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Dynamic receiving duo soars for Red and Black

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WATERTOWN — Edgar Givens views himself as the Batman of the Watertown Red and Black’s wide receiving corps.

But he knows fellow receiver Chris Furr isn’t going to be anybody’s Robin.

Givens and Furr have combined for nine receiving touchdowns and nearly 600 yards during Watertown’s 4-0 start in the Empire Football League.

The Red and Black will play the Glove Cities Colonials (0-4) at Knox Field in Johnstown at 7 tonight.

“He’s more like The Flash,” said Givens, who owns about eight pairs of Batman socks that he wears to games and practices.

“I don’t see him as a sidekick because we’re equals. I still feel like I’m better, but we’re equal though,” Givens said with a laugh.

Givens, a 28-year-old from Missouri, leads the team with 332 yards and five touchdowns. Furr, a Texas native who will turn 25 in October, ranks second with 253 yards and four scores.

In last Saturday’s 44-6 victory over Glens Falls, Furr tallied 117 yards and caught two touchdowns while Givens finished with 64 yards and a score.

Red and Black offensive coordinator Jerry Levine compares the 6-foot-4 Givens to Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons because of his size and playing style.

“He’s just a big target and he runs good patterns, and he’s tough to bring down after the catch because he’s a big guy,” Levine said, “and with Furr, he’s a blazer and has got a lot of speed and can make some big plays.”

“We got those two going a little bit. If we can get a couple more guys going, we’re going to be even tougher to stop,” he added.

Both Givens and Furr are in their second season with the nation’s oldest semipro football team. The two bonded quickly at the start of last season and said they have become close friends.

“He’s one of my best friends up here,” Givens said. “We’re real close and I know pretty much everything about him as he does me. It’s real cool, he’s just down to earth, a not-hard-to-get-along-with kind of person.”

Furr added: “We’re kind of like brothers and we think a lot alike when we’re on the field. We know exactly what we need to do and where we need to be in order to catch the ball.”

Givens and Furr’s friendship has led to a natural competitiveness between the two spirited and outspoken wide-outs.

“We’re competitive at all times, with each other in practice, and we always want to go against the other team’s best corner,” Furr said. “That’s what you need to have in order to be a good football player, you need to be competitive, and that’s what we are.”

Givens said he believes the good-natured rivalry is the biggest reason for their success.

“That’s what makes us better because we don’t really take plays off in practice, and we’re hard on each other all the time,” Givens said. “So when someone else is hard on us, it’s in the wind because we’re already hard on ourselves.”

Ryan Semor, the first-year Red and Black quarterback, said the Givens-Furr duo has helped him ease into the starting spot. Semor, who didn’t begin playing QB until after the team’s preseason game in late June, has tallied 573 passing yards and eight touchdowns in three and a half games as the starter.

“Those two are very smart,” Semor said. “So when they see something that I don’t, if they’re running a route or pattern or something like that, they’re able to come back and tell me things. Our communication between us three is great and as long I can get them the ball, my job is easy.”

After tonight’s game, the Red and Black has two weeks off before its regular season finale at Plattsburgh (3-1).

Watertown has already clinched a home game for the first round of the four-team EFL playoffs, scheduled for Sept. 27.

The Red and Black can clinch home field for the Oct. 4 EFL title game before its regular season finale with a win tonight and a Plattsburgh loss to Glens Falls on Sept. 6.

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