af2 Week 3: Quick Hitters
April 10, 2008 - arenafootball2 (af2) News Release
GAMES ON - af2/NiFTy PARTNERSHIP CREATES NEW FREE ONLINE NETWORK: The arenafootball2 league (af2) and Network Foundation Technologies (NFT) are pleased to announce a partnership that has created a new, FREE online network to provide the league's passionate fan base an opportunity to view the af2's 2008 season live over the Internet. Thanks to the power of NFT's patented online broadcasting technology, fans across the globe are now be able to bring all the action of af2 football right to their home computer or laptop on a "Free-for-View" basis. Broadcasts began in Week 1 to rave reviews and continue in Week 3 with a 14-game slate.
MCKINNEY, HUNT, GILLIAM, HOUSE EARN WEEK 2 HONORS: Florida wide receiver/linebacker CHRIS MCKINNEY, Oklahoma City wide receiver/defensive back AL HUNT and Spokane defensive back SERGIO GILLIAM have been named the U.S. Army Ironman, Schutt Offensive Player and ADT Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, for Week 2 of the 2008 season. In addition to these three awards, the af2 is also highlighting the player who makes the best catch of the week. The Cutters Catch of the Week Award for Week 2 goes to Amarillo fullback/linebacker WALLACE HOUSE.
McKinney (6-2, 215, Guilford College), in his fifth af2 season, showcased his all-around talents for the Firecats in their convincing, 56-14, road win on Sunday at Texas. The veteran playmaker's notable two-way play included three total touchdowns on offense, two receiving and one rushing. McKinney finished with four catches for 52 yards. On defense, the Guilford College alum was also impressive with two total tackles, one sack and two pass breakups. This is the second Ironman of the Week award of McKinney's career (Week 3 - 2007) and the third weekly league honor of his career. He earned the Cutters Catch of the Week for Week 10 of 2006. Hunt (5-11, 205, Northwestern Okla. State), in his sixth af2 season, led Oklahoma City to a 57-42 victory over Arkansas in the Yard Dawgz' home opener on Saturday. The veteran from Northwestern Oklahoma State had an impressive individual showing with six total touchdowns against the Twisters. Hunt scored four times in the first half (3 receiving, 1 rushing) and had two kick returns for touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the Yard Dawgz. He receiving totals included a team-high seven catches for 82 yards. This is the first Offensive Player of the Week honor of Hunt's career. He has earned five straight All-af2 selections, the most of any current league athlete. He earned First Team accolades in 2007 and in 2004 while earning All-af2 Second Team recognition in 2003 (Tulsa), 2005 and 2006. Gilliam (6-2, 195, Clemson), an af2 rookie, was a menace on defense for the second straight week to help lead Spokane to a 70-12 victory over Stockton in the Shock's home opener on Saturday. Gilliam tied a team record with three interceptions for the second consecutive week, one of which he returned 23 yards for a touchdown. The former Clemson standout also tallied four tackles, two pass breakups and one fumble recovery. This is Gilliam's second ADT Defensive Player of the Week honor in as many weeks. He currently leads the league with six interceptions. House (6-0, 290, Fordham), who is entering his second season in the af2, earned the Cutters Catch of the Week on a botched extra point try in the fourth quarter of Saturday's home contest against Central Valley. After House scored on a three-yard run to put the Dusters ahead by nine points (62-53) with four minutes to play, Amarillo lined up for the extra point try. A bad snap, however, forced kicker Jacob Felton to become a quarterback. With pressure coming, Felton hailed a pray into the end zone that was answered by House. House snatched the pass after it caromed off two Coyote defenders. In addition to his two-point conversion catch, the former Fordham standout had two touchdown runs to help Amarillo win its first game of the season, 71-60.
