Monday, September 27, 2010

EFL Post Game Press Coverage 9/27

Zephyrs get into playoffs
Recorder Sports Staff
Coming into Saturday night's game at Lynch Literacy Academy, the Amsterdam Zephyrs just needed to win to secure the Empire Football League's final playoff berth.
The Zephyrs got the win, but they also made a statement.
Facing the New York (Oneonta) Stallions, the team the Zephyrs lost to in their opener, Amsterdam rolled to an impressive 38-17 victory.
"The guys played great tonight," said Zephyrs head coach Joe Hall.
Setting the tone early was the team's defense, putting on a show on the Stallions' (3-6) first possession. The short-lived drive lasted for seven plays, with the Zephyrs (4-5) stopping five of the plays behind the line for losses.
After a failed Amsterdam drive, the Zephyrs' defense again went to work against the Stallions. After three quick stops the Stallions were forced to punt from their own 10-yard line.
A short punt landed in the hands of Amsterdam's speedy tailback Alex Heath at the Stallions' 40-yard line, and the Zephyrs made quick work of the New York special teams. After dodging an early tackler around the 30-yard line, Heath sped out to the sideline and went untouched into the end zone.
Though the Stallions managed a field goal on their next possession, from there it was all Zephyrs. Behind quarterback Scott Lawson's two touchdown throws and a field goal of their own, the Zephyrs went into the half leading 24-3.
Amsterdam scored quickly in the third quarter on a series of bruising runs by halfback Elijah White (six carries, 80 yards) and fullback Penta Thomas (two carries, 13 yards) to push their lead to 31-3. The burly duo rushed for a combined 60 yards on the drive, often dragging Stallions along with them as they chugged for extra yards.
The drive's most impressive plays came on its last two hand-offs. First, it took four Stallions to finally push Thomas to the ground after picking up six yards, then White capped the drive with a remarkable 21-yard touchdown run. White appeared ready to go down at the 17-yard line, but instead brushed off a pair of would-be tacklers and rumbled the rest of the way to end zone.
From there, the Zephyrs were never seriously challenged, thanks in large part to the stellar play of their defense.
In all, the defense held the Stallions' offense to just 132 yards. Zephyrs' defensive coordinator Bob Reynolds changed up his defensive front before the game, opting for a smaller, but quicker, line. The move worked, allowing the Zephyrs' to treat each Stallions' snap call as a signal for a jailbreak toward Noble Chapen, the Stallions' quarterback. The speedy Chapen (12 rushes, 36 yards) often found himself scurrying out of the backfield to avoid crunching hits from the blitzing Zephyrs. Even when Chapen was able to get off a throw, he often found himself hurried and throwing on the run; as a result, Chapen, the Stallions' major offensive threat, had 16 of his 26 passes fall incomplete and another two secured for interceptions in the arms of Amsterdam's Jon Totzeck. Chapen's eight completions went for 88 yards.
"You can't ask anything more of the defense," Hall said. "They played outstanding all night."
The Zephyrs now head to Plattsburgh to take on the top-seeded North Stars next Saturday. The two teams met earlier this season at Lynch Literacy Academy, a 3-0 Plattsburgh victory. The Zephyrs still think their defense is capable of shutting down the North Stars, but now their offense can do its part. Always able to move the ball on the ground because of the presence of Heath (10 carries, 63 yards) and -- when healthy -- White, the Zephyrs now can move the ball through the air, too.
"We've got a first-class quarterback now," Hall said. "They can't just team up on the run and put nine in the box. We're two dimensional now ... we were one-dimensional when we played them last time."
September 27, 2010
Anonymous Staff Report Staff Report Mon Sep 27, 2010, 03:30 AM EDT
The quest for a playoff spot came up short for the New York Stallions.

The Stallions, an Oneonta-based, adult-football team, dropped a 38-17 decision at Amsterdam on Saturday, ending their chances at making the Empire Football League playoffs.

Amsterdam earned the fourth seed and meets No. 1 Plattsburgh in a semifinal.

The Stallions (4-5) improved from their first year, when they went 0-10 and were outscored, 529-18, in the Regional American Football League.

"It was a pretty reasonable season," New York coach Tom Terry said. "We made strides to build a foundation and hope to be a better football team next year."

Oneonta High graduate Noble Champen paced New York with 90 yards rushing and a touchdown. Kyle Besemer (Walton) had a 7-yard touchdown run for the Stallions.

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