Odessa and Abilene Open Regular Season On April 6
ODESSA, TX: Following an exciting exhibition game back on Monday, March 30, the Odessa Roughnecks and Abilene Ruff Riders square off once again on Monday, April 6, to open up the regular season. Abilene defeated Odessa in the exhibition match-up, 36-33, after Odessa missed a last second field goal to send the game into overtime. Now with training camp and the preseason wrapping up, both teams are set to go at it for the first of four meetings in the 2009 regular season.
The Roughnecks first string offense and defense looked very sharp in the exhibition game versus Abilene. The offense put up 20 points in the first half as the defense created two turnovers (interception, fumble). The fumble by Abilene QB Quincy Carter was returned by DL Steven Kennedy for a 12-yard touchdown. Look for Kennedy to be on the defensive line once again along side DL Ahmad Childress and Rodney Allen. Allen missed the exhibition game on Monday, March 30, but look for him to be in the starting line-up come April 6.
The Roughnecks D-line will have to find a way to slow down Ruff Riders RB Carlos Alsup, who registered 79 yards rushing on six carries, including a 38-yard touchdown run in the exhibition game. Ruff Riders QB Quincy Carter will have to perform better than the 3-for-12, 22 - yard passing day he had on March 30. Carter will have good targets to go to in the passing attack including WR Mychal Carrillo, WR Juan Reese, and WR Chris Morris.
Defensively, the Ruff Riders will have Fred Thrweat on the line along with Fremon Cook and Brandon Hatch. LB Rico Brooks had a standout performance on March 30 with a 48-yard fumble return for a touchdown. DB Darvin Peterson will lead the secondary for Abilene along with Andre Morgan and Joey Longoria. From a special teams perspective, look for Rashon Lewis to be a big weapon after returning four kicks for 37 yards in the exhibition game versus Odessa.
The Roughnecks offense will be led by QB Dennis Gile who is coming off a '08 season where he threw for 2,027 yards and 47 total touchdowns. Gile will have WR Jimmy Conner and WR Torrey Day as his receiving arsenal. Day had a monster performance in the exhibition game, catching three passes for 64 yards and a 28-yard touchdown reception. Look for both RB Tony Taylor and FB DeWayne Hogan to be key factors inside the red-zone. Watch for WR Sam Griffin to be a key aspect of the passing game as well.
Following the game on April 6, the Roughnecks head to San Angelo to play the Stampede Express on Saturday, April 11. Abilene will host the Omaha Beef on April 11. After the game on April 6, Odessa and Abilene will not face each other until June 13 in Odessa.
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