Sunday, September 13, 2009
EFL Post Game Press Coverage September 13th
R&B forces victory
WINNING TURNOVER: Fourth-quarter play helps Watertown avenge Quebec loss
By MATT CORDOVA
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2009ARTICLE OPTIONS
Antonio Alexander became reacquainted with the long-lost world of the end zone Saturday night at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, and it couldn't have happened at any better time for the Watertown Red and Black.
The second-year cornerback returned a fumble 56 yards for the go-ahead touchdown that sparked the team to a 26-16 Empire Football League victory over Quebec.
Watertown trailed 16-13 early in the fourth quarter as linebacker Demetric White chased Titans' quarterback Kevin Wyeth out of the pocket. Wyeth dropped the ball as White applied the hit, while Alexander scooped it up like a shortstop fielding a routine grounder, and zoomed down the sideline.
The win improved Watertown's record to 8-1.
"That's my first TD of the year," said Alexander, who scored four in 2008. "Better late than never, I guess. We just had to put some pressure on the quarterback and try to get him to throw the ball away."
The Red and Black enjoyed its most complete victory of the season in avenging its one loss. In addition to Alexander's touchdown, Dan Robl and Todd Kiechle each blocked a field goal, and the defense allowed just 18 yards on the ground.
The team rushed for 244 yards, and Ernie Miller's kick returns of 24, 16 and 30 yards ensured adequate field position for the offense.
More importantly, neither fear nor anger set in when Wyeth engineered a nine-play drive to give the Titans the three-point advantage heading into the final quarter. The Red and Black managed, also, to withstand Wyeth's 216 passing yards and two touchdowns.
"A win is a win. They pulled it back together and made it happen," head coach George Ashcraft said. "We picked back up the momentum we had before halftime when we had the lead."
Brian Williams darted 56 yards on an option for a touchdown on Watertown's first play from scrimmage. The quick strike forced Quebec for the rest of the night to guess whether he'd pitch it or keep it. And, for the rest of the night, it seemed either choice Williams made was the right one.
Anthony Noel capped the win, one that likely ensured home field advantage through the postseason, with a 43-yard, option-right jaunt. Then the celebration commenced.
"We believe we can run that option against any team," Williams said. "We tried to run hard on the edges, and get to their second level where we thought we'd have some cut back lanes."
"The option killed us," Quebec coach John Mouland said. "We couldn't stop it. This is the first team we've seen run it, and they definitely have the ball players to utilize it."
Defensive pressure on Wyeth in the second half doomed Quebec, too. Watertown sacked him three times in the game's final moments, forcing Quebec into a fourth-and-30 situation on its final play.
But no moment was more important than when White came bursting into the backfield to set up the game-changing play.
"As a defense, we thrive in those situations," said White, who added three tackles. "We live for the game to be on our backs.
"They moved the back out, and I knew I'd have a 1-on-1 matchup. The line forced (Wyeth) out, and I just never gave up, and Alexander made a great heads up play scooping it up."
BROOME COUNTY 15, MASSENA 7
Broome County scored a pair of touchdowns in the second half to defeat Massena in Binghamton.
Adam Good scored on a 5-yard run in the third quarter to pull Broome County ahead of Massena, who scored first on a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Ryan Mason in the second quarter.
Good then threw 32 yards to Dominique Henderson for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Buddy Compeau ran for 75 yards on 17 carries for Massena (0-9). Mike Weller made eight tackles, and Geoff Cary made seven and recorded a sack.
PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh North Stars got back on the winning track Saturday night, defeating the Vermont Ice Storm, 13-0, and putting themselves in a one-game battle for the league's second seed next week against Quebec.
After two weeks of giving up more big plays than they'd like in Plattsburgh's only two losses of the year, the Stars' secondary returned to its ball-hawking ways, picking off Vermont quarterback Matt Paul three times thanks to the hands of Brandon St. John, Shane Racette and Matt St. Clair.
Vermont had brief success completing passes underneath, but Stars coach Pat Keleher said he doesn't mind giving up a few short passes to prevent a long one.
"The secondary did a great job keeping stuff in front of them tonight," Keleher said.
Brandon Keleher scored Plattsburgh's lone touchdown on a five-yard run. He compiled 84 yards on the ground on 19 carries.
Fullbacks Kyle Nolan and Elija Parks made their presence felt again, leading the way for Keleher and Zach Blocker. Blocker tallied 58 yards rushing in the game.
Vermont's Kevin Fournier and Akeem Williams combined for 109 yards rushing, but they lost effectiveness the closer they got to Plattsburgh's end zone.
"I was pleased that we shut them out, we made the stops when we had to," Keleher said. "And in the second half, we ran the ball when we had to."
Stars quarterback Ken Stay went 9-for-25 passing, totaling 107 yards and an interception.
Paul was 11-for-27 with 125 yards to go along with his three interceptions.
Mitch Ryder was good on field goals of 23 and 25 yards.
The Stars travel to Montreal next weekend to face Quebec. With a victory, Plattsburgh can secure the second seed and a first-round bye, as well as a home game.
"(Vermont) was an important win — we needed it," Keleher said. "Now, it's in our hands."
Plattsburgh 13, Vermont 0
Vermont 0 0 0 0— 0
Plattsburgh 3 0 7 3—13
P- Ryder 23 kick, 8:22.
P- B. Keleher 5 run (Ryder kick), 4:46.
P- Ryder 25 kick, 3:48.
P- B. Keleher 19-84 TD. Blocker 8-58. Parks 1-4. Nolan 3-13. Stay 1-0.
V- Williams 9-32. Fournier 5-77. Paul 1(-6). Butler 2-4. Belida 1-0.
P- Stay 9-25-107-0-1.
P- St. Clair 4-41. Fish 1-17. Gordon 4-49.
V- Joy 6-34. 4-70. Canada 1-21.