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Austin Wranglers game notes

February 8, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Austin Wranglers News Release

AUSTIN WRANGLERS (0-2) vs LOS ANGELES AVENGERS (1-1)
February 11, 2005, 7:30 p.m. CT., Frank Erwin Center

AUSTIN WRANGLERS BROADCASTS

Television:
The Austin Wranglers home game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Southwest. All the action will begin at on tape delay at 8:30 p.m. (CT) with play-by-play provided by Fox Sports Net's nightly Southwest Sports Tonight Anchor Kevin Eschenfelder. Color commentary will be provided by Gary Reasons, former head coach of the af2 Oklahoma City Yard Dawgs and a Super Bowl Champion with the New York Giants.

Radio:
All Austin Wranglers football games can be heard on AM 1300 The Zone with hosts from The Buck on Sports, Erin Hogan calling play-by-play and Bucky Godbolt handling the color announcing. Head Coach Skip Foster will analyze Sunday’s game and take phone calls on The Zone 1300 AM with Bucky Godbolt Monday night, 7-8 p.m. The player’s perspective can be heard with Aaron Humphrey on “Hump Day” with Bucky and Erin at 6:40 a.m. every Wednesday morning on the Buck on Sports on AM 1300 The Zone.

AustinWranglers.com coverage:
The site includes breaking news, practice schedules, press releases, historical information, statistics and rosters.

2005 AUSTIN WRANGLERS SCHEDULE

Week Date Opponent Time/Results
1 Sunday, Jan. 30 PHILADELPHIA SOUL L 35-66
2 Sunday, Feb. 6 @ Tampa Bay Storm L 45-62
3 Friday, Feb 11 LOS ANGELES AVENGERS 7:30 p.m.
4 Saturday , Feb. 19 @ Grand Rapids 6:30 p.m.
5 Friday, Feb. 25 GEORGIA FORCE 7:30 p.m.
6 Friday, March 4 @ Las Vegas 9:00 p.m.
7 Sunday, March 13 DALLAS DESPERADOS 3:00 p.m.
8 Saturday, March 19 NEW YORK DRAGONS 7:30 p.m.
9 Friday March 25 @ Orlando Predators 6:30 p.m.
10 Friday, April 1 NEW ORLEANS VOODOO 7:30 p.m.
11 Friday, April 8 @ Georgia Force 6:30 p.m.
12 Sunday, April 17 TAMPA BAY STORM 12:00 p.m.
13 Friday, April 22 @ Arizona Rattlers 9:00 p.m.
14 Saturday, April 30 @ Columbus Destroyers 6:00 p.m.
15 Saturday, May 7 ORLANDO PREDATORS 7:30 p.m.
16 Saturday, May 14 @ New Orleans Voodoo 7:30 p.m.
17 BYE

GAMES IN ALL CAPS ARE HOME GAMES PLAYED
AT THE FRANK ERWIN CENTER
All game times and locations are subject to change

LAST WEEK

TAMPA BAY (February 6, 2005)-- The Austin Wranglers defense played well to start Sunday’s game in Tampa, but couldn’t keep up with red hot QB Shane Stafford, in a 62-45 loss to the Tampa Bay Storm. Wranglers QB, Bobby Pesavento was only able to complete one pass for 12 yards before he left the game early in the first quarter with a knee injury. He was replaced by team newcomer, John Fitzgerald, who had an impressive day throwing for 234 yards and six touchdowns. Four of Fitzgerald's six touchdowns were caught by WR/DB Kevin Nickerson, who ended the game with five catches for 104 yards. Stafford, last week’s “AFL Player of the Week”, completed 20-of-30 passes for 278 yards, threw seven TD passes, and had one rushing touchdown on the day. Four of Stafford's seven touchdown passes ended up in the hands of Clif Dell, who was replacing an injured Freddie Solomon at the offensive specialist position. Despite a strong start, the Wranglers fell behind 21-14 at halftime and were unable to overcome a third quarter deficit.

