af2 Week 6: Quick Hitters
May 1, 2008 - arenafootball2 (af2) News Release
GAMES ON - af2/NiFTy PARTNERSHIP CREATES NEW FREE ONLINE NETWORK: The arenafootball2 league (af2) and Network Foundation Technologies (NFT) have developed 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 6 with a 14-game slate.
HOPE, VENA, MCCRAY, PRAY EARN WEEK 5 HONORS: Tulsa defensive back JERMAINE HOPE, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton quarterback RYAN VENA and Austin defensive back DEMETRIE MCCRAY have been named the JLS Ironman, Schutt Offensive Player and ADT Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, for Week 5 of the 2008 season. In addition to these three awards, the Cutters Catch of the Week Award for Week 5 goes to Iowa wide receiver BRYAN PRAY.
Hope (5-9, 175, Tulsa), in his third season, had an impressive all-around effort for Tulsa in the team's 69-53 road win against Lubbock in Week 5. The veteran from the University of Tulsa was an impact player on defense with 4.5 tackles (4 solo, 1 assist) and one interception, his first of the 2008 season. Hope was also a big factor on special teams as well with an onside kick recovery in the first quarter and a 13-yard kickoff return touchdown on an attempted onside kick by Lubbock in the fourth quarter. Primarily utilized as a defensive back, Hope also made an impact on the offensive side of the ball with two catches for 28 yards. This is the first weekly league award of his career. He currently ranks second on the team in tackles with 23.5 and is tied for second in pass breakups with six. Vena (6-0, 220, Colgate), now in his fifth af2 season, had an outstanding individual effort on Saturday night for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the team's 68-50 home win against East Division rival Manchester. The former Colgate standout, in his second start since returning to the Pioneers, completed 21-of-34 passes for 297 yards and an af2-season high nine touchdowns with just one interception. He also had 13 yards rushing and one rushing score. Vena is certainly no stranger to this honor. The 2007 Offensive Player of the Year has earned Offensive Player of the Week honors nine times overall in his career. In addition to his week's award, he was honored five times in 2007 (Weeks 4, 12, 13, 20 - Second Round, 22 - ArenaCup), once in 2006 (Week 5) and twice in 2003 (Week 10, Week 15). The East Division-leading Pioneers are 2-0 with Vena under center and 4-1 overall. McCray (6-0, 190, Albany State), in his second af2 season, was an impact player on defense for Austin as the Wranglers scored their second win in as many weeks, a 57-27 road victory on Sunday at Oklahoma City. The Albany State alum made quite an impression by intercepting Yard Dawgz QB Evan Gray three times in the win. McCray's interception total tied a 2008 af2 single-game high. He also finished with 3.0 total tackles and a half a tackle for loss to key Austin's defense, which limited Oklahoma City to its lowest point total of the season. This is the first weekly af2 award of McCray's career. He is currently tied for the team lead in interceptions (3) and ranks third on the squad in tackles (14.5). Pray (5-8, 166, Pittsburg State) earned the Cutters Catch of the Week Award for his leaping, 5-yard touchdown grab with less than four minutes to play in the fourth quarter to help propel the Barnstormers to a 47-24 home victory against the Stockton Lightning. The rookie from Pittsburg State out jumped a Lightning defender to snare QB Joe Brannen's pass after it ricocheted off the rebound net. Pray's grab capped off a solid overall showing that included four catches for 40 yards and one touchdown. This is the first Catch of the Week Award of Pray's career. He currently ranks second on the Barnstormers in touchdown receptions (3) and third in receptions (16) and receiving yards (158).
TALONS TOP WEEK 6 COACHES POLL: The defending ArenaCup Champion Tulsa Talons have maintained the No. 1 ranking in the Week 6 Coaches Poll, the arenafootball2 (af2) league office announced today. Tulsa collected 442 of a possible 448 points and 26-of-29 first place votes in securing the top spot for the sixth consecutive week. The Talons (5-0) continued their perfect start to the 2008 season after handing the Lubbock Renegades their first loss of the season, 69-53, Saturday night at City Bank Coliseum in Lubbock. The Spokane Shock (4-0, 401 points, 2 first place votes) maintained their hold on the No. 2 spot for the fifth straight week after holding off West Division rival Central Valley in Week 5, 42-40. Florida (4-0, 396 points, 1 first place vote) stayed strong at No. 3 after a 51-41 road win on Saturday over South Division rival South Georgia. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took over the No. 4 position outright this week after a 68-50 home victory over East Division rival Manchester. The Pioneers (4-1, 368 points) have won four straight games after a season-opening loss at Quad City. Rounding out the Top-5 are the Lubbock Renegades (3-1, 282 points). Lubbock entered Week 5 tied at No. 4 overall before the Renegades fell at home to Tulsa. Heading into Week 6, things don't get any easier for Lubbock as the No. 2-ranked Spokane Shock come to town for a Saturday night showdown with the Renegades.
