over as the Vermont Ice Storm's starting quarterback and will be a key figure on this year's inexperienced squad.
The Vermont Ice Storm have more than their opponents to worry about this summer.
A variety of obstacles from the sidelines impede the semi-pro football team.
In five of the last eight years, the Ice Storm rented the football field at Colchester High School. This year, due to the inability of the field to endure wear and tear in the high school offseason, the Ice Storm were sent packing.
"The field issue has just been crazy all year," said board member, assistant
coach and player Russell Humphrey. "I've talked to everyone, from Missisquoi to Rutland. Everyone is cutting back."
As a result, the Ice Storm will be forced to play many of their home games in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Burlington High School also consented to play host to the team for a limited number of games.
"One of the major concerns about playing our home games in two different places," head coach Darren Haynes said, "is how the fans will react."
The team routinely draws between 1,500 and 2,000 fans a game, a major source of revenue. However, with home games in Plattsburgh, even the most avid supporters might have trouble traveling the distance.
Less than a hundred fans were on hand for Vermont's regular-season opener, a 13-6 loss to Quebec in Plattsburgh last weekend.
The start time has also shifted for some of the Ice Storm's home games.
"With the schedule so crazy, we just want the fans to check the Web site to know where and when we are playing on a particular week," said Haynes, pointing to
Today, the Ice Storm will play at Burlington High School against the Plattsburgh North Stars. The game begins at 1 p.m.
"We've always been an organization that has the philosophy that we'll play
anywhere," said Haynes, a former Ice Storm player. "Any field we play on we consider to be our field anyway."
The Ice Storm's record is 0-2, 0-1 in Empire Football League play.
"There is still quite a lot of work to do," said Haynes. "But we're only a few weeks into the season. The defense is close to being perfectly balanced while the offense is still having some trouble finding their rhythm. Once they do, we'll be able to run the ball more."
Another unexpected challenge for the Ice Storm includes a colossal turnover in personnel. Head coach Doug Perez retired after Vermont went 15-1 and won the national championship last season, and many players followed suit or decided to play for other teams.
The Ice Storm were left with five returning starters.
"I figured there would be a lot of turnover," said Haynes. "I didn't expect the players to leave in the numbers that they did. That was shocking."
=0 A
Many of the players who defected from Vermont are now playing for Plattsburgh.
"I think a lot of the players were resting on the fact that before we had so much experience," Haynes said. "They thought that it would be effortless to win, like winning was easy. This year, winning is going to be hard."
As a result, a younger, less experienced squad will take the field.
"We need to focus on not making mistakes." Haynes said. "We've already calmed down since the beginning of the season, and if we continue to, our level of play will only rise. Effort and consistency is what will make the difference."
"The key to Saturday is keeping Matt Paul, our quarterback, on his feet," Humphrey said. "Our defens e, as always, is lights out; they just fly to the ball. If we can give Matt a chance to throw the ball, we have a good chance of competing with Plattsburgh."
Wide receivers Rob Joy and Austin Partain join Paul to conduct the offense while leaders in the defensive lineup include linebacker Kevin Fournier and safety Corey Belida.
"They are the guys who have been here a while," said Haynes. "Every player looks up to them. They are the ones to look to this weekend. If those guys play well, then the team will, too."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Defense piles up points in debut

