The Empire Football League
The Empire Football League


WATERTOWN — Because of factors beyond their control Watertown Red and Black players haven’t played in a football game for nearly a month.

Now with finally a game in sight and the playoffs on the horizon, the Red and Black hopes to return with a vengeance tonight.

Also with first place on the line in the Empire Football League, Watertown will host the Broome County Stallions at 7 p.m. today on the team’s First Responder Night at George Ashcraft Field at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

“I’ve had two-week layoffs before, but never four,” Watertown coach George Ashcraft said. “You can’t make a big deal out of it, if you make a big deal out of it, it will be a big deal and I don’t want that. It’s life. It’s like going on a week’s vacation and you get three extra ones, you try to enjoy it.”

The Red and Black enters tonight with a 10-0 record, including 9-0 in the league, while the second-place Stallions sit at 8-1.

The winner of tonight’s game will secure the top seed in the EFL playoffs, which will begin next week with a pair of semifinal games.

“Definitely,” Ashcraft said of the game being a preparation for the playoffs. “We should be healthy and that’s the only way to look at it. Because my belief is, if all goes well, we’ll play Broome County this week, next week we’ll play Auburn and the week after that we’ll play Broome again.”

Watertown’s last game was a 41-6 home victory over the Auburn Pride back on Aug. 20. The team was supposed to play at Plattsburgh on Aug. 27, but the game was canceled after the North Stars’ franchise folded for the season.

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