JOHNSON HITS 50: TOMMY JOHNSON, in his sixth season as head coach of the Louisville Fire, became the sixth coach in af2 history to reach 50 career coaching victories. He joined the league's exclusive 50-career win club with the Fire's 61-34 victory against Lexington on Saturday night. Johnson is currently 50-42 overall (including playoffs). DANTON BARTO, a five-year af2 head coaching veteran in his first season with Manchester, joined the league's exclusive 50-career win club in Week 2 thanks to the Wolves' 45-39 victory at Mahoning Valley. Barto is currently 50-40 overall, including playoffs. W-B/Scranton Head Coach RICH INGOLD is the league's all-time leader in career coaching wins with 64. Arkansas' CHRIS SIEGFRIED (59) needs just one win to reach 60 career wins while Austin's BEN BENNETT (58) needs two to hit 60.
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
QUAD CITY ON THE WAY TO 100: The Quad City Steamwheelers, one of three original af2 members still a part of the league in its ninth season, is just one win away from 100 overall (including playoffs). The Steamwheelers would join the Tulsa Talons as the only teams in league history to record 100 victories. Below is a breakdown of the five winningest active teams in af2 history.
Quad City 93/6/99
Tenn. Valley 75/4/79
R = Regular Season; P = Playoffs; T = Total
LOUISVILLE WINS FIRST WAR ON 64 RIVALRY GAME: The Louisville Fire proved to be too hot for the first-year Lexington Horsemen on Saturday night on their way to earning a 61-34 victory in the first "War on 64" rivalry game between the two af2 teams. After a scoreless first quarter, Louisville's JEROME JONES scored on a net recovery on a missed field goal by K Danny Kight. The Fire scored three more times in the second quarter thanks to two RICARDO LENHART touchdown catches and one short touchdown run by DEMETRIUS FORNEY. Despite two touchdown catches by Lexington WR HARRY LEWIS, the Horsemen went into halftime trailing, 27-12. After a fairly even third quarter, Louisville pulled away in the fourth with two rushing touchdowns by QB MATT BASSUENER and a TD catch by LONELL DEWALT. Bassuener led the Fire with three touchdown passes and three touchdown runs. Lenhart led the Louisville receiving corps with six catches for 89 yards and two scores. Lewis led Lexington's group of receivers with three TDs on eight catches for 100 yards. Horsemen QB EDDIE EVISTON finished the night with 268 yards passing (24-of-39) and five touchdowns with two interceptions. With the victory the Fire (3-2) moved into a three-way tie for first place in the Midwest Division with the Horsemen (3-2) and the Green Bay Blizzard (3-2). These two teams square of two more times in 2008. The next Lexington/Louisville head-to-head grudge match will be in Week 10 (Saturday, May 31) when the Horsemen host the Fire at Rupp Arena.
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 five games. The Talons (5-0) continued their perfect start to the 2008 season after handing the Lubbock Renegades their first loss of the season, 69-53, Saturday night at City Bank Coliseum in Lubbock. The Tulsa offense was led by QB JUSTIN ALLGOOD and WRs JEFF HUGHLEY and KELLEN ALLEN. Allgood was named Schutt Offensive Player of the Game with 304 yards passing and eight total touchdowns (7 passing, 1 rushing). Hughley (6-105) and Allen (9-98) each caught three touchdowns. Other Talons who impressed in the victory were JLS Ironman of the Game JERMAINE HOPE (4.5 tackles, 1 INT, 2 catches, 28 yards, 13-yard kickoff return TD, 52 all-purpose yards) and ADT Defensive Player of the Game JAMAR RANSOM (9.5 tackles, 1 TFL).
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, 69-53 (5-0 first 5)
TALONS EXTEND STREAKS: The Tulsa Talons set a new team record for consecutive wins over two seasons with their 70-34 home win in Week 4 against Oklahoma City. The victory over the Yard Dawgz was Tulsa's 12th straight, counting eight in a row from last season. With another victory in Week 5, the Talons recent run of 13 consecutive victories is the longest active win steak and the fourth longest win streak in af2 history. Tulsa will have an opportunity to extend their current win streak to 14 when the team hosts Bossier-Shreveport (3-2) on Saturday at the Tulsa Convention Center.
The Talons have also won nine straight home games dating back to 2007 and need three more victories at home to set a new Tulsa record. The 2003 Talons set the current team standard with 11 consecutive home wins at the Tulsa Convention Center.
As impressive as Tulsa's current home streak is, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has been even better at Wachovia Arena, winning 14 straight games dating back to 2006. The Pioneers current home win streak is the third longest in league history. The last time Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lost a home game was on July 8, 2006 when the Florida Firecats edged the Pioneers, 56-51. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's next opportunity to extend its current home win streak will be in Week 7 when the Pioneers host Quad City.