Defense piles up points in debut

RED & BLACK ROMPS: Safety Bossinger leads way with two touchdowns in opening win over Massena
SUNDAY, JULY 12, 2009
Adam Bossinger's opportunities to score points may not be as limited as he thinks, playing defense for the Watertown Red and Black.
He scored a pair of third quarter touchdowns Saturday night.
The safety returned an interception 65 yards, and eight minutes later returned a fumble 18 as Watertown rode a near perfect defensive effort to a 41-0 Empire Football League victory over Massena at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
Quarterback Brian Williams also rushed for two touchdowns, but the Red and Black made its boldest statements on the defensive side of the ball its regular-season opener, holding the Silver and Black to just 69 yards of total offense.
Dylan Kirker tallied 11 tackles, Mike Dumaw nine, and Dustin Houppert contributed eight stops as the defense forced six Massena turnovers. Anthony Tyrkala also notched a touchdown on an interception of Massena quarterback Ryan Mason, racing 30 yards two minutes before halftime.
"How's that for a swarming defense?" said head coach George Ashcraft, pointing out the fact that his four linebackers combined for 36 tackles. "This whole group is just so mobile and quick. If you get outside of them on the run, you're lucky."
Buddy Compeau rushed 11 yards early in the third for the Silver and Black's longest play from scrimmage. Mason completed two passes — both to Rob James — for 18 yards, but he also tossed four picks.
Head coach Jim Compeau saw hardly any of the same type of production that helped the Silver and Black (0-1) challenge defending champion Quebec in a preseason game.
"We beat ourselves. We gave up 20 points on defense," Jim Compeau said. "There was definitely a lot more confusion this game than in our first."
Any real chance of a Massena comeback was silenced as Bossinger shot down the sideline en route to his first career touchdown. He looked up and saw one Massena player between him and the preferred end zone destination.
"First off I couldn't believe the ball was right there. I had to make one move and then there was a lot of green in f ront of me," Bossinger said.
And he wasn't done there. Massena eventually fumbled again, attempting to punt, and Bossinger picked that up, too. Defensive coach Rich Potter said Bossinger doesn't usually rush the punter on such plays, but the coaches saw an opening they believed he could exploit.
"This is just one game. But it shows how we can play when we work, and stay strong together," Bossinger added.
Williams attempted just six passes, completing one. But Watertown's rushing attack was consistent enough so that it didn't matter. T.J. Williams led the way with 50 yards and a touchdown, while Brian Williams scooted for 30.
The Red and Black put six different ball carriers on display, running for a collective 178 yards on 41 carries.
Field position was key, too, as Watertown began six of its 10 offensive series in Massena territory, and never stood more than 56 yards away from the Silver and Black's end zone.
"Playing with the field cut in half like that really allows us to play to our strengths, and that's the run," Brian Williams said. "As long as we hit our spots, we won't have to go to the pass too much."
Wide receiver Nate Bryant also recognized how his teammates' defensive efforts translated to the offense.
"We can relax, and go with our flow," Bryant said. "In the opening drive we messed up a couple plays. But we were able to have faith that they'd get the ball right back for us."
■ NOTES: DLGreg Robersonrecovered a fumble, and had one interception. ..Todd Kiechlealso intercepted a pass. ... Watertown's next home game is Aug. 1 against Vermont. ... Ashcraft came through in his promise to allow longtime manager/ball boyMatt Melvinto dress for Saturday's game. He carried on a two-point conversion attempt in the first quarter, but was stopped at the one-yard line.

EFL Press Coverage July 12, 2009

Williams assumes QB job

LATE CHANGE: Player returns to position in time for Red &Black opener
Brian Williams will begin the Empire Football League season as the Watertown Red and Black's starting quarterback, and it's exactly where he wants to be.
The coaching staff has tabbed Williams to take over the position as expected starter Brian Green announced his de parture for a job in Kentucky.
"Brian will be the starter now," head coach George Ashcraft said Tuesday. "He's been taking snaps all preseason anyway."
After two preseason games, Williams assumes the role with a sound understanding of Watertown's offensive philosophies and schemes.
Gary Pelletier, who has returned from the Watertown Revolution, will serve as the backup.
"At the beginning of the year that's the position I was going for," said Williams, who was playing defensive back before the move. "Up until they made the decision on who was going to play QB, I focused on offense, so I'm up to date with everything. I'm excited."
The Watertown High School product has played the majority of his career at defensive back, a position from which he made nine interceptions last year.
But his athleticism lends itself to many other spots on the field, and Williams spent much of last season calling the signals. The Red and Black capped the 3-7, 2008 campaign with Williams at quarterback for back-to-back wins.
Anthony Noel and Williams shared time under center for much of the year, but now Noel will return to his running back spot, where he led the team in rushing with 616 yards and 5.9 yards per touch.
Williams inherits an attack that notched 19.4 points per outing in '08, but struggled to find a regular QB after Green went out with a season-ending shoulder injury.
As stingy as Watertown's defense has been so far, Williams will have to find a way to engineer a more consistent offensive attack. The type of production that translated into six points in six preseason quarters likely won't suffice if the Red and Black wants to make a serious championship chase.
"We really haven't had the opportunity yet, with the athletes we have here, to show what kind of offense we can run," Williams said.
Semi-pro notebook
July 11, 2009
The Vermont Ice Storm semi-professional football team starts its regular-season tonight by taking to the road for a home game.
The Ice Storm will face the Quebec Titans in a rematch of last year's Empire Football League championship game at 7:30 p.m. at Bailey Avenue Field in Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Because of field conflicts, the Ice Storm are splitting their home games between Burlington High School and Plattsburgh. Their first game at BHS is July 18 vs. the Plattsburgh North Stars.
Vermont has gone undefeated in the regular season the last two years, winning the EFL title in 2007 before losing 12-10 to Quebec in last year's final.
The Ice Storm are 0-1 this year, having lost a preseason game to Southern Vermont.