LAST TIME AGAINST LOS ANGELES

LOS ANGELES (April 3, 2004)— Wrangler quarterback John Kaleo completed 29-of-40 for 387 yards and seven touchdowns in Austin’s offensive showcase against the Los Angeles Avengers last Saturday night. Offensive specialist Tacoma Fontaine caught 11 of Kaleo’s passes for 193 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also caught two more touchdown passes from reserve QB Bobby Pesavento in the last minute of the game as the Wranglers tried to rally a comeback against the Avengers. The effort was unsuccessful and the Wranglers ended the game with a loss, 81-70. The Wranglers tied a franchise-high by putting 70 points on the board, but two special teams hiccups in the third quarter that lent the opportunity for the Avengers to score on one missed field goal return and one kickoff return kept Austin behind Los Angeles. The Wranglers posted their most productive game offensively, scoring nine touchdowns while accumulating 475 yards of offense and with Fontaine catching for 203 and WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini collecting 124. The combined 151 points in the game represents the 11th highest total in AFL history.

Wranglers Defensive stops

Stops on 4th down 1
Stops in Red Zone 1
Interceptions 4
Fumble Recoveries 3
Field Goals 1
MFG 1
End of Half Stops 2
Safeties 0
Total Stops on the Season 12
Average Stops/Game 6.0

2005 Stat Comparison
AUS LAA
First Downs 38 33
Total Yards Gained 546 436
Average/Game 273 218 Net Rushing Yards 48 32
Average/Game 24 16 Net Passing Yards 498 404
Average/Game 249 202
Kickoff Returns 13 9 Average Yards/Return 16.7 19.4
Time of Possession 31:11 30:25
Touchdowns 12 10
Points Scored 80 83

2005 AUSTIN WRANGLERS MILESTONES


OL/DL TOM BRIGGS
CAREER
· 39.0 total sacks
· 172.5 total tackles

WR/LB DARRIN CHIAVERINI
CAREER
· 74 receptions
· 791 receiving yards

WR/DB CHARLIE DAVIDSON
CAREER
· 412 receptions
· 92 receiving touchdowns
· 6,969 all-purpose yards
· 21 interceptions
· 321.5 tackles

OS TACOMA FONTAINE
CAREER
· 21 receiving touchdowns
· 1,188 receiving yards
· 80 receptions
· 1,665 all-purpose yards

OL/DL BRYAN HENDERSON
CAREER
· 3.0 total sacks
· 5.0 total tackles for loss
· 4 forced fumbles
· 19.5 total tackles

OL/DL AARON HUMPHREY
CAREER
· 4.0 total sacks
· 6.0 total tackles for loss
· 5 forced fumbles
· 21.5 total tackles

DS KELVIN HUNTER
CAREER
· 122.5 tackles
· 4 interceptions
· 25 breakups

DS CEDRIC WALKER
CAREER
· 543.5 total tackles
· 464 solo tackles
· 81 breakups

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Austin Wranglers

FB/LB Henry Bryant
In his first week on the active roster, Bryant led the team in rushing with three attempts for 10 yards, averaging 3.3 yards per carry. He also had two catches for eight yards and the first touchdown of his AFL career.

OL/DL Aaron Humphrey
In his second season with the Wranglers, he has been an anchor to the Wranglers line. Against Tampa Bay, he obtained the Wranglers first sack of the season that accounted for a five-yard loss. He also accumulated two solo tackles and a forced fumble that was recovered by Tom Briggs in the endzone for the Wranglers’ first touchdown of the game against Tampa.

WR/DB Kevin Nickerson
This AFL rookie was the go-to-guy against Tampa Bay as he hauled in five catches for a career and Wranglers season high 104 yards and four touchdowns. He also added three solo tackles and a forced fumble on defense.

Los Angeles Avengers

WR/DB Kevin Ingram
After a slow start in week one, this 2004 All-Arena selection stepped up and caught four passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned one kickoff for 24 yards as he led the team in receiving yards all-purpose yards and caught the only two touchdown passes. Defensively, he added five total tackles, four solo.

DS Antuan Simmons
This rookie DS is making his presence known all over the field. In Week One, he had three tackles and two interceptions which he returned for 14 yards. This past week he added six tackles, including an assist on a tackle for loss, as well as a fumble return and a pass defensed.

WR/DB Brian Sump
After taking a year off due to injuries, Sump is looking to make a big impact in 2005. Offensively, he more than doubled his Week One production as he caught four passes for 36 yards and returned three kickoffs for 51 yards. Defensively, he led the team with seven tackles, six solo and added an interception.

