Amarillo Dusters game notes
Bossier Battlewings (3-8) at Amarillo Dusters (7-4)
Date: Saturday, June 25th, 2005
Kickoff: 7:05 pm CST
Site: Toyota Field
THE STAKES: Playoff positioning is on the line Saturday night at Toyota Field for the Dusters, while the Battlewings look to avenge an 86-66 loss to the Dusters in week 3 in Louisiana. The Battlewings are still mathematically alive in the playoff chase as well. The Dusters currently hold the 3rd playoff seed in the National Conference with a 7-4 record, trailing only Memphis (9-1) and Tulsa (8-3). The Dusters also aim to improve on their 15-1 all-time record at Toyota Field at the Amarillo Civic Center, while the Battlewings look to build on their upset of Oklahoma City and piece together their first winning streak of the 2005 season.
COACH PERDUE'S THOUGHTS ON BOSSIER: "Each game is huge, and this one is no different. Bossier might be 3-8, but if you look at who they've knocked off this year, it's a reality check. They beat Florida when they were undefeated, and they beat Oklahoma City handily last week. OKC upset us the week before. Rio Grande is 7-4 and very tough. Plus, we are very thin right now. We lost D.J. Humphries last week to a broken foot, which is going to have an impact on our passing game. We lost Jarrod Rouanzoin against South Georgia. So we've gone from 6'4 and 6'5 as our two receiver-linebackers to Anthony Dingle at 5'11 and Marcus Owens at 6 feet even. That's a different dynamic physically on both sides of the ball. Julian Reese is going to be out, so we've got to rally around Steve Panella and allow him to make plays. Over the past two years, he has shined when he's had the opportunity to play. This week is his show, and it's his team. We have to keep our focus on Bossier, and on our individual assignments.
DUSTERS HEAD COACH STEVE PERDUE
AIR CANADA' MAKES HIS DEBUT: Starting quarterback Julian Reese will be home in Indiana attending his brother's wedding this weekend, making room for the debut of Steve Panella. Affectionately known as Air Canada', Panella will get the start for the Dusters against Bossier City. Panella was a record-setting quarterback at St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Panella guided the Huskies to back-to-back National Championship Game Appearances in 2002 and 2003. He won the prestigious Vanier Cup MVP Award in 2002 following a brilliant performance in the National Championship Game.
DUSTERS INTERNET RADIO BROADCAST A HUGE SUCCESS
The Amarillo Dusters are developing a huge fan base nationwide, as the number of listeners for the game broadcast over the website has doubled since the season opener. "We have lots of players' families listening in across the country, and we've received dozens of e-mails from fans nationwide who are just interested in the Dusters and curious about us as an expansion team, " said Dusters play by play broadcaster Donny Hooper. "We have a unique broadcast for this level of football, in that we have a 15-year veteran football official as our sideline reporter (Ray Boring). He offers tremendous insight as to what is actually happening on the field. Tyler Hooper runs the parabolic field mic, so much like an NFL radio broadcast, our listeners can actually hear the quarterback bark the snap count, and try to draw the opponent offsides. Warren McCarty brings so much knowledge of the arena game to the broadcast, and helps the listener see' the routes and visualize the play itself. And mixed in with all of that, we have a great time and cut-up as much as we can. We have so much fun, and I think it makes our broadcast fun to listen to." The broadcast can be heard locally on 1440 AM The Score, Amarillo's ESPN Radio affiliate. Fans can also tune in via the Dusters website at www.dustersfootball.com.
KEY MATCHUP: QUARTERBACK PLAY
In guiding the Battlewings to 3 victories as the starter, Tim Hicks has played brilliantly. In those victories, Hicks has completed 63% of his passes for 661 yards, 17 touchdowns, 3 rushing touchdowns, with only 2 interceptions. In their 5 losses, Hicks has thrown 15 touchdowns along with 5 interceptions. His counterpart, Canadian quarterback Steve Panella, will be making his first start for the Dusters. In limited action this season, he has completed 4 of 7 passes for 42 yards, and has carried the ball 3 times for 9 yards and 1 touchdown.
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