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Arizona Rattlers game notes

February 17, 2004 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Arizona Rattlers News Release

The Stakes: Arizona hopes to avoid their first ever 0-3 start when they play their first road game of the 2004 season. Carolina looks to remain undefeated, after going winless in 2003.

The Series: Tonight is the fifth match-up between these two franchises. Arizona is 4-0 against Carolina, including last season’s 62-22 victory.

Radio: All Rattler games are broadcast on KMVP 860 AM. All games are also simulcast over the internet at Kent Derdivanis and Ron Wolfley will describe all the action.

Key Match-Up: Carolina’s Todd Doxzon and Arizona’s Siaha Burley will be the one’s to watch tonight. Both players are coming off ten catch games, and both are the leading receivers for their respective teams.

Media Contacts:
Rattlers: Randy Policar
602-514-8302, 602-750-9541 cell
Cobras: Dean Demarais
704-940-2100, 980-722-9275 cell

Date Opponent Time TV
2/8 Los Angeles Loss 32-51
2/13 Detroit Loss 31-48
2/21 @ Carolina 5:30
2/29 New York 1:00 NBC
3/5 Columbus 7:00
3/14 @ Las Vegas 4:00 FSAZ
3/18 New Orleans 7:00
3/27 @ Colorado 7:00 FSAZ
4/4 @ Grand Rapids 12:00
4/10 Las Vegas 7:00 FSAZ
4/18 Dallas 12:00 NBC
4/25 @ Indiana 12:00 NBC
5/1 @ Los Angeles 7:30 FSAZ
5/9 San Jose 12:00 NBC
5/15 @ Detroit 4:30
5/30 @ San Jose 1:00 NBC

Date Opponent Time TV
2/8 @ Dallas Win 67-41
2/13 @ Columbus Win 54-53
2/21 Arizona 5:30
2/28 Orlando 5:30
3/7 @ Austin 1:00
3/14 Dallas 1:00 NBC
3/21 Tampa Bay 1:00 NBC
3/27 @ New Orleans 6:00
4/4 New York 12:00 NBC
4/11 @ Indiana 12:00 NBC
4/17 Philadelphia 4:30
5/1 Columbus 4:30
5/8 @ New York 4:00
5/15 @ Philadelphia 4:30
5/22 Grand Rapids 4:30
5/30 @ Georgia 1:00 NBC

Head Coaches: Head Coach and General Manager Danny White (128-61 overall, 110-50 regular season) is in his 13th season with the Arizona Rattlers. The 2002 Arena Football Hall of Fame inductee is second all-time in coaching victories, with 128 wins. White is only the second coach in AFL history to notch 100 wins. White’s career-winning percentage of .677 ranks fifth all-time in AFL history. He is a two-time ArenaBowl Champion (1994, 1997).

Eddie Khayat is in his first full season as Head Coach of the Cobras. Khayat took over Carolina with three games left in 2003. He owns a career record of 25-18, serving as the Head Coach of the New Orleans Night (1991) and the Nashville Kats (1997-98) prior to joining the Cobras organization. Khayat was named AFL Coach of the Year in 1997.

Last Meeting: Last season, the Rattlers handed Carolina their 14th straight loss, 62-22 on April 26. Arizona’s defense shut out the Cobras in the second half. The Rattlers forced five Carolina turnovers, with two of them going for defensive touchdowns.

No Scoring: The Rattlers are currently the lowest scoring team in the AFL. Arizona is averaging 31.5 points per game through the first two contests. On the flipside, Carolina is the highest scoring team in the league, averaging 60.1 points a game.

Back For More: WR/LB Hunkie Cooper returns to Arizona for his 12th season. In the AFL record book, Cooper ranks first all-time in kickoff returns, second all-time in all-purpose yards, third in kickoff return touchdowns, and fourth in pass receptions.
All-Purpose Yards:
1. George LaFrance 20,480
2. # Hunkie Cooper 19,772
3. # Barry Wagner 19,122
Kickoff Returns
1. # Hunkie Cooper 483
2. George LaFrance 460
Kickoff Return Touchdowns
1. Lamont Cooper 24
2. Steve Papin 23
3. # Hunkie Cooper 19
Pass Receptions:
1. Eddie Brown 949
2. # Barry Wagner 896
3. # Gary Compton 736
4. # Hunkie Cooper 721
# denotes Active Player

The Big Lefty: Rattlers Quarterback Sherdrick Bonner is third all-time in Arena Football history with 540 touchdown passes. He ranks third in passing yards (27,267) and second in pass completions (2, 150). Bonner also ranks third for pass attempts (3, 477).

