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af2 Week 8: Quick Hitters

May 15, 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 8 with a 14-game slate.

TALONS TOP WEEK 8 COACHES POLL: The defending ArenaCup Champion Tulsa Talons have maintained the No. 1 ranking in the Week 8 Coaches Poll, the arenafootball2 (af2) league office announced on Tuesday. Tulsa collected 437 of a possible 448 points and 20-of-29 first place votes in securing the top spot for the eighth consecutive week. The Talons (7-0) continued their perfect start to the 2008 season after holding off Rio Grande Valley, 45-40, Saturday night at the Tulsa Convention Center. The victory over the Dorados was Tulsa's 15th straight, counting eight in a row from last season. The Talons recent run of 15 consecutive victories is the longest active win steak and the third longest win streak in af2 history. The Talons have also won 11 straight home games dating back to 2007 and need one more victory at home to set a new Tulsa record. The Spokane Shock (6-0, 407 points, 4 first place votes) maintained their grip on the No. 2 spot for the seventh straight week after earning a 62-42 home win over West Division rival Boise. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton overtook Florida this week at the No. 3 position on the strength of a convincing 84-26 home victory against Quad City, avenging the Pioneers only loss in 2008 (Week 1). Since their season-opening defeat, the Pioneers (6-1, 384 points, 5 first place votes) have won six straight games by an average of 36.8 points. The No. 4-ranked Firecats (6-0, 383 points), the third undefeated af2 team, passed a Week 7 home test against Manchester, 49-43, and face another challenge this Saturday when they travel to Huntsville, Ala. to take on South Division rival Tennessee Valley. The Vipers have climbed to No. 11 overall thanks to four straight wins. Green Bay rounds out the Top-5 this week. The Blizzard (5-2, 317 points) have run off three consecutive wins, including last week's thrilling 37-36 road victory at Peoria.

McEwen takes over yard dawgz: The Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz announced on Monday that Charles "Sparky" McEwen, who joined the team last week as Assistant Head Coach, will lead the team for the remainder of the 2008 season. He replaces Gary Reasons, who resigned as Head Coach. Over the last 10 years, McEwen has been involved within the Arena Football League as both a player and a coach. In 2005, McEwen was named Head Coach of the Arena Football League's Grand Rapid Rampage after a successful season as the Offensive Coordinator for the Yard Dawgz in 2004. That season, Oklahoma City earned a 10-6 record and their first playoff appearance. Oklahoma City also finished 2004 as the af2's second-highest scoring team (56.8 points per game) and ranked third in total offense (276.8 yards per game) and passing offense (260.8 yards per game).

KENDRICK, BOHNET, MCCANN AND THOMAS EARN WEEK 7 HONORS: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wide receiver/linebacker LARRY KENDRICK, Daytona Beach quarterback MATT BOHNET and Corpus Christi wide receiver/defensive back IVORY MCCANN have been named the JLS Ironman, Schutt Offensive Player and ADT Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, for Week 7 of the 2008 season. In addition to these three awards, the Cutters Catch of the Week Award for Week 7 goes to Tri-Cities wide receiver J.R. THOMAS.

