Sunday, August 09, 2009

EFL Post Game Coverage August 8, 2009

Red & Black follows formula to home rout

Watertown's Anthony Noel tries to pull away from Vermont's Jed Randall on Saturday. To see more photos, go to


Watertown's Anthony Tyrkala, left, guards Vermont's Rob Joy as the scoreboard shows Watertown ahead by 31 in the second quarter at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.


The Watertown Red and Black is tearing through this 2009 football season by embracing one of life's most practical concepts. It's sticking with what works.
The Red and Black put together another potent rushing performance Saturday night at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, racking up 346 yards en route to a 43-0 Empire Football League victory over the Vermont Ice Storm.
Anthony Noel again led all runners with 138 yards, highlighted by a 58-yard touchdown jaunt in the second quarter.
But the dominant offensive line isn't partial to just Noel. Joe Brennan finished with 90 yards, and quarterback Bria n Williams carried six times for 49 and a score.
Williams completed just one pass — an 18-yard touchdown connection to Nate Bryant — as Watertown improved to 4-0 despite the lack of a serious air threat.
But Watertown seems to be viewing the pass much like a seasoned carpenter might look at a modern tool box: why use a nailgun when a hammer can do the same job?
"We're not going to try to fix something that's not broke," head coach George Ashcraft said of Watertown's running strategy.
And why should they? Watertown's blockers have opened 1,100 yards worth of running lanes in20the past three games.
Brennan broke free for a 24-yard gain, while Williams's first rush covered 20 and Noel's 37. Sixteen of the Red and Black's first 17 plays were handoffs, and Ernie Miller and Williams provided the first two Watertown touchdowns.
"The O-line did the job," said Noel, who had 177 yards last week. "Without them nobody runs anywhere. And we've got four quality backs that we can utilize."
The defensive unit has proved pretty dependable, too, having scored a touchdown in each game this season.
Watertown cornerback Anthony Tyr kala intercepted a Matt Paul pass in the second quarter, only to have it negated by an offside penalty.
But he was confident he'd have another chance for a big play, and a few minutes later, he out-muscled Vermont receiver Rob Joy and raced 48 yards for the end zone.
Tyrkala said playing against the Ice Storm (1-4) last week made it easy to make adjustments.
"Having them two weeks in a row, we knew they'd want to run a lot of outs and curl routes," he said. "We decided to go man-to-man this week, after we played them mostly zone last time. We know we have a great D-line, and that always makes a QB hesitate and make mistakes."
And mistakes were too common an occurrence for Vermont.
Troy Canada, just before halftime, dropped a high Mike Dumaw punt, allowing Jake Smith to pounce on it for Watertown's final points. The Ice Storm finished with just 69 yards of total offense, and never ventured into Watertown territory.
"They didn't do anything unexpected," first-year Vermont coach Darren Hayes said. "We've struggled against the run this year. A coach's worst nightmare is when their strength is our weakness. We started slow with no intensity and they made us pay for it."
Dylan K irker and Dustin Houppert each contributed five tackles, while Garrett Kline added four and a sack.
Ashcraft said the team's efforts in preparations for each game is the main reason for the undefeated start to the season.
"We have five coaches here putting in hours and hours of work on our game plans," Ashcraft said. "And it's working."
A 61-yard touchdown pass from Ken Stay to Matt St. Clair highlighted Plattsburgh's shutout triumph over the Silver and Black at Sandstoner Park in Potsdam.
Kyle Nolan, Brandon Kelleher, Kris Fish, Kelly Gordon and Elija Parks all scored short-yardage touchdowns for the North Stars (4-0).
Ryan Mason completed only three passes for 32 yards, while Andy Deon led the rushing attack with 47 yards on 13 carries for Massena (0-5).

Stay leads unbeaten Stars

August 09, 2009 03:23 am

MASSENA — The Plattsburgh North Stars focused on the passing game during their bye week, and it showed when they returned to action Saturday.

Quarterback Ken Stay tossed three touchdown passes — including a 62-yard score — to help the Stars shut out the Massena Silver and Black 40-0 in an Empire Football League game.

The Stars improved to 4-0 in league play.

Stay finished 10-for-18 for 151 yards and no interceptions.

"One of the things we did during the bye week was work hard on the passing game, letting Ken see the field,"=2 0Stars coach Pat Keleher said. "He's really had two good (games) in a row now. He's starting to understand the offense. The game's slowing down for him; he's starting to see the field. He played very well tonight."

The Stars' offense was kickstarted by the special teams, specifically Zach Blocker's kick returns.

"He set us in their territory a couple times," Keleher said. "He had a 50-yard opening return to start the game. That put us inside their 30, and bam, three plays and we're up 7-0."

Blocker totaled 137 return yards and added 22 rushing yards.

Stay connected with Matt St. Clair for a 62-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 and found Kelly Gordon for a 6-yard score before the end of the first quarter.

The Stars went into halftime ahead 27-0.

St. Clair finished with a team-high 75 receiving yards, and Gordon totaled three catches for 27 yards. Chris Fish had a 9-yard touchdown reception.

Brandon Keleher led Plattsburgh's ground game with 12 carries for 101 yards and the opening touchdown. Kyle Nolan had a 23-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter, and Elija Parks scored from the 6-yard line in the fourth.

The Silver and Black's best chance to get on the board came late in the game.

"They had a first-and-goal from the six, and we held," Pat Keleher said. "They didn't gain any yards. They went 0-for-4 from the six. That was really the only time they threatened.

"I think we're very solid up front defensively, and that allows what I believe is a very talented group of linebackers to run free, make plays. The secondary was solid (Saturday). They didn't give up any home-run balls."

Massena, which visits Plattsburgh next week, dropped to 0-5 on the season.

Plattsburgh 40, Massena 0
Plattsburgh  20  7 7 6—40
Massena       0  0 0 0—0

Scoring summary
First Quarter
P- B. Keleher 5 run (Fish kick).
P- Stay 62 pass to St. Clair (Fish kick).
P- Stay 6 pass to Gordon (kick failed).

Second quarter
P- Stay 9 pass to Fish (Fish kick).

Third quarter
P- Nolan 23 run (Fish kick).

Fourth quarter
P- Parks 6 run (kick failed).

Individual Statistics
P- B. Keleher 12-101, TD; Nolan 3-24, TD; Z. Blocker 5-22; Parks 3-19, TD; J. Blocker 1-4. Totals: 24-170, 3 TDs.

P- St. Clair 2-75, TD; Gordon 3-27, TD; B. Keleher 1-16; Fish 1-9, TD; Talley 1-9; J. Keleher 1-8; Z. Blocker 1-7. Totals: 10-151, 3 TDs.

P- Stay 10-18-151-3-0.
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