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af2 week two Friday night matchups

April 5, 2007 - arenafootball2 (af2) News Release

MAHONING VALLEY THUNDER (1-0) AT ALBANY CONQUEST (0-0)

FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 2007 - Times Union Center (13,901) 7:00 P.M. ET

* Broadcast via B2 Networks

In this early season divisional matchup, the expansion Thunder hope to capitalize on the momentum gained from winning their opener against Tri-Cities. Mahoning Valley QB GLEN GAUNTT tossed four touchdowns in the victory, but also let a few passes wander (3 INTs). The Conquest will have to keep their eye on WR CHRIS ARCHIE, who hauled in 10 catches for 120 yards and 3 TDs last week on his way to earning the Schutt Offensive Player of the Game Award. Mahoning Valley's defense also looked strong in the victory with 5.0 sacks, five forced fumbles (four recoveries) and one interception. Albany enters 2007 without record-setting QB RYAN VENA, who decided to play for division rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. With Vena out of town, the Conquest turn the starting signal caller spot over to another Ryan, rookie Ryan Hart from Rutgers. Hart will look for returning WR BAKARI BROWN, who ranked second on the 2006 Conquest with 68 catches for 658 yards and three scores. Albany's ultimate success will hinge on improving at the defensive end. As good as Vena was in 2006, the Conquest offense couldn't keep up the pace with a defense that allowed nearly 57 points per game (56.7). Friday night's Thunder-Conquest game is the feature B2 Networks broadcast on www.af2.com.

THUNDER CONQUEST SERIES LEADER First time these teams are meeting

LAST MEETING No previous meeting

LAST FIVE GAMES 1-0 0-5

LAST GAME Won 48-40 vs. Tri-Cities on 3/31/07 Lost 27-54 at W-B/Scranton on 7/29/06

2006/07 LEADERS 2007 THUNDER 2006 CONQUEST PASSING Gauntt: 33-16-3; 163; 4 TDs Vena: 578-362-19; 4520; 72 TDs

RECEIVING Archie: 10-120; 3 TDs Talbert: 68-833; 13 TDs

RUSHING Johnson: 4-21; 0 TDs Vena: 79-237; 25 TDs

TACKLES Butler: 9.0 McBride: 52.0

SACKS Ceaser and Brown: 1 Ward: 4

INTERCEPTIONS Majors: 1 Murray: 5

KICKING Schorejs: 6-7 PAT; 0-3 FG 6 PTs Cirrincione: 97-108 PAT; 11-18 FG; 130 PTs

TEAM OFFENSE 48.0 PPG; 187.0 YPG 53.0 PPG; 314.8 YPG

TEAM DEFENSE 40.0 PPG; 268.0 YPG 56.7 PPG; 283.6 YPG

FLORIDA FIRECATS (1-0) AT TEXAS COPPERHEADS (0-0)

FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 2007 - Berry Center (8,231) 8:00 P.M. ET

The Texas Copperheads have their hands full in their af2 opener, hosting the powerhouse Florida Firecats, who sit atop the Week 2 Coaches Poll after a convincing, 55-22, home win against Oklahoma City last week. Week 1's Schutt Offensive Player of the Week was awarded to Firecats QB CHRIS WALLACE. Wallace had a superb showing against the Yard Dawgz, completing 21-of-29 passes for 268 yards Four of his scoring tosses went to WR ETHENIC SANDS, who totaled seven catches for 102 yards. The af2's all-time leading scorer and receiver MAGIC BENTON filled up the stat sheet as well, catching seven passes for 84 yards and two scores. Defensively, Florida was equally as impressive, forcing Oklahoma City into five interceptions. DBs Levy Brown and Tony Stubbs picked off two passes each. The Copperheads are a young, first-year squad led by rookie af2 Head Coach Bryan Blake. His roster features only four players with listed af2 experience, and one of them is kicker Nick Gatto. Gatto, who has a reliable leg, scored 104 points (6-27 FGs, 86-103 PATs) for the Quad City Steamwheelers in 2005. TONY EKERT from Southern Methodist is expected to get the start at quarterback. One player who was an intriguing recent addition to the team is LB Lawrence Taylor, Jr., son of former New York Giants great Lawrence Taylor. If L.T. Jr. is half as good as his father, Blake might've found himself a keeper. The questions regarding Texas' talent will be answered early with the No.1-ranked Firecats.

FIRECATS COPPERHEADS SERIES LEADER First time these teams are meeting

LAST MEETING No previous meeting

LAST FIVE GAMES 1-0 N/A

LAST GAME Won 55-22 vs. Oklahoma on 3/31/07 N/A

2007 LEADERS 2007 FIRECATS COPPERHEADS PASSING Wallace: 29-21-0; 268; 8 TDs N/A

RECEIVING Sands: 7-102; 4 TDs N/A

RUSHING Young: 5-12; 0 TDs N/A

TACKLES Brown: 9.0 N/A

SACKS N/A N/A

INTERCEPTIONS Stubbs and Brown: 2 N/A

KICKING Eminger: 7-8 PAT; 0-0 FG; 7 PTs N/A

TEAM OFFENSE 55.0 PPG; 261.0 YPG N/A

TEAM DEFENSE 22.0 PPG; 213.0 YPG N/A

LUBBOCK RENEGADES (0-0) AT AMARILLO DUSTERS (0-0)

FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 2007 - Amarillo Civic Center (4,870) 8:00 P.M. ET

In their first af2 contest, the expansion Lubbock Renegades visit Amarillo to take on a Dusters team that is ready to rebound from a disappointing finish in 2006. The Renegades are led by Head Coach RODNEY BLACKSHEAR, who hopes his Arena Football League experience will translate into his team succeeding when he puts the headset on. Blackshear will look to QB JUSTIN MIDGETT to manage his team on the field. Midgett showed promise in limited action as a backup for Florida last year, going 6-of-10 for 28 yards and two touchdowns. Blackshear takes pride in his offensive and defensive lines, which is led by OL/DL PIERRE COLIN, who spent time last year with Rio Grande Valley. The Renegades secondary is anchored by veteran DBs BYRON HUGHEY (64.0 tackles, 4 INTs, 16 PBUs with Arkansas in '06) and JAMES MCCOY, who led the 2006 South Georgia Wildcats with 96.5 tackles. Lubbock's receivers include playmakers Preston Hartfield from Texas Tech and David Terrell, a former NFL player who played collegiately at Texas El Paso. After a solid 4-3 start last season, the Dusters lost seven straight games to finish the season. The difference - QB Steve Panella - who went down with an injury in Week 9 and Amarillo never fully recovered. This year's hopes again hinge largely on Panella's health. The Canadian signal caller is the unquestioned on-field leader of the Dusters offense. Amarillo's defensive unit looks to be solid in the secondary thanks to the return of Second Team All-af2 performer Terrell Mingo. Mingo registered team-highs in tackles (63.5), interceptions (6) and pass breakups (13) in 2006. Other valuable backline defenders returning are Donta Bright (37.5, 2 INTs) and Jahmal Fenner (35.0 tackles, 2 INTs, 11 PBUs). Bright also played well at receiver, catching 26 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. Two important defensive pieces that will not with the team this year are All-af2 First Team OL/DL Kert Turner and FB/LB Gathan McGinnis. Despite these losses, the team can compete with anybody if Panella plays well and stays upright. This one should be an entertaining affair between new Lone Star State opponents.

RENEGADES DUSTERS SERIES LEADER First time these teams are meeting

LAST MEETING No previous meeting

LAST FIVE GAMES N/A 0-5

LAST GAME N/A Lost 33-67 at Tulsa on 7/29/07

2006 LEADERS RENEGADES 2006 DUSTERS PASSING N/A Panella: 255-141-1; 1602; 25 TDs

RECEIVING N/A Roberson: 41-592; 9 TDs

RUSHING N/A Broussard: 27-119; 8 TDs

TACKLES N/A Mingo: 63.5

SACKS N/A Turner: 6.0

INTERCEPTIONS N/A Mingo: 6

KICKING N/A Felton: 66-73 PAT; 12-34 FG; 102 PTs

TEAM OFFENSE N/A 38.4 PPG; 201.9 YPG

TEAM DEFENSE N/A 53.7 PPG; 248.9 YPG

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