October 12, 2013

North Stars look for different result in EFL title game

PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh North Stars have some unfinished business to take care of tonight.

One year removed from a title game loss to Monroe County, the North Stars (9-2) will get a second crack at an Empire Football League (EFL) championship when they host the Syracuse Shock at the Plattsburgh High School Athletic Complex for 7 p.m.

“Each season is different,” Plattsburgh coach Scott Aguglia said. “Last year, we had a much different journey from beginning to end. All in all, the only thing that matters is that you reach the championship. You have to be in it to win it.”

The two teams split the regular-season series at one game apiece.

The North Stars recorded a 38-18 win at home July 27, but dropped a 50-27 decision to the Shock (9-2) at the D. Donald Distin Athletic Complex in Syracuse Aug. 24.

Syracuse has experienced a challenging road to the EFL finale.

The Shock captured a 16-10 road win over the Watertown Red and Black in first-round play Sept. 28 before knocking off the North East Pennsylvania Miners in Scranton, Pa., 33-14 last Saturday.

Syracuse sports the deadliest 1-2 rushing tandem in the EFL. Justyn Hardwick and Dewayne “Flash” Gordon have combined for 2,047 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on the year.

Plattsburgh’s rugged defensive unit suffocated Hardwick and Gordon July 27, holding the dynamic duo to 83 rushing yards on 23 attempts.

“I’d expect them to try and run the football down our throat and see if we can stop it,” Aguglia said. “We’ve had an opportunity to prepare all week. Coach (Dave) Hackett has worked to install a game plan that should get executed to stop the run. Hopefully, it works.”

The North Stars will counter with their patented balanced attack. With Aguglia overseeing play-calling responsibilities, Plattsburgh has operated 215 passing plays and 195 running plays this season.

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