2005 PLAYERS OF THE GAME

ADT Defensive US Army
Offensive Player of the Game Player of the Game Ironman of the Game
Wranglers vs. Philadelphia OS Steve Smith (PHI) WR/DB Arkee Thompson (PHI) WR/LB Sean Scott (PHI)
Wranglers @ Tampa Bay WR/DB Clif Dell (TBS) DS Jonathan Ordway (TBS) WR/LB Lawrence Samuels (TBS)

WRANGLERS HEAD COACH
SKIP FOSTER

Head Coach Skip Foster is entering his second AFL season with the Austin Wranglers. Foster, deemed the second most winning coach in arenafootball2 history with a 44-10 record including an ArenaCup Championship, will again act as the Wranglers offensive coordinator in addition to carrying the head coaching duties. After finishing the team’s 2004 debut season with a commendable 8-8 record, Foster has built a 2005 team that will take the Wranglers to an ArenaBowl championship. In the team’s inaugural season performance, Foster’s offense scored 104 touchdowns, an average of 47.8 points per game, led the AFL in total offense for five weeks and remained one of the League’s top three total offenses for a total of fifteen weeks in 2004. The Wranglers offensive unit gained more than 300 yards in five different performances and had two 200+ receiving-yard games for AFL All-Rookie Tacoma Fontaine. Quarterback John Kaleo posted career-highs in attempts with 565 and completions with 352. Kaleo passed for more than 4,000 yards for his second consecutive season bringing his career total to 26,077 passing yards. Fontaine and veteran WR/DB Charlie Davidson led the Wranglers receivers combining for 1,959 of the teams 4,045 yards receiving and 37 of the team’s 82 receiving touchdowns. Prior to joining the Wranglers, Foster served as the head coach for the 2003 af2-Champion Tulsa Talons. Foster led the team to a 13-3 regular season record while accumulating 3,995 yards in total offense, 3,679 yards passing and 316 yards rushing. This offensive effort also concluded with Tulsa outscoring their opponents 823-690 in regular season play. The Talons totaled 745 yards in offense and outscored their postseason opponents 179-130 on their way to winning the 2003 ArenaCup. Foster made history in Tulsa as he became the only af2 coach to go undefeated at home over three consecutive regular seasons. Foster compiled a record of 82-39-2 at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas before moving to arena football. Foster coached the Red Ravens to six conference championships during his 12 seasons as the head coach. In 1990, Foster led Coffeyville to a national championship and an undefeated season. He was selected as Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Coach of the Year in both 1990 and 1991. After serving as an assistant to his father, Dick Foster, for four seasons at Coffeyville, Skip took over the head coaching duties where Dick won a national championship in 1983. They are the only father/son pair in the National Junior College Athletic Association to win a national championship at the same school. Skip played football for his father from 1979-1980 at Coffeyville.

LOS ANGELES HEAD COACH
ED HODGKISS

One of the brightest offensive masterminds in the AFL, Ed Hodgkiss is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Avengers. In his three previous seasons, he compiled a record of 28-18 and advanced to the AFL Playoffs each year. In his first two seasons at the helm, he directed the Avengers to a 19-11 record. No head coach in league history has won more games in his first two seasons than Hodgkiss. Last season, the Avengers went 9-7 and led the AFL in scoring, averaging 56.5 points per game. Under Hodgkiss’ direction, three major team records were broken as QB Tony Graziani threw 99 touchdown passes and OS Chris Jackson caught 125 passes for 1,803 yards. In 2003, the Avengers won a franchise-best 11 games and earned a first-round playoffs bye. Hodgkiss, who was the runner-up for the 2003 AFL “Coach of the Year” award, oversaw the league’s most efficient offense, which scored 122 touchdowns (most in the AFL) on only 619 total plays (least in the AFL). Particularly lethal through the air, the 2003 Avengers averaged a league-leading 13.8 yards per reception and Jackson tied an AFL record with 46 TD receptions, earning him the league’s “Offensive Player of the Year” award. Hodgkiss became the head coach of the Avengers on Oct. 5, 2001, and signed a five-year contract extension shortly after a 2002 season that saw him adroitly pilot the team to an 8-6 mark and into the postseason for the first time in franchise history. In his first season as a head coach at any level, he instantly established the Avenger offense as one of the most feared in the AFL, scoring an average of 52.2 points per game. In addition, WR/LB Greg Hopkins took home the AFL’s “Ironman of the Year” award that goes to the league’s top two-way player. Prior to joining the Avengers, Hodgkiss was the Indiana Firebirds’ offensive coordinator for three seasons (1999-2001).

