Watertown Red and Black Ends Season with Bowl Game Loss

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The Watertown Red and Black of the Empire Football League (10-3) ended their season with a 21-6 loss to the Monroe County Sting (13-3) in the second round of the Harvest Bowl national tournament this past weekend.

The Watertown Red and Black (10-3) ended their season with a 21-6 loss to the Monroe County Sting (13-3) in the second round of the Harvest Bowl national tournament this past weekend. The Red and Black (10-3) trailed 21-0 before scoring its lone touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 47-yard pass play from quarterback Doug Black to receiver Lester Cole. Anthony Noel rushed for 62 yards on 17 carries for the Red and Black.

The Monroe County Sting, shut out by Watertown during the preseason, came into this game with two big victories, having won the New York Amateur Football League title, 27-14, over the previously unbeaten Central New York (Syracuse) Express Oct. 27. Last week, the Sting beat the Albany MetroMallers 12-7 in the first round of the Harvest Bowl.

The Red and Black hadn't played since an Oct. 13 loss when Vermont defeated Watertown by the unusual score of 9-8 to win the EFL Championship. Both EFL teams decided to extend their seasons by participating in post season tournaments. The Watertown team did score more points (325) than any EFL team, and allowed the least (88).Watertown finished with an EFL best 2,196 rushing yards.

Pregame ceremonies were held recognizing Veterans Day and recognizing Coach Dave Connell, who was killed in Iraq, May 2007. A Delta Kiowa Warrior Helicopter from the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Drum landed near the football field prior to the game. Col. Erik Peterson, commander of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, disembarked from the helicopter and brought the game ball to midfield. As part of this very touching ceremony, Peteron participated in the coin toss prior to the start of the game to honor Coach Connell and four Watertown players from his unit who just returned from deployment in Iraq.

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About the Empire Football League
In its 39th year, the Empire Football League remains committed to its mission of providing an amateur football league that supports the growth and support of amateur tackle football competitions. While the EFL consisted of 9 teams during the 2007 season, EFL Commissioner Dave Burch states that, "Based on applications received to date, we expect continued growth for the 2008 season; it should be noted that contrary to what is being touted by zealots in some circles, our league members are not seeking merger opportunities and are on solid ground as an organization."

Commissioner Burch goes on to state that, "While the EFL's philosophy has always been one of quality versus quantity, each year we continue to invite interested teams to apply to the EFL; we also have keen interest in continuing to develop relationships with other teams and leagues to foster mutual success, something we have done for the last 39 years".

"We have observed an increasing trend of semi pro organizations sprouting up in our communities, some attempting to pass themselves off as members of the EFL or as offshoots of existing EFL teams. While this is somewhat flattering, it is also very disturbing. In spite of this, we remain committed to our goal of continued focus on improvement of our league, its image and relationships in our communities."


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