TALONS TOP WEEK 3 COACHES POLL: The defending ArenaCup Champion Tulsa Talons have maintained the No. 1 ranking in the Week 3 Coaches Poll, the arenafootball2 (af2) league office announced today. Tulsa collected 439 of a possible 448 points and 24-of-29 first place votes in securing the top position for the third consecutive week. The Talons continued their strong start to the 2008 season with a convincing 65-28 home win on Saturday against Boise. The Spokane Shock (2-0, 378 points, 2 first place votes) maintained their spot at No. 2 overall for the second straight week after an impressive 70-12 home victory Saturday against West Division foe Stockton. Louisville (2-0, 336 points, 2 first place votes) jumped into the Top-5 this week at No. 3 after a 50-43 road win at South Georgia. Florida (No. 4) is right behind the Fire with 335 points. The Firecats opened their season in Week 2 with a 56-14 road win at Texas. The No. 5-ranked Rio Grande Valley Dorados, idle in Week 2, play at Corpus Christi this Saturday night. Central Valley slid out of the Top-5 and down to No. 15 overall after suffering a 71-60 road loss at Amarillo. The Coyotes entered the week at No. 3 overall.
COMPTON TAKES OVER IN DAYTONA BEACH: On Thursday the The Daytona Beach Thunderbirds introduced GARY COMPTON as their new Head Coach and Director of Football Operations. Compton comes to Daytona Beach with an impressive resume. Most recently, he served as Head Coach and Director of Football Operations for the af2's Bakersfield Blitz from 2006-2007. Compton led the Blitz to a playoff berth in 2006 after a 9-7 regular season record. He also served as Offensive Coordinator for Jon Bon Jovi's Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League in 2005. Compton played collegiate ball at East Texas State University before beginning a 13-year career in the AFL as a wide receiver/linebacker. As a player Compton played professionally with the Dallas Texans and the Fort Worth Texans and the Milwaukee Mustangs. As a member of the Mustangs he was named to the ALL-Arena team twice and was the 2001 Ford Tough Man Player of the Year. Compton takes over for Herkie Walls, who was hired in November and coached the ThunderBirds through their first two games.
BARTO TURNS 50: DANTON BARTO, a five-year af2 head coaching veteran in his first season with Manchester, joiined the league's exclusive 50-career win club on Saturday thanks to the Wolves' 45-39 victory at Mahoning Valley. Barto is currently 50-37 overall, including playoffs. TOMMY JOHNSON, in his sixth season as head coach of the Louisville Fire, is just one victory away from joining the league's exclusive 50-career win club. Thanks to the Fire's 2-0 start, Johnson is now 49-40 overall (including playoffs) and can hit the mark this Friday with a home win against Quad City. W-B/Scranton Head Coach RICH INGOLD is the league's all-time leader in career coaching wins with 61. Below is a breakdown of the leaders in career af2 coaching victories.
TOP ALL-TIME COACHING VICTORIES
1. Rich Ingold*
2. Chris Siegfried*
3. Ben Bennett*
4. Kevin Guy
5. Bobby Humphrey
6. Danton Barto*
* denotes active coaches
NO HANGOVER AFTER SIPPIN' FROM THE CUP: The defending ArenaCup Champion Tulsa Talons have picked up where they left off in 2007, winning their first two games by a combined score of 134-41. Leading the way offensively are QB JUSTIN ALLGOOD (12 TD passes), WR/KR JEFF HUGHLEY (19-233-6) and WR KELLEN ALLEN (13-167-7). DB DELENELL REID (3 INTS, 1 INT return TD) and DL TERRANCE CARTER (3.5 sacks, 1 FF, 4 PBUs) have stood out individually on defense. Tulsa plays at Arkansas this Friday. Below is a look at past ArenaCup winners and how they fared the year after their championship season.