WRANGLERS ROSTER NOTES
Imminent Improvement
The Wranglers offensive production was still limited on third-down in Tampa. Head Coach Skip Foster and his coaching staff are working to improve the team’s conversion rate on third and fourth down. The Wranglers will look to improve on 1-of-8 third-down conversions against Los Angeles. QB John Fitzgerald managed to move the ball effectively in the middle of the field, but was limited inside the red zone, scoring only 50 percent of the time once they got inside the 10-yard line.

Proven Depth
Head Coach Skip Foster and General Manager Glyn Milburn brought more depth to the Wranglers roster in 2005 and their strategy proved effective as rookie reserve WR/DB Kevin Nickerson and FB/LB Henry Bryant led the team in several aspects of the game. After his Week Two performance, Nickerson is tied for sixth among AFL scorers (nonkickers) with 30 total points on five touchdowns so far this season. Nickerson is also 25th in the AFL in yards gained from scrimmage with a total of 127 on the season so far. He led the Wranglers receiving corps in Week Two with 104 yards, the first 100+yard game by a Wranglers receiver this season. With four touchdowns, Nickerson posted the most touchdowns scored by a single receiver in a game since Tacoma Fontaine’s Week Seven five-touchdown game at Detroit in 2004. Bryant was used in a reserve role and led the Wranglers in rushing with 10 yards on three attempts. At the end of the first quarter, Bryant came through on a 3-yard pass from QB John Fitzgerald reception for his first career AFL touchdown.

Being Stingy
The Wranglers defense was able to hold Tampa Bay on three of four third-down conversions and one of two fourth-down plays forcing them to attempt scoring plays from the middle of the field. The Wranglers front was able to penetrate the Tampa offensive line three times for two tackles behind the line of scrimmage by WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini and OL/DL Angel Rubio and one sack for a loss of five yards by Aaron Humphrey, the Wranglers first sack of the 2005 season. Chiaverini leads the AFL in tackles for a loss with two solo stops behind the line of scrimmage on the season for a loss of two yards.

Playing on the Ball
As a unit, the Wranglers defense has picked off four passes in the first two weeks of the season, accumulating over half of the team’s interceptions in all of 2004 (7). Wranglers DS Kelvin Hunter finished his second consecutive game with an interception, tying him for first in the AFL. Hunter reeled in one interception on the AFL’s Week One Offensive Player of the Week Shane Stafford. At the Wranglers home-opener against Philadelphia, Hunter picked off 2004 AFL Offensive Player of the Year Tony Graziani for a seven-yard interception.

High and Tight
The Wranglers special teams kickoff coverage unit has held strong and is ranked second in the AFL. Austin has been able to pin opponents inside the 10-yard line on 11 of 15 kickoffs, maintaining an average start for their opponents at the 7.2 yard-line. Kicker Tony Dodson racked up two more touchbacks in Tampa and is second in the AFL with seven on the season.

First Down Makers
The Wranglers go-to first-down receivers have proven to be WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini (7 first-down receptions) and WR/DB Kevin Nickerson (7 first-down receptions) and OS Tacoma Fontaine (6 first-down receptions) with them posting a combined total of 20 first downs.

WRANGLERS GAME DAY NOTES
National Anthem
The Wranglers welcome former University of Oklahoma quarterback Eric Moore to sing the National Anthem. Moore was the starting QB for the Sooners from 1995-1998, and he is now the music director at the Christ Community Church of Austin.

Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales
The Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales will be in attendance at the Wranglers game this week. Bring your camera because they will be available for pictures at the Red River entrance before the game.

Red-Eye
The Rowdiest Wrangler will be in the house on Friday night – the Wranglers welcome Red Eye to the team! Red Eye joins Blaze as the team’s mascots, but look for Red Eye to really stir things up in the Rowdy Wrangler fan sections.

Valentine’s Day Six Pack!
It’s not too late to get your sweetheart a Valentine’s Day gift! The Wranglers Valentine’s Day Six Pack includes tickets to the remaining six home games, starting at $68. Sneak out to the ticket table on the concourse to purchase the gift that keeps giving and also receive a free panel football. This week, Wranglers Club members will be eligible to register to win a weekend stay at the Embassy Suites Austin North.

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