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af2 week two quick hitters

April 5, 2007 - arenafootball2 (af2) News Release

GAMES ON - af2/B2 PARTNERSHIP CREATES NEW ONLINE NETWORK: The arenafootball2 league (af2) is pleased to announce that a new, extensive online network has been created to provide the league's passionate fan base an opportunity to view a vast number of games through the internet. Thanks to a new league partnership with industry leader B2 Networks, fans across the globe will now be able to bring all the action of af2 football right to their home computer or laptop. To tune into the action, fans can log on to www.af2.com and click on the special advertisement located at the top right-hand corner of the page. Viewers looking to enjoy the games via B2 will only need a high-speed internet connection and Windows Media Player 9 or higher. Games will be available for the normal B2 rate of just $6. This week's contest on B2 features the expansion Mahoning Valley Thunder on the road for the first time as they play at Albany on Friday, April 6 at 7:00 PM ET.

TRAGIC LOSSES FELT OFF THE FIELD: Over the past two days, two members of the af2 family have had to deal with tragic losses off the field - South Georgia Head Coach DEREK STINGLEY and Tennessee Valley WR/DB QUENTIN BURRELL. Stingley's father, Darryl Stingley, passed away Thursday morning at his home in Chicago at the age of 55. Darryl Stingley was a star receiver who played his entire five-year NFL career the New England Patriots. His career was cut short after breaking his neck as a result of a collision with Oakland's Jack Tatum while trying to catch a pass in an exhibition game on Aug. 12, 1978. Despite the resulting limitations to his body, Darryl Stingley persevered and went on to be an even more valuable player outside of the game. He served as executive director of player personnel for the Patriots and often visited paralyzed patients. He also wrote a book about his experiences entitled "Happy to Be Alive," published in 1983. Ten years later he started a nonprofit foundation in Chicago designed to help inner-city youth. Derek is traveling to Chicago to be with his famliy and will miss Saturday's game against the Louisville Fire. Assistant Head Coach Randy Leindecker will lead the Wildcats until Stingley returns. Burrell received somber news on Tuesday as his great grandfather Eddie Robinson, famous college football coach at Grambling University, passed at the age of 88. Robinson built Grambling State, a small historically black school in northern Louisiana, into a football powerhouse, sending more than 200 players into the NFL and winning 408 games in a tenure that began in 1941. Robinson was diagnosed with Alzheimer's shortly after he was forced to retire 10 years ago. He will be remembered as a role model who influenced lives far beyond the football field. Burrell is also en route to be with his extended family in Louisiana. The Vipers have a bye this week.

OFF THE NET/week 2: The arenafootball2 league (af2) online radio show, "Off the Net," the only internet radio show devoted solely to af2, will air its second show of the season today, Thursday, April 5, on www.af2.com. This week's show features special interviews with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Head Coach RICH INGOLD and Louisville Fire owner/operator WILL WOLFORD, former offensive lineman for the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. The program will also include news and notes from around the af2 as the league enters the second week of the 2007 season. Fans can easily access the program by clicking on a special "Off the Net" advertisement located at the lower right hand corner of af2.com. The show will be available online late this afternoon. "Off the Net," now in its second season, airs every Thursday throughout the regular season and continues all the way until an ArenaCup Champion is crowned in late August. The show is designed to bring af2 fans even closer to their favorite game with in-depth news, interesting interviews and fun feature stories. Veteran broadcaster Dean Jackson serves as host.

PETTY, WALLACE, BURRELL, ARCHIE EARN WEEK 1 HONORS: Quad City fullback/linebacker JERMAINE PETTY, Florida quarterback CHRIS WALLACE and Tennessee Valley wide receiver/defensive back QUENTIN BURRELL have been named the U.S. Army Ironman, Schutt Offensive Player and ADT Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, for Week 1 of the 2007 season. In addition to these three awards, the af2 also highlights the player who makes the best catch of the week. The Cutters Catch of the Week Award for Week 1 goes to Mahoning Valley wide receiver CHRIS ARCHIE.