Defense piles up points in debut

RED & BLACK ROMPS: Safety Bossinger leads way with two touchdowns in opening win over Massena
SUNDAY, JULY 12, 2009
Adam Bossinger's opportunities to score points may not be as limited as he thinks, playing defense for the Watertown Red and Black.
He scored a pair of third quarter touchdowns Saturday night.
The safety returned an interception 65 yards, and eight minutes later returned a fumble 18 as Watertown rode a near perfect defensive effort to a 41-0 Empire Football League victory over Massena at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
Quarterback Brian Williams also rushed for two touchdowns, but the Red and Black made its boldest statements on the defensive side of the ball its regular-season opener, holding the Silver and Black to just 69 yards of total offense.
Published July 12, 2009 06:21 am - Plattsburgh turns back Broome County to kick off regular season.

Stars win EFL=2 0opener

By NICK ST. DENIS Staff Writer

North Stars defensive back Joey Painter (12) holds up Broome County's Sam Whitney (5) as Nick Norris latches on to the receiver's leg Saturday in Empire Football league action at Plattsburgh High School. The Stars defeated the Dragons, 21-13.
Michael Betts / P-R Photo
Saturday throughout the team's Empire Football League season opener at Plattsburgh High School.

Special teams took care of the first quarter, the offense picked it up midway through the game and the defense finished in Plattsburgh's 21-13 victory over Broome County.

"It wasn't pretty," Stars head coach Pat Ke leher said. "But we won."

Zach Blocker jump-started Plattsburgh with a 65-yard punt return late in the first quarter to give his team a 7-0 lead.

Blocker also took some change-of-pace handoffs at running back and finished the game with 28 yards on five rushes.

"There's no substitution for speed and quickness," Keleher said. "Once he ran that kick back and had another big one after, they kicked away from him."

The big special teams' play compensated for a lack offense early.

Plattsburgh quarterback Ken Stay went 0-for-7 on his first seven throws, including an interception that set up Broome County up on its first touchdown drive.

Broome County quarterback Adam Good threw two touchdown passes in the second quarter. He hit Sam Whitney for a nine-yard strike and Bill Smith for a three-yard score.

Stay finally made a completion to Chris Fish on his eighth attempt and had an end-zone ball intended for Matt St. Clair tipped and caught by Kelly Gordon for a touchdown two plays later.

The Stars running game was productive behind starter Brandon Keleher, who rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts.

"I was very pleased with James (Blocker) and Elija Parks leading th e way at fullback," Keleher said.

Plattsburgh's defense was solid all around, particularly in the second half when it held the Dragons to no scoring.

After spending the first half running Ahmeel Kirton on a good portion of its plays, Broome County got heavier in the pass as Plattsburgh held the lead in the second quarter.

Plattsburgh adjusted with a selective pass-rush and eliminated some holes in the secondary with its pass defense.