Kendrick (5-11, 215, Mississippi), showcased his all-around talents for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the Pioneers' 84-26 home victory on Saturday against Quad City. The second-year player from Mississippi was a factor all over field as the Pioneers won their sixth straight game and exacted revenge on the Steamwheelers for handing Wilkes-Barre/Scranton its only loss of 2008 (Week 1). On offense, Kendrick caught five passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns. On the defensive side, he registered 2.5 tackles (2 solo, 1 asst) and recovered a J.J. Raterink fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. Kendrick also compiled 79 yards in kick returns (40 KR, 39 FGR). This is Kendrick's second Ironman of the Week Award of 2008 (Week 4) and his fourth Ironman of the Week honor overall (2007 - Weeks 5, 21 - Conference Championships). He currently leads the team in all-purpose yards (604) and kick return yards (249) and is tied for the team lead in scoring (72 points - 12 TDs). Bohnet (6-3, 235, Eastern Michigan) led the expansion ThunderBirds to a 62-53 home win in Week 7 against the Albany Conquest. The rookie southpaw from Eastern Michigan completed 22-of-34 passes (64.7 completion percentage) for 290 yards and eight touchdowns with just one interception to help direct Daytona Beach to its first win at the Ocean Center and second straight victory overall. This is the first weekly league honor of Bohnet's career. He has led the ThunderBirds to a 2-1 record in his three starts with the club. He is also the second Daytona Beach player to receive a weekly league award in as many weeks (DB Jocques Richardson - ADT Defensive Player of the Week - Week 6). McCann (5-9, 180, Texas Tech) was an impact player on defense for Corpus Christi in the team's, 44-30, Week 7 home win against Southwest Division foe Texas. The second-year wide receiver/defensive back registered 8.0 total tackles (7 solo, 2 asst) and a game-high five pass breakups and two interceptions. His second interception of the night was crucial to the Sharks' victory. With Texas trailing Corpus Christi by seven points (30-37) with just 37 seconds to play it the contest, the Copperheads began a potential game-tying drive. McCann, however, stepped in and intercepted Stephen Wasil's pass and returned it 31 yards for a game-clinching touchdown for the Sharks. He also excelled in special teams with 131 kick return yards (109 KR, 22 FGR) to finish with 184 all-purpose yards (22 Rcv, 109 KR, 22 FGR, 31 IR). This is the second weekly af2 award of McCann's career. He also earned JLS Ironman of the Week honors for his two-way excellence in Week 3. McCann currently leads the team in a host of categories, including scoring (54 points - 9 TDs), field goal return yards (132), kick return yards (726 - 2nd in af2) all-purpose yards (1,040), tackles (33.5) and interceptions (3). Thomas (6-0, 190, IUP) is the Week 7 recipient of the Cutters Catch of the Week Award, a weekly honor that emerged in 2006 to highlight the player who makes the best catch of the week. Thomas' catch was a leaping, 18-yard touchdown stab in the first quarter of the Fever's, 48-44, home victory against Bossier-Shreveport. The five-year league veteran from Indiana University (Pa.) snatched the pass off the back of a BattleWings defender's helmet. Thomas, who also caught the game-winning 23-yard touchdown with 25 seconds to play in the game, finished with 10 catches for 132 yards and four scores. He currently ranks second on the team in receiving touchdowns (9) and third in receptions (34), receiving yards (425) and scoring (54 points - 9 TDs).

QUAD CITY STILL WAITING TO TURN 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.

R/P/T

Tulsa 105/9/114

Quad City 93/6/99

Florida 80/9/89

Tenn. Valley 77/4/81

Arkansas 67/3/70

R = Regular Season; P = Playoffs; T = Total

TALONS & PIONEERS 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 7, the Talons recent run of 15 consecutive victories is the longest active win steak and the third longest win streak in af2 history. Tulsa will have an opportunity to extend their current win streak to 16 when the team plays at Manchester (1-5) on Friday night. The Talons' Week 7 home victory also marked their 11th straight home win dating back to 2007. The result tied the current team record for most consecutive home victories with the 2003 Talons team that also won 11 in a row 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 15 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 this Friday when the Pioneers host Albany. 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

15 Tulsa, 8 games in 2007, 7 games in 2008*

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

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

15 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 1 game in 2006, 11 games in 2007, 3 games in 2008*

11 Tulsa, 11 games in 2003

11 Tulsa, 6 games in 2007, 5 games in 2008*

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 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 SETS LEAGUE SCORING MARK: Boise WR GEORGE WILLIAMS, in his first season with the Burn and seventh af2 campaign overall, became the league's all-time leading scorer in a Week 6 home win against Stockton with 36 points scored (6 TDs; 3 receiving, 3 rushing). With a five-touchdown performance in Week 7, the former Kansas State product now has 1,066 career points, 46 more than former record holder Magic Benton (1,020). Iowa WR/LB KEVIN WILLIAMS (958 points), JARRAIL JACKSON (908 points) and Oklahoma City WR/DB AL HUNT (906 points) round out the Top-5 on the all-time scoring chart. Hunt scored two touchdowns in a Week 7 loss at Arkansas to become the fifth player in league history to reach the 900-career point plateau. Below is a breakdown of the leading scorers in af2 history:

MOST POINTS SCORED, NON-KICKING, CAREER

PTS

PLAYER

YEARS PLAYED

1,066

George Williams*

2001, 2003-present

1,020

Magic Benton

2001-2007

958

Kevin Williams

2001-present

908

Jarrail Jackson

2000-01, 2005-present

906

Al Hunt*

2003-present

870

Jack Walker, Jr.*

2002-03, 2005-present

786

J.R. Thomas*

2004-present

* Active in 2008

WILLIAMS BREAKS ALL-TIME TD RECORD: In addition to breaking the league's all-time scoring record in Week 6, Boise WR GEORGE WILLIAMS also set a new all-time league touchdown mark with 171 career scores. His current total is 176 total touchdowns. Former Florida WR MAGIC BENTON was the former af2 leader with 167 career touchdowns. Benton is also the career leader in receiving touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards. With a strong performance throughout the rest of the 2008 campaign, Williams has a chance to challenge Magic's career records for receiving touchdowns, receiving yards and receptions.

Most Touchdowns, Career

176 George Williams*

167 Magic Benton

157 Kevin Williams

150 Jarrail Jackson

150 Al Hunt*

141 Jack Walker, Jr.*

* Active in 2008

Most Receiving Touchdowns, Career

165 Magic Benton

143 George Williams*

137 Jack Walker Jr.*

132 Al Hunt*

124 Jarrail Jackson

124 J.R. Thomas*

* Active in 2008

Most Receiving Yards, Career

7789 Magic Benton

6539 George Williams*

5998 Jack Walker, Jr.*

5940 Jarrail Jackson

5881 Al Hunt*

5839 Tim Dodge*

5825 J.R. Thomas*

* Active in 2008

Most Pass Receptions, Career

584 Magic Benton

499 Jack Walker, Jr.*

472 George Williams*

469 Jarrail Jackson

429 J.R. Thomas*

426 Al Hunt*

420 Tim Dodge*

* 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 has the potential to move into the top spot of three all-time passing categories: yards, touchdowns and completions. He is just 95 yards shy of becoming just the second player in af2 history to reach 20,000 career passing yards. Below is a breakdown of the leaders in each category.

Most Touchdown Passes, Career

481 Craig Strickland

443 Chris Wallace*

360 Matt Sauk

333 Ryan Vena*

331 Chad Elliott*

297 Josh Kellett*

* Active in 2008

Most Passes Completed, Career

1736 Craig Strickland

1606 Chad Elliott*

1572 Chris Wallace*

1494 Matt Sauk

1416 Ryan Vena*

1251 Josh Kellett*

* Active in 2008

Most Passing Yards, Career

22688 Craig Strickland

19905 Chris Wallace*

18161 Chad Elliott*

17315 Ryan Vena*

15169 Josh Kellett*

* Active in 2008

EXTRA POINTS TAKEN AND MAKIN': Wilkes-Barre/Scranton K DAVID DAVIS is just five extra points made of setting the af2 record for most PATs made in a career. Davis returned to the Pioneers earlier this month after spending time with the AFL's Los Angeles Avengers. The veteran from USC has converted 21-of-22 extra points in two games to boost his career total from 354 to 375. Kimo Naehu is the af2's current leader in all-time extra points made with 379.

Most (One-Point) Points After Touchdown Made, Career

379 Kimo Naehu

375 David Davis

373 Brandon Kornblue

277 Dylan Pohlman

252 Alex Walls

250 Luke Phillips

CONQUEST LINEMAN HOBBS EARNS NFL CONTRACT: The Albany Conquest announced on Monday that tight end/offensive lineman Jacob Hobbs has signed an NFL contract with the New York Giants after participating in their Rookie/Free Agent minicamp last weekend. Hobbs, 25, made his af2 and Conquest debut this season and recorded three receptions in three games played. The Schenectady, NY native will be placed on the Conquest's exempt list and will not appear in any more action for Albany this season as he has to report back to the Giants training facility later this week for off-season training. Hobbs (6-3, 303 lbs) is the first player from Albany to be signed by the Giants, where the team has held their annual training camp since 1996. Hobbs was a three-year starter at left tackle for the University of Albany, where as a senior he earned Football Gazette Second-Team Mid-Major All-America honors and was named to the First-Team All-Northeast Conference. His first experience in the NFL came in May of 2007 when he signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and attended the Eagles 2007 training camp. Hobbs attended Schenectady High School and he earned Second-Team All-State honors as a senior defensive end.

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