Most Passing Touchdowns
1. # Andy Kelly 556
1. # Aaron Garcia 556
3. # Sherdrick Bonner 540
Most Passing Yards
1. # Andy Kelly 28,268
2. # Aaron Garcia 27,270
3. # Sherdrick Bonner 27,267
Most Pass Completions
1. # Andy Kelly 2,546
2. # Sherdrick Bonner 2,150
3. # Aaron Garcia 2,128
4. # Clint Dolezel 2,106
Most Pass Attempts:
1. # Andy Kelly 4,171
2. # Todd Hammel 3,501
3. # Sherdrick Bonner 3,477
4. # Aaron Garcia 3,400
# denotes Active Player

Changes: Arizona has made some roster moves for this game. The Rattlers released OL/DL Kelvin Ingram. The team has also placed OL/DL Pete Tramontanas on Injured Reserve with a sprained right ankle. Tramontanas was put on IR prior to the Detroit game.

Count Down: This season, Hunkie Cooper needs only 228 yards to reach 20, 000 all-purpose yards for his career. Only George LaFrance has reached that milestone.

Next Week: The Rattlers return home to battle Former Rattlers QB Aaron Garcia and former Rattlers Defensive Coordinator Todd Shell and the New York Dragons. Game time for Sunday February 29 is set for 1:00 PM, with NBC televising it nationally.

Officials: Officials for today’s game are: Jerome Boger (Referee), Rick Nelson (Umpire), Rod Pearson (Head Linesman), Dennis Lipski (Line Judge), and Rich Wilborn (Back Judge).

Injury Report: The Rattlers have six players currently on Injured Reserve. QB Travis Cole has a left ankle sprain. OL/DL Jason Andersen is nursing a right quad strain, OL/DL Tim Engelhardt suffered a right groin strain, WR/LB Terence Davis is dealing with an eye injury, OL/DL Pete Tramontanas has a right ankle sprain, and WR/LB Larry Nixon has a right thigh contusion.

Last Week: The Rattlers fell to 0-2 for the first time since 1993, dropping a 48-31 decision to the Detroit Fury. Andy Kelly threw for 204 yards and four TDs to lead the Fury to their first ever win against Arizona.

Trading Snakes: There are two former Rattlers on the Cobras, and two former Cobras on the Rattlers. Robert Stewart spent the first part of 2003 in Arizona before moving on to Carolina to finish the season. Sir Mawn Wilson was a member of the Rattlers 1997 ArenaBowl Championship team. Clarence Lawson was a Cobra in 2002, and Bo Kelly spent 2000 with the Cobras, before coming back to Arizona.
Coaching Staff: Every member of Coach Danny White’s staff returns for 2004. Doug Plank is the Defensive Coordinator, Chris Conlin is the Line Coach, and Bob O’Connor coaches the Special Teams and Receivers. Coach White has added Ron Wolfley to his staff in 2004. Wolfley will be the fullback/linebacker coach, and will not be on the sidelines during games. He will remain the color commentator for radio broadcasts.

Bright Spot: One bright spot in the Rattlers slow start has been new OS Siaha Burley. Through two games, Burley is fourth in the league in receptions (16), and fifth in receiving yards (208). He has also caught four TD passes, and rushed for another score, good for fifth in the league among non-kickers.

Practice: The Rattlers will once again call the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum home for their practices. The Rattlers will practice from 11am to 1pm during the week. Please call the Rattlers Media Relations Department at 602-514-8302 for dates.

Uncharted Waters: This is the first time the Rattlers have started a season 0-2 since the 1993 season, their second season in existence. That year, Arizona shook off the slow start to go 7-5 and make the playoffs. The Rattlers dropped back-to-back home games for the first time since 2002, when they dropped home games to Grand Rapids and Dallas.

Children’s Hospital: Every week during the 2004 season, Arizona Rattler players will visit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital to brighten the day of the kids. The players will visit a different floor each week, and hand out posters and sign autographs. The team has also donated 50 tickets to each home game to the Hospital, so the children and their families can enjoy Rattlers football in person.

Key AFL Dates: The AFL Trading deadline is April 7…The AFL claiming order will be established on April 8…The Regular Season ends May 30…AFL Playoffs begin on June 5…ArenaBowl XVIII is on June 27.

Other Games This Week:
Columbus (1-1) @ Philadelphia (0-2)
New Orleans (2-0) @ Georgia (1-1)
San Jose (1-0) @ Los Angeles (2-0)
Tampa Bay (1-1) @ Austin (1-0)
Las Vegas (0-2) @ Grand Rapids (0-2)
Dallas (1-1) @ New York (1-1)
Colorado (2-0) @ Chicago (2-0)
Indiana (0-2) @ Detroit (1-1)
BYE: Orlando

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