That approach got Plattsburgh the ball back for a final clock-killing drive when Matt St. Clair picked off Good. Good had defensive ends Kyle Babbie and Kevin Gibson in his face and threw it up for grabs off his back foot.

Plattsburgh 21, Broome County 13

Broome County 0 13 0 0 — 13

Plattsburgh 7 7 0 7 — 21

Scoring summary

First quarter

P- Blocker 65 punt return (5:11), Ryder kick.

Second quarter

BC- Good 9 pass to Whitney (5:31), Smith kick.

P- Stay 6 pass to Gordon (12:45), Ryder kick.

BC- Good 3 pass to Smith (13:57), XP no good.

Third quarter

No scoring

Fourth quarter

P- Keleher 15 run (4:10), Ryder kick.
Individual statistics


Plattsburgh- Stay 7-21-45-1-2

Broome County- Good 14-28-140-2-1, Haughton 1-2-13-0-0.


Plattsburgh- Keleher 22-103 TD, Blocker 5-28, Parks 5-21, Stay 1-(-6).

Broome County- Kirton 12-37, Good 1-(12).


Plattsburgh- Fish 1-8, Gordon 1-6, St. Clair 3-33, B. Keleher 7, Blocker 1(-11).

Broome County- Smith 6-80 TD, Kirton 2-13, Whitney 3-29 TD, Kendrick 4-31.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

EFL Pre Game Press Coverage July 09, 2009

Massena looks forward to representing county

TEAM ON RISE: Silver and Black adds players, plans to improve on winless opening season
POTSDAM — The semipro football offseason treated the Massena Silver and Black nicely.
It wasn't so kind to the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers. In January, the Trailblazers announced they would not compete in the 2009 season.
With that, the Silver and Black absorbed several players, and the roster continues to grow as people see what the team has become.
"There's more coming now because they see football and they want to play," said Massena coach Jim Compeau. "I didn't necessarily go out and take (the Trailblazers') players. They will play where they want."

Kiechle back in fray with Red and Black

GAME WAS MISSED: Former Watertown QB among those returning after season away
Todd Kiechle mans the safety position during Red and Black practice Tuesday at the Duffy Fairgrounds. The season begins Saturday.
Todd Kiechle isn't a blind man. So, sure, he noticed the lights last summer when he'd glance in the general direction of the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds on Saturday nights. And, though tempted, he didn't follow them.
But the former Indian River high school standout can't resist the urge any longer.
Kiechle, who in 2007 quarterbacked the Watertown Red and Black to within a point of an Empire Football League championship, has returned to the team, and will suit up on defense Saturday when it hosts Massena in the EFL opener for each team.
"It was tough watching from the s tands," he said prior to Tuesday's practice. "I missed the adrenaline rush."

North Stars have good mix of new pieces, key returners

Staff Writer
July 09, 2009 03:23 am

PLATTSBURGH — Things are changing for the Plattsburgh North Stars.

With a new field, a new offensive coordinator, head coach Pat Keleher moving to defensive coordinator and a new quarterback along with additions and subtractions at a number of positions, Plattsburgh looks to do what it failed to do a year ago — finish what it started.

Last season, the Stars bursted out of the gate with six consecutive wins before going 2-4 to finish the regular season and ending the year with a 23-6 loss to Quebec in the first round of the playoffs.

With a bit of a back-heavy schedule once the team got past big season-opening victories over Watertown and Amsterdam, as well as some crucial injuries to the defensive line, Plattsburgh was unable to finish on much of a high note.

"(Last year) we started out real strong, but I don't really think we fizzled off. Toward the end of year we faced Vermont twice and (Quebec) three times," Stars tackle and captain Nick Moore said about the 2008 league champions (Quebec) and Empire Football League powerhouse Vermont. "Those are two very high-quality opponents."

Still, the Stars will need to tame the only two teams that finished ahead of them in the EFL standings a year ago if they want to be considered the top team in the league.