Below is a chart detailing the most impressive win streaks in league history.
Most Consecutive Games Won, Regular Season & Playoffs
24 Quad City, 19 games in 2000; 5 games in 2001
17 Quad City, 13 games in 2001; 4 games in 2002
14 Rio Grande Valley, 14 games in 2007
14 Quad City, 14 games in 2003
14 Tennessee Valley, 14 games in 2003
13 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 13 games in 2007
13 Tulsa, 8 games in 2007, 5 games in 2008*
11 Tulsa, 11 games in 2004
10 Manchester, 10 games in 2005
10 Cape Fear, 10 games in 2002
* Still active
Most Consecutive Home Games Won, Regular Season & Playoffs
25 Quad City, 11 games in 2000; 11 games in 2001; 3 games in 2002
16 Richmond, 3 games in 2000; 9 games in 2001; 4 games in 2002
14 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 1 game in 2006, 11 games in 2007, 2 games in 2008*
11 Tulsa, 11 games in 2003
11 Birmingham, 6 games in 2001; 5 games in 2002
11 Albany, 3 games in 20002, 8 games in 2003
11 Green Bay, 2 games in 2006, 9 games in 2007
10 Tulsa, 2 games in 2000; 8 games in 2001
9 Tulsa, 6 games in 2007, 3 games in 2008*
9 Tennessee Valley, 9 games in 2003
9 Tulsa, 9 games in 2002
9 Augusta, 9 games in 2000
9 Norfolk, 9 games in 2000
* Still active
WILLIAMS HITS GRAND SCORING MARK: Boise WR GEORGE WILLIAMS, in his first season with the Burn and seventh af2 campaign overall, became just the second player in league history to record 1,000 career points. Williams scored three touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the Burn's Week 5 home win against Texas to hit the 1,000-point plateau. The veteran from Kansas State is now just 20 points shy of MAGIC BENTON's all-time league high scoring total of 1,020 career points. Benton became the first player in af2 history to record 1,000 career points in 2007. Iowa WR/LB KEVIN WILLIAMS (958 points), JARRAIL JACKSON (908 points) and Oklahoma City WR/DB AL HUNT (894 points) round out the Top-5 on the all-time scoring chart. Hunt needs just one touchdown to become the fifth player in league history to reach 900 career points and will get an opportunity to hit the mark when the Yard Dawgz play at Amarillo on Saturday. Below is a breakdown of the leading scorers in af2 history:
MOST POINTS SCORED, NON-KICKING, CAREER
Jack Walker, Jr.*
* Active in 2008
WILLIAMS MOVING UP THE ALL-TIME CHARTS: In addition to sitting atop the league's all-time scoring list, former Florida WR MAGIC BENTON is the af2's career leader in a number of other categories, including total touchdowns, receiving touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards. Boise WR GEORGE WILLIAMS is just two touchdowns shy of Benton's all-time touchdown mark and has a chance to challenge Magic's career records for receiving touchdowns, receiving yards and receptions.
Most Touchdowns, Career
167 Magic Benton
165 George Williams*
157 Kevin Williams
150 Jarrail Jackson
148 Al Hunt*
141 Jack Walker, Jr.*
* Active in 2008
Most Receiving Touchdowns, Career
165 Magic Benton
137 Jack Walker Jr.*
136 George Williams*
130 Al Hunt*
124 Jarrail Jackson
117 J.R. Thomas*
* Active in 2008
Most Receiving Yards, Career
7789 Magic Benton
6364 George Williams*
5998 Jack Walker, Jr.*
5940 Jarrail Jackson
5671 Al Hunt*
5580 J.R. Thomas*
5564 Tim Dodge*
* Active in 2008
Most Pass Receptions, Career
584 Magic Benton
499 Jack Walker, Jr.*
469 Jarrail Jackson
458 George Williams*
414 Tim Dodge*
411 J.R. Thomas*
411 Al Hunt*
* Active in 2008
VETERAN PASSERS TAKE AIM AT ALL-TIME MARKS: When Craig Strickland retired after the 2006 season, many of his league passing records seemed unattainable. This season, however, Florida's CHRIS WALLACE is on pace to potentially move into the top spot of three all-time passing categories: yards, touchdowns and completions. Below is a breakdown of the leaders in each category.
Most Passing Yards, Career
22688 Craig Strickland
19528 Chris Wallace*
17806 Chad Elliot*
16770 Ryan Vena*
14913 Matt Sauk
* Active in 2008
Most Touchdown Passes, Career
481 Craig Strickland
432 Chris Wallace*
360 Matt Sauk
325 Chad Elliot*
319 Ryan Vena*
* Active in 2008
Most Passes Completed, Career
1736 Craig Strickland
1572 Chad Elliot*
1542 Chris Wallace*
1494 Matt Sauk
1370 Ryan Vena*
* Active in 2008
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