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Austin Wranglers game notes

March 29, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Austin Wranglers News Release

AUSTIN WRANGLERS (3-6) vs. NEW ORLEANS VOODOO (6-3)
April 1, 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 7:30 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:
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 Friday’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.

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 L 55-64
4 Saturday , Feb. 19 @ Grand Rapids W 73-61
5 Friday, Feb. 25 GEORGIA FORCE L 63-66
6 Friday, March 4 @ Las Vegas W 42-41
7 Sunday, March 13 DALLAS DESPERADOS L 52-28
8 Saturday, March 19 NEW YORK DRAGONS W 57-47
9 Friday March 25 @ Orlando Predators L 51-21
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

NEXT WEEK

The Austin Wranglers will hit the practice field on Monday to prepare for their third of four consecutive weeks of division opponents. They will travel to the Georgia Force with the hopes to avenge their last- second loss to the Force earlier this season.

The Wranglers are scheduled to take on the Force at Philips Arena, Friday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m.

LAST WEEK

ORLANDO--The Orlando Predators and QB Joe Hamilton outgunned the Austin Wranglers on Friday night, 51-21. Hamilton scorched the Wrangler defense, completing 22-of-26 passes for 236 yards and throwing six touchdowns. Making a game-time decision, Wranglers Coach Skip Foster brought in Bobby Pesavento to start at Quarterback for the first time since being injured in Week 2 at Tampa Bay. Pesavento started for an injured John Fitzgerald, completing 18-of-31 passes for 181 yards and two scores. The Wranglers started the game off with a bang as OS Tacoma Fontaine ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. The return marked the first time that the Wranglers ran back a kick for a score in their two-year history. Hamilton continued his hot night with a 20-yard TD strike to Jimmy Fryzel on the Predators ensuing drive. The Wranglers managed a late score when Pesavento hit Gooch for a 12-yard TD to cut Orlando’s lead to 44-21, but with time running out, the Preds clearly had the win insight. Predators backup QB, Chris Sanders, would come in to throw a late touchdown to Jimmy Fryzel as Orlando defeated the Austin Wranglers by a final score of 51-21.

LAST TIME AGAINST NEW ORLEANS

NEW ORLEANS--QB John Fitzgerald threw three touchdown passes and the New Orleans defense shutout Austin over the game's final 32 minutes as the VooDoo defeated the Wranglers, 38-21 in the New Orleans Arena. The victory gave the VooDoo a share of the Arena Football Leagues best record at 11-5. Fitzgerald completed 16-of-30 passes for 207 yards to lead the VooDoo offense. WR/DB Lamont Moore caught a pair of TD passes and ran for another score as he was selected as the Baby Ruth Real Deal Offensive Player of the Game. Moore finished with eight catches for 95 yards. Kaleo completed 21 of 38 for 213 yards and two touchdowns, but the VooDoo defense stiffened after the Wranglers took a 21-14 lead on a one-yard run by OL/DL Jeremy Beutler with 1:50 left in the first half. After that point, New Orleans stopped Austin four consecutive times on downs. The VooDoo defense held the Wranglers scoreless in the second half as they went on to become the Southern Division Champions in their inaugural season.

Mid-Season Review
The Wranglers have managed to improve on key team stats as the season has progressed.
In most cases, it has led to the team’s winning ways of the last month.

Team Stats First Four Games Last Five Games

Red Zone 65% 81%
3rd-Down Conversions 36.7% 63%
Scoring Offense 51 47.68
Total Offense 304.5 290.76
Take-aways 11 8
Give-aways 12 10
Possession Avg. 30:40 31:50

Wranglers Defensive Stops

Stops on 4th down 3
Stops in Red Zone 1
Interceptions 11
Fumble Recoveries 7
Field Goals 9
MFG 6
End of Half Stops 6
Safeties 0
Total Stops on the Season 44
Average Stops/Game 4.9

2005 Stat Comparison
AUS NOV
Games Played 9 9
First Downs 188 208
Total Yards Gained 2,581 2,747
Average/Game 286.8 305.2
Net Rushing Yards 156 107
Average/Game 17.3 11.9
Net Passing Yards 2,425 2,640
Average/Game 269.4 293.3
Kickoff Returns 46 45
Average Yards/Return 16.9 15.9
Time of Possession 31:02 32:16
Touchdowns 59 64
Points Scored 415 465

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 vs. Los Angeles QB John Kaleo (LAA) FB/LB Michael Spicer (LAA) K Remy Hamilton (LAA)
Wranglers @ Grand Rapids QB Michael Bishop (GRR) DS Cedric Walker (AUS) WR/DB Kevin Nickerson (AUS)
Wranglers vs. Georgia QB Matt Nagy (GEO) DS Kevin Gaines (GEO) OS Troy Bergeron (GEO)
Wranglers @ Las Vegas WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini (AUS) DS Cedric Walker (AUS) FB/LB Dane Krager (AUS)
Wranglers vs. Dallas WR/DB Bobby Sippio (DAL) DS Jermaine Jones (DAL) WR/DB Will Pettis (DAL)
Wranglers vs. New York QB John Fitzgerald (AUS) DS Kelvin Hunter (AUS) WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini (AUS)
Wranglers @ Orlando QB Joe Hamilton (ORL) DS Kenny McEntyre (ORL) OS Jerrian James (ORL)

Big Plays

Wranglers vs. Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s 2nd Half Stand
Despite a competitive 1st half, the Wranglers were held to only one TD in each 3rd and 4th quarter. The Soul’s offense went on to take a commanding lead as they scored 21 points in the 4th quarter.

Wranglers @ Tampa Bay
Pesavento’s 1st Quarter Injury
After throwing an incomplete pass, Pesavento was hit by Storm LB Nyle Wiren, causing Pesavento to leave the game.
Fitzgerald’s Interception
On the Wranglers first drive of the 2nd quarter, QB John Fitzgerald was intercepted by Storm DS Jonathan Ordway. The interception was returned 49 yards for a Storm touchdown.

Wranglers vs. Los Angeles
Special Teams End Zone Bounce
Following a Storm kickoff to the Wranglers end zone, the ball took an unfortunate bounce off of the uprights and landed on the two-yard line and landed in the arms of Bernard Riley as he ran it in for a Storm TD.

Wranglers @ Grand Rapids
Walker’s End Zone Interception
Cedric Walkers 3rd quarter end zone interception helped to build momentum for the Wranglers going into the 4th quarter. The Wranglers went on to out score the Rampage 25-20 in the 4th to earn their first win of the season.

Wranglers vs. Georgia
Gooch’s Interception
After an impressive 32 yard return by Georgia, Wranglers LB, Ira Gooch stepped in and intercepted Matt Nagy’s pass on the Austin 4- yard line. Gooch would return the ball 21 yards to set up a Wranglers touchdown to put them on top 56-48 in the 4th quarter.
Nelson Garner Field Goal
Georgia Kicker Nelson Garner capped off the Force win with a 49-yard field goal with two seconds left in the game.

Wranglers @ Las Vegas
Mark Lewis’ Failed Extra Point
Despite a Las Vegas TD that put them up 41-36 late in the 4th quarter, Lewis’ extra point failed and, leaving the door wide open for the Wranglers.
Fitzgerald’s game winning TD
The Wranglers capitalized on a missed Gladiator field goal to take the lead 42-41 with no time left on the game clock.

Wranglers vs. Dallas
Nickerson