The addition of offensive coordinator Scott Aguglia should be a step in the right direction. Aguglia spent the last eight seasons as a member of the Ice Storm, helping the team to two national titles in the process. Aguglia played receiver and quarterback for five years before taking over as offensive coordinator for the last three.

"All you have to do is just look at the numbers he put up in Vermont with similar personnel that I know we have," Moore said.

Those numbers include 34 passing touchdowns last season from Vermont quarterback Ken Ruderman — exactly twice as many as Plattsburgh quarterback Kellen Nolan threw in the same year.

Vermont's offense led the league in passing in both the 2006 and 2007 seasons with Aguglia calling the plays.

And while the first-year Nor th Star was blessed with a top-notch signal caller in Ruderman, Aguglia sees good potential in first-year quarterback Ken Stay.

The fact that the two are joining forces with the team at the same time should be beneficial in offensive continuity.

"I like the idea that it's a new quarterback coming in the same time as the coordinator," Aguglia said. "It certainly does help in the sense that there are no bad habits to break, or any difference in philosophies."

It's unlikely, however, that there would have been any of those issues with Nolan still behind center. In fact, the loss of Nolan and his brother, Kyle, who was a standout at fullback, in addition to losing all-purpose veteran Heath Geiser to a preseason injury, poses just as much of a void in leadership as it does in talent.

"Kellen and Kyle could have cared less about stats, they just wanted to compete and win. They were all about the team's success," Keleher said. "And Heath is everything you want in football player. He's a great captain and outstanding leader. When a guy like that goes down, its very impacting to a team."

Despite the losses, Plattsburgh still has plenty of weapons on offense, including wideouts Matt St. Clair, Kelly Gordon and Jordan Keleher. St. Clair caught a team-high nine touchdowns for 533 yards last season.

Tight end Trevor St. Clair, who led the team in receptions last season, is also back, but will be out for a few weeks with a bad ankle sprain.

A big,20athletic Chris Fish is a key addition that will help smooth things out at that position. The first-year tight end should make an immediate impact with his ability to go up and fight for the ball in the air.

Brandon Keleher will return as Plattsburgh's No. 1 halfback. Keleher tallied 622 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground in 2008. He will run behind a solid offensive line that saw its anchor, Moore, move from center to tackle this season.

"Nick can play anywhere on the offensive line," Aguglia said.

Coach Keleher finds himself a bit more at home now that he's playing the role of defensive coordinator. The third-year head coach called plays on the offensive side of the ball for the first two seasons.

"D is a better fit for me," Keleher said. "I've been on both sides in my football coaching career but have spent much more time on the defensive side of the ball. I've always had passion for defense."

This year, Keleher has plenty to work with.

Kyle Babbie returns as the league's two-time defending sack leader. Babbie, a defensive end, linebacker Jamil McCray and defensive end Kevin Gibson should find themselves meeting at the quarterback enough times to keep opposing signal callers on edge.

McCray, who joined midway through last season, played more of a third-down role in 2008 but is expected to be a key player on the defense this year.

Keleher also looks for Dustin Frederick, new to the defens ive line, to make a big impact because he is "fast and strong."

Plattsburgh is a bit young in the secondary, but has a good leader in first-year defensive back Chris McMillan.

"McMillan is definitely the field general," Keleher said. "The new DBs have been showing a lot of promise and working hard. If these DBs stay around they will be good in time."

At middle linebacker, B.J. Godfrey returns after making 83 tackles last season, which was second-most among EFL defenders.

Lastly, special teams looks to be a strong point for Plattsburgh. Gordon led the league in return average and had the only kickoff return for a touchdown in 2008. Jordan Keleher is also a threat on returns.

The addition of Mitch Ryder at kicker is the icing on the special teams unit, giving Plattsburgh consistent confidence in taking three points if necessary.

Plattsburgh begins its regular-season schedule at Plattsburgh High School against Broome County at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.

First-year North Stars quarterback Ken Stay fights off a Vermont Ravens defender in preseason action June 27. Plattsburgh looks to improve=2 0on last year's 8-4 record starting Saturday night, when it hosts Broome County in its Empire Football League opener.

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