First Game Next Season
Next Season Final Record
Quad City Steamwheelers
2001: Won, 41-0 (5-0 first 5)
Quad City Steamwheelers
2002: Won, 39-34 (4-1 first 5)
2003: Lost, 39-42 (1-4 first 5)
2004: Lost, 63-70 OT (3-2 first 5)
2005: Won, 35-32 (5-0 first 5)
2006: Won, 78-64 (4-1 first 5)
2007: Won, 51-35 (3-2 first 5)
2008: Won, 69-13 (2-0 first 2)
WIN STREAKING: With a win in Week 1 at Texas, Rio Grande Valley improved on two of the longest active win steaks in af2 history. The Dorados win streak of most consecutive regular season games won is still active at 14 straight games while their streak of most consecutive regular season road games won is at 10 in a row and counting. The Dorados will look to extend both streaks in Week 3 when they play at Corpus Christi on Saturday night. Below is a chart detailing the most impressive win streaks in league history.
Most Consecutive Games Won, Regular Season
16 Quad City, 2000
14 Quad City, 2003
14 Tennessee Valley, 2003
14 Rio Grande Valley, 13 games in 2007, 1 in 2008*
13 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 2007
10 Four teams tied (MR: Manchester, 2005)
* Still active
Most Consecutive Road Games Won, Regular Season
11 Tennessee Valley, 8 games in 2001; 3 games in 2002
10 Quad City, 8 games in 2000; 2 games in 2001
10 Tennessee Valley, 4 games in 2002, 6 games in 2003
10 Rio Grande Valley, 1 game in 2006, 8 games in 2007, 1 game in 2008*
* Still active
WHO WILL CATCH MAGIC: MAGIC BENTON, the af2's all-time leading scorer, became the first player in af2 history to record 1,000 career points in 2007. This year, with Benton likely retired, a number of veterans look poised to hit the 1,000-point plateau and surpass the former Florida standout's all-time high mark of 1,020 points. The three closest competitors to Benton's career mark are Iowa WR/LB KEVIN WILLIAMS (958 points), Boise WR GEORGE WILLIAMS (950 points) and Tulsa WR JARRAIL JACKSON (908 points). Oklahoma City WR/DB AL HUNT scored six touchdowns in the Yard Dawgz' season-opening win against Arkansas on Saturday to move past JACK WALKER, JR. into fifth place on the league's all-time scoring list. His 36 points scored brought his career total to 874 points.
Below is a breakdown of the leading scorers in af2 history:
MOST POINTS SCORED, NON-KICKING, CAREER
Jack Walker, Jr.
* denotes active players
af2 IN THE AFL: The af2 has had hundreds of former players move up to the AFL over the years. A number of those players, such as Dallas WR/DB WILL PETTIS or Georgia QB CHRIS GREISEN, have become bonafide AFL stars. In 2008, a new group of AFL players with af2 roots are starting to shine. This week we highlight two quarterbacks, former Green Bay signal caller JAMES MACPHERSON and D. BRYANT. After beginning the season in a reserve role, MacPherson has started the last three games for Grand Rapids. He led the Rampage to wins in his first two starts before suffering through an off outing on Saturday at New York. In the victories Grand Rapids exploded for 92 and 84 points. The 176 combined points set an AFL scoring record for consecutive games. He currently leads the AFL in completion percentage (71.4; 75-of-105) and ranks seventh in passer rating (118.6). MacPherson spent the 2007 AFL season with Georgia as a backup to former af2 QB CHRIS GRIESEN. He helped lead the Green Bay Blizzard to a runner-up finish in the 2006 ArenaCup in his only af2 season. Bryant will take center stage this week as he'll make his second start for Kansas City on Russell Athletic ESPN Arena Football Monday (April 12) at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. In his debut as the Brigade's starting signal caller at Georgia last Friday, Bryant threw for 332 yards and tossed six touchdowns with two interceptions. He also added a rushing touchdown. Although Kansas City fell, 70-63, the team's 63 points scored was their highest single-game total this season. Before getting his AFL opportunity, Bryant spent four years in the af2 (2004-05 Albany, 2006 Manchester, 2007 South Georgia). Last season he threw 102 touchdown passes and set an af2 record with 4,680 passing yards to help South Georgia to a 10-6 regular season record and a berth in the playoffs.
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