Sunday, October 03, 2010
EFL Post Game Coverage October 3
Zephyrs blanked by Plattsburgh
By The Leader-Herald
POSTED: October 3, 2010
PLATTSBURGH - The Amsterdam Zephyrs season came to an end Saturday night with a 31-0 loss to Plattsburgh in the opening round of the Empire Football League playoffs.
Amsterdam quarterback Nick Shepard completed 11 of 28 passes for 109 yards with Hasan Welch, his favorite target, collecting five catches for 51 yards.
Elijah White carried the ball five times for 30 yards and Alex Heath gained 33 yards on 11 carries for the Zephyrs. Heath also made five solo tackles, assisted on three more and recovered a fumble. John Totzeck and Alvin Foy added two solo tackles apiece.
Plattsburgh 31, Amsterdam 0
Amsterdam0 0 0 0 - 0
Plattsburgh14 3 7 7 - 31
October 3, 2010
Plattsburgh wallops Amsterdam 31-0 to reach championship game
Sunday, October 03, 2010 | 3:28 AM
PLATTSBURGH -- The Amsterdam Zephyrs made a late-season surge to grab the last spot in the Empire Football League playoffs, but once the second season arrived, the Plattsburgh North Stars proved to be too difficult a task to overcome.
Playing without star quarterback Scott Lawson, who didn't travel with the team to the game, the Zephyrs' struggled on offense all night and watched as Plattsburgh's potent passing attack put up four touchdown passes in a 31-0 rout Saturday in the league semifinals.
Nick Shepard, starting at quarterback in place of Lawson, was 11-of-28 passing for 109 yards. Hasan Welsh led the Zephyrs with five receptions for 51 yards, while Eddie Harrison hauled in four passes for 37 yards.
Amsterdam's potent rushing duo of Elijah White and Alex Heath was bottled up for most of the night, with White managing 30 yards on five carries and Heath carrying 11 times for 33 yards.
Heath also turned in the top effort for the Zephyrs on defense, racking up eight tackles (five solo, three assists) and a fumble recovery. Jon Totzeck added a pair of solo tackles.
A 25-yard touchdown pass put the Zephyrs in a 7-0 hole just 1:37 into the first quarter, and the top-seeded North Stars added another touchdown pass with 4:27 left in the frame to take a 14-0 lead after 15 minutes.
A second quarter field goal ballooned the lead to 17-0 at the half, then touchdown passes in both the third and fourth quarters kept the Zephyrs from holding out hope for a rally and sealed Plattsburgh's berth in the EFL championship game next week at home against Watertown.
The Zephyrs reached the playoffs with a 38-17 rout of the New York (Oneonta) Stallions last Saturday at Lynch Literacy Academy, winning despite a four-week break between games.
R & B defense stands tough
EFL PLAYOFFS: Watertown digs in deep at goal line, denies Vermont and meets Plattsburgh for crown
By JOHN DAY
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2010
This is what Watertown Red and Black football is all about.
With the Red and Black holding a precarious seven-point lead and visiting Vermont threatening to score late in the third quarter of Saturday night's Empire Football League semifinal at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, the Watertown defense knew it had to make a heroic stand.
So on fourth-and-inches from inside the Watertown 1-yard line, Vermont tailback Aaron Webster dove for the score only to be thrust back by Watertown's defensive front for a 2-yard loss.
That was but one of several defensive highlights for the Red and Black, which picked off five Vermont passes and limited the Ice Storm to 152 total yards of offense in a 14-2 victory.
That win sends Watertown (10-1), the defending EFL champs, to Plattsburgh on Saturday night for the EFL title. Plattsburgh handed the Red and Black its only loss of the season, so needless to say there's a matter of evening the score.
"We owe them big time,'' said Red and Black linebacker Mike Dumaw, who intercepted three passes and was all over the field. "This week we'll put together a game plan and then try to execute it better than last time.''
Quarterback Brian Williams rushed for 124 yards on 10 carries and scored both Watertown touchdowns. He ran it in from 55 yards in the first quarter, then tacked on a huge 4-yard TD scamper in the fourth quarter to deny the Ice Storm (6-4) any chance of a comeback.
"They made some mistakes, we made some mistakes,'' Williams said. "But when we had to move the ball, we just pushed it down their throats. Our defense came up big as usual, and that just spurs us on.''
The Watertown defense harassed Vermont quarterback Brad Ruderman all night, forcing him to throw most of his passes while retreating. Ruderman completed just 10-of-26 throws for 106 yards.
Todd Kiechle also recorded two interceptions and Vermont's running game managed only 46 net yards in 21 attempts.
As for his interceptions, Dumaw said he just knew where Ruderman was throwing. "He almost always looks off the first receiver and goes for a second,'' Dumaw said. "He wasn't setting his feet because of the pass rush, so they were really easy picks.''
Watertown set the tone early by stopping Vermont on its first series, then scoring quickly when Williams kept on the option and raced past several Ice Storm defenders for a 55-yard score with 91/2 minutes left in the opening quarter.
Nate McKeever's PAT made it 7-0, and that was really all the Red and Black needed.
"In a game as defensive-minded as this, one touchdown is huge,'' Williams said. "It's nice to get that early momentum and then watch our defense work.''
Vermont recorded just four first downs and only 85 yards of offense the entire first half. However, Williams was also picked off twice to prevent the Red and Black from adding to the lead.
Vermont put together its only drive of the game early in the third quarter, marching from its own 38 to the Watertown 1 in 10 plays. That's when the Watertown defense stood its ground.
Vermont's only score came on the next Red and Black series when a bad Williams pitch to Joe Brennan bounded into the end zone and Brennan recovered for a safety. But the Red and Black held on downs after the free kick, and the Watertown offense accepted the challenge by mounting its best drive of the contest.
With Brennan (29 carries, 146 yards) and Williams sharing the rushing load, Watertown drove 74 yards on nine plays with Williams sweeping left end for the final four yards to the big insurance points.
"We basically gave Plattsburgh the first game with our mistakes,'' Red and Black coach George Ashcraft said. "But if we limit the turnovers, and play our game, we'll be just fine.''