Sunday, July 19, 2009

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."

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