Petty (6-2, 250, Arkansas), in his second season, made his presence felt on both sides of the ball in the Steamwheelers' season-opening 81-21 road win against the expansion Cincinnati Jungle Kats. Petty's notable two-way play included two touchdown runs (6, 1) on offense. On defense, the Arkansas alum was equally impressive, recording 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup. This is the first weekly af2 award of Petty's career. Wallace (6-2, 230, Toledo) led a Firecats offense in Week 1 that flexed their muscles against a solid Oklahoma City defense for 55 points in a convincing 55-22 home victory against the Yard Dawgz. Wallace, in his sixth year as an af2 signal caller, picked up right where he left off a year ago, completing 21-of-29 passes for 268 yards and eight touchdowns, a league-high for the week. The veteran QB is coming off the finest af2 season of his career in 2006, throwing for nearly 4,000 yards (3,918) and 100 touchdowns. Wallace became just the second QB in af2 history to hit the century mark in TD passes, ranking second overall in the af2 behind Central Valley's Scott Rislov (106). This is the third af2 weekly award of Wallace's career and first since 2000. Burrell (6-0, 185, Notre Dame), an af2 rookie, was a major player on defense in Week 1 for Tennessee Valley as the Vipers won their home opener, 44-27, against their long-time rivals, the Alabama Steeldogs. Burrell looked like an Arena Football veteran in his first-ever af2 game, recording a game-high six total tackles (5 ua, 2 a), one fumble recovery and three pass breakups. The former Notre Dame team captain also had a 16-yard interception return for a touchdown. Archie (6-4, 215, Cincinnati), who is entering his third season in the af2, earned the Cutters Catch of the Week for his leaping 32-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter that gave the Thunder a 27-7 advantage over Tri-Cities. Archie finished the night with eight catches for 117 yards (game-high) and three touchdowns to pace Mahoning Valley to a 48-40 season opening home win against the Fever.

THE NEW af2 ALL-TIME INTERCEPTION LEADER IS...: Louisville Fire DB MATT FORBES became the af2's all-time leader in interceptions by recording his 28th in a Week 1 home game against the expansion Boise Burn. The fifth-year veteran's record-breaker was a memorable one. At the 9:17 mark in the third quarter, Forbes snatched a BART HENDRICKS pass and returned it 38 yards for a Fire touchdown. Despite his efforts, Louisville flamed out in its home opener against the Burn, 57-52. Coming into the 2007 season, Forbes and ARKEE THOMPSON were tied for the top spot on the all-time list with 27 career interceptions.

"Q" ERA TO BEGIN IN BOSSIER-SHREVEPORT: Saturday night the Quincy Carter era officially begins in Bossier-Shreveport. That's when the former Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback will be positioned under center for the Battle Wings when they play host to the expansion Fort Wayne Fusion. The 29-year-old Georgia native was a second round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2001 NFL draft, and earned the starting QB job for the Cowboys in 2003. Carter played in 15 games in the 2001 and 2002 seasons before his impressive 2003 campaign. That season Carter started all 16 games and led the Cowboys to the playoffs. In 2004, he played for the New York Jets. During his NFL career, which includes four seasons, Carter completed 542-of-960 passes for 6,337 yards and 32 touchdowns. He also rushed for 518 yards and three touchdowns. His ability, coupled with the experience and talent brought in by new Coach Jon Norris, should transform Bossier-Shreveport from a past pretender into a contender right away.

IT'S TJ, NOT LT: Lawrence Taylor, Jr., one of the newest members of the expansion Texas Copperheads, is not his father. He is not LT, the legendary linebacker who is often considered to be one of the greatest defensive players in the history of football. TJ, Jr.'s nickname, is not the same man who played his entire 13-year, Hall-of-Fame NFL career with the New York Giants and amassed 132.5 career sacks. But TJ does have football talent in his blood. After a four-year college career at North Carolina Central (NCAA Division II), the 6-2, 230-pound linebacker is back in the game after taking a year off from football. During his four years at Central, Taylor amassed 64 total tackles (25 solo) in 18 games. In that span, the Eagles compiled a 21-18 overall record. Copperheads Head Coach Bryan Blake expects Taylor's combination of size and speed will allow him to contribute right away. Taylor should see his first action this Friday night when he and his Texas teammates play host to the No.1-ranked Florida Firecats.

EXPANSION TEAMS LOOK PROMISING TO START: Six of the nine teams from the af2's 2007 expansion class were in action in Week 1. Of the six, three recorded wins in their first-ever af2 contest - the Boise Burn, Fort Wayne Fury and Mahoning Valley Thunder. Boise likely scored the most impressive win of the three as the Burn won a tough road game at Louisville on Friday, 57-52. The Fury won their home opener on Saturday night against Green Bay, 36-28. The Thunder bested fellow af2 expansion member Tri-Cities in front of a sellout crowd of 5,984 fans, 48-40. The Laredo Lobos were another new team that proved itself in Week 1, albeit in a losing effort. The Lobos lost at home in the closing seconds to the veteran-heavy Bakersfield Blitz, 58-52. The only newcomer that started a bit slow was the Cincinnati Jungle Kats. The Kats succumbed to a strong Quad City squad, 81-21, last Saturday night in Cincinnati.

NO HANGOVER AFTER SIPPIN' FROM THE CUP: The defending ArenaCup Champion Spokane Shock picked up where they left off in 2006, with another win - this time defeating the Stockton Lightning on opening night, 51-35, in front of 10,653 fans at Spokane Arena. Veteran pass catcher Antwone Savage paced the team with 10 catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Shock rookie QB Andrico Hines was honored as the Offensive Player of the Game after accounting for five touchdowns (3 passing, 2 rushing). Defensively, Spokane made a statement with four turnovers (two fumble recoveries and two interceptions). Fan favorite ROB KEEFE stood out individually with two interceptions and earned ADT Defensive Player of the Game honors. The Shock (1-0), which enter Week 2 ranked No. 2 in the latest Coaches Poll, have a big test this Saturday night when they host No. 3-ranked Quad City (1-0).

Below is a look at past ArenaCup winners and how they fared the year after their championship season.

Champion First Game Next Season Next Season Final Record

2000 Quad City Steamwheelers 2001: Won, 41-0.............5-0 first 5 15-1

2001 Quad City Steamwheelers 2002: Won, 39-34...........4-1 first 5 10-6

2002 Peoria Pirates 2003: Lost, 39-42...........1-4 first 5 5-11

2003 Tulsa Talons 2004: Lost, 63-70 (OT)......3-2 first 5 13-3

2004 Florida Firecats 2005: Won, 35-32...........5-0 first 5 14-2

2005 Memphis Xplorers 2006: Won, 78-64..........4-1 first 5 11-5

2006 Spokane Shock 2007: Won, 51-35 .........1-0 first game ?

A FEW NEW RULES APPLY: The arenafootball2 league (af2) has agreed to implement several rule changes that were approved by the Arena Football League's Board of Directors. The adopted changes will take effect for the 2007 af2 season. The most notable change is the introduction of free substitution. Previously, AFL/af2 coaches were limited to one substitution per position per quarter. Beginning this season, coaches will be permitted to substitute players at will. Free substitution will improve the af2's overall quality of football. The new rule provides coaches with the freedom to put their best players on the field for every play of the game. Because players will receive more rest than ever before, the new rule is also expected to decrease penalties, particularly late in the game. In addition, teams are also able to select from a wider player talent pool when building their teams. Another noticeable change is the removal of defensive coaches from the field and allowing only offensive coaches on the field during the game. In past seasons, one defensive coach per team was allowed on the field of play during game action. Last season coaches were not allowed on the field for special teams plays as a pilot program to this year's rule change. Additional changes approved for the 2007 season are: 1.) "Box Rule" Markings: Field markings will be instituted to provide the officials with a point of reference to aid in enforcing the "Box Rule," which restricts the movement of the "Jack" linebacker until the ball is thrown or the quarterback scrambles out of the pocket, and 2.) Injured Reserve: If a team puts a player on Injured Reserve, the player will be out for four weeks instead of two. These rule changes for the league are necessary as the af2 continues to serve as the developmental league of the AFL.

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 Chicago DL E.J. BURT or Orlando QB SHANE STAFFORD, have become bonafide AFL stars. In 2007, a new group of AFL players with af2 roots are starting to shine. This week we highlight former Green Bay QB CHRIS GRIESEN and former Spokane WR/DB CHARLES FREDERICK. Griesen, who spent the past two seasons as the backup to Clint Dolezel in Dallas, has emerged in 2007 as a starter for the Southern Division leading Georgia Force (4-1). Griesen leads the AFL in touchdown passes with 37 and ranks near the top of the League rankings in completion percentage (2nd - 74.4), passing yards (2nd - 1,508) and passer rating (3rd - 129.3). Frederick, an AFL rookie, has made an immediate impact for the Kansas City Brigade (2-2). The University of Washington alum currently leads the Brigade in rushing (80 yards - 6th in AFL, 8 TDs), receiving (33 catches, 403 yards, 5 TDs) and total touchdowns (12). Frederick was one of the top two-way players in af2 last season for the 2006 ArenaCup Champion Shock.

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