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.
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