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af2 Saturday Matchups

April 11, 2003 - arenafootball2 (af2) News Release

ROCHESTER BRIGADE (0-1) AT COLUMBUS WARDOGS (1-0) SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2003 AT THE COLUMBUS CIVIC CENTER (7,600) 7:00 P.M. ET

The Rochester Brigade head to Columbus in search of win No.1 on the season as they clash with the Wardogs, who slipped past Memphis 26-25 last week. The Brigade, coached by MARK SAUNDERS, hope to get a little more offense after a slow 20-point showing against Mohegan. MIKE CAWLEY tossed two touchdowns to HENRY BAKER last week, as Baker led all Brigade receivers with 71 receiving yards. Columbus' JOHN FOURCADE, in his first season with the Wardogs, got four touchdowns from QB MIKE GLUSKI in the opener against Memphis. Gluski (12-of-24 for 164 yards in Week 2) secured his starting role and shouldn't have to share time with BRANIFF BONAVENTURE this week. Former Tallahassee star JAMES DICKERSON figures big in the Columbus offense, having led the team last week with eight catches for 88 yards and a score. The Wardogs' defense held Memphis to 25 last week, while Rochester only scored 20 against the Wolves. This is the first meeting between the teams in league history. They meet in Rochester on June 28.

CHARLESTON SWAMP FOXES (0-1) AT FLORIDA FIRECATS (0-1) SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2003 AT TECO ARENA (7,128) 7:30 P.M.

The Charleston Swamp Foxes look to get their offense rolling against the defending American Conference Champion Florida Firecats Saturday night at TECO Arena. After a poor outing in Week 2, coach RIK RICHARDS regulated QB MAJOR HARRIS to the back-up role, as af2 veteran BILLIE LUCKIE earned the starting job. In 25 total games over the past two season, Luckie has thrown for over 2,800 yards with 51 touchdowns. Despite the offensive troubles, the Swamp Foxes defense seems to be in midseason form, led by DS MICHAEL BROWN. Last wee Brown nabbed his first of what should be many interceptions. Overall, the Foxes held the Nighthawks to 120 yards of total offense, which was second best in the league for the week. The Firecats, led by BEN BENNETT, hope to avoid a repeat of the second-half letdown they experienced last week. QB BRYAN SPARACINO looked sharp in his first game since going down with a shoulder injury in the 2002 ArenaCup, completing 20-of-34 for 176 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions. Defensive star ROY STABLER already has two picks on the young season. These teams meet again on May 10.

SAN DIEGO RIPTIDE (1-0) AT ARKANSAS TWISTERS (0-1) SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2003 AT ALLTEL ARENA (16,058) 8:00 P.M. ET

The Arkansas Twisters try to get in the win column and the Guinness Book of World Records on Saturday when they host the Riptide. The Twisters hope they can get more than 13,588 people to participate in the "YMCA" to earn recognition in the record book. On the field, GARY ANDERSON is looking for fewer turnovers from his bunch, starting at the QB spot. RICKY HERBERT threw for 203 yards and four touchdowns against Wichita in Week 1, but also tossed three interceptions. KEVIN WILLIAMS serves as a potent weapon for the Twisters, as he grabbed two touchdowns in the Week 1 game. The Riptide, coached by CREE MORRIS, couldn't ask for more out of QB KANE CLAUNCH, who threw five touchdowns and no interceptions in his first game. WR/DB MARTY GRAHAM is coming off an Ironman of the Week award and leads the team with 7.0 tackles. Receiver JESUS REYES had 121 yards on six catches against Bakersfield in Week 1. This is the first of two meetings, with the second coming in San Diego next week. Arkansas has won both previous games between the clubs.

BAKERSFIELD BLITZ (0-1) AT MEMPHIS XPLORERS (0-1) SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2003 AT DESOTO CIVIC CENTER (8,444) 8:00 P.M. ET

The Bakersfield Blitz heads to Memphis to battle the Xplorers on Saturday, with both teams trying to rebound after suffering losses to open the season. The Blitz, led by head coach JAMES FULLER, possess one of the league's best at quarterback in CHAD ELLIOTT. Despite the Week 1 loss to San Diego, Elliott threw for 221 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions. J'SHARLON JONES anchors the defense and leads the team with 7.5 tackles and has one sack on the season. The Xplorers have had an unwanted game of musical chairs at QB this early season, but with the acquisition of ROD ROBINSON, head coach DANTON BARTO hopes to have solved that problem. The rookie signal-caller has spent time in camp with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. Memphis and Bakersfield have never met before, and this is the only scheduled game between the two teams this season.

WICHITA STEALTH (1-0) AT TULSA TALONS (1-0) SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2003 AT THE TULSA CONVENTION CENTER (7,096) 8:30 P.M. ET

If you ever wanted to know what makes Arena Football such an exciting game, look no further than Tulsa Saturday night, as one of af2's best rivalries, featuring two of the league's top quarterbacks, who will be squaring off for the first time. When the Wichita Stealth visit the Tulsa Talons on Saturday night at the Tulsa Convention center, it will mark the return of QB ANTHONY BUCIH to Tulsa, where he guided the league's top-rated scoring offense to a 14-2 mark last season. Buich passed for over 3,000 yards with 64 touchdowns in 2002, but he was shipped off to Wichita to make room for CRAIG STRICKLAND, who was with the club in 2000 and 2001 before spending a season in the AFL. When it comes to numbers, not much separates the pair. Strickland has thrown for 7,015 yards (6th all-time) in his af2 career. Buich sits at 6,230 (8th all-time). Strickland has tossed 133 touchdowns (5th all-time) to Buich's 126 (8th all-time). Even their Week 1 performances look similar as Strickland went 22-of-39 for 223 yards and four touchdowns, while Buich completed 19-of-32 for 205 yards and four touchdowns. Tulsa's MITCH ALLNER needs 10 points to reach 500 for his career. Head coach SKIP FOSTER'S bunch owns the all-time series against BOB CORTESE'S Stealth, with a 4-0 mark.

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