Sunday, August 15, 2010
EFL Post Game Press Coverage August 15
The Vermont Ice Storm ran out to a big halftime lead en route to 27-6 victory over the New York Stallions in a semi-professional Empire Football League Saturday evening.
Red and Black battles to avoid Zephyrs upset
Red and Black battles to avoid Zephyrs upset
AMSTERDAM — The Watertown Red and Black has reached the midpoint of the Empire Football League season with a perfect record. But its latest victory was nowhere near as convincing as the first four.
Alan Dwyer scored on a run from four yards out with four minutes, 18 seconds remaining in regulation Saturday at Lynch Middle School, and the Red and Black barely hung on for a 31-27 victory over the host Amsterdam Zephyrs.
Quarterback Brian Williams and Joe Brennan gained 117 and 100 yards, respectively, on the ground to help Watertown (5-0) avoid its first EFL loss since Aug. 15 last year.
Zephyrs fall short against Watertown
August 15, 2010
AMSTERDAM — The Amsterdam Zephyrs semi-pro football team dropped a 31-27 decision to Watertown in an Empire Football League contest at Lynch Literacy Academy on ?Saturday.
Zephyrs fall toWatertown
By MICHAEL KELLY
Recorder Sports Staff
Threatening to complete the upset of the Empire Football League's season, the Amsterdam Zephyrs had the ball at the undefeated Watertown Red and Black's 5-yard line with about 30 seconds left in the game. Lining up in a shotgun formation, the Zephyrs had the ball right where they wanted it — in the hands of quarterback Scott Lawson.
Playing in his first game for the team, Lawson had been brilliant. As he lined up in the shotgun down 31-27, the newcomer was 10-of-15 for 220 yards with four touchdowns.
Taking the snap, Lawson glanced around the field before flinging it to the front right corner of the end zone at his favorite target, Ace Barnhill, who already had two touchdown catches on the game. As the ball floated toward Barnhill, the sure-handed receiver temporarily freed himself from the two Watertown defenders marking him.
But only temporarily.
Barnhill could only get a hand on the ball, the two Watertown defenders draped over him as the Zephyrs sideline screamed for a penalty flag. They didn't get one, but Watertown's defense got what they were looking for — a momentum-killing goal line interception, courtesy of Brian Williams that sealed the 31-27 setback.
The Zephyrs (1-4) initially fell behind 14-0, but battled back to only trail just 17-14 at the half. The second half saw the lead see-saw back and forth between the two teams, putting on quite a show for those in attendance at Lynch Literacy Academy.
Though it was a tight back-and-forth contest that saw four second half lead changes, the game was at times marred by rough play — and language — by the players of both teams who were frequently upset with the game's officiating. Both teams drew unsportsmanlike conduct for yelling at officials, with the Zephyrs drawing multiple penalties of the like.
"Guys got to keep their mouths shut," said Zephyrs head coach Joe Hall. "Our guys needed to be disciplined."
Though, at some points it was hard to blame the Zephyrs' players for being upset. On the game's deciding play, multiple hands could be seen on Barnhill's jersey; earlier on the drive, a 50-yard run by Alex Heath (106 yards on 16 carries) had already been called back on a holding penalty.
"They were throwing [the flags] all night on us," said Hall, whose team amassed roughly 125 yards in penalties. "But we couldn't get one when we needed one."
Both sides' frustration with the referees ended up in several late hits and some legal tackles with more force than was requisitely needed. The tension between the two teams culminated in a near fight on the field following a successful extra point attempt by the Zephyrs when several players became entangled around Amsterdam's Jermell Hailel and Watertown's Steve Roy. Both players were ejected for their part in the melee.
Still, despite Amsterdam's displeasure with the referees and the final score, the team likely played their best game of the season last night. The offense scored a season-high number of points and the defense was able to make key stops against the best offense the EFL has to offer.
Williams, the Watertown defensive back who made the game-saving interception, mans the quarterback for the Red and Black's option-based offense and leads the league in rushing out of it. While he did managed two touchdown passes last night, the Zephyrs' defense limited Williams to 79 yards and kept him out of the end zone. Last week, Williams ran for 179 yards and two touchdowns in his team's 49-6 throttling of the New York (Oneonta) Stallions.
"I would have to say this is the best we have played this season," Hall said.
The Zephyrs will next play at Watertown on Aug. 28. Amsterdam was scheduled to host the Broome County Dragons this upcoming Saturday at Lynch Literacy Academy, but the game was cancelled and ruled a forfeit after the Dragons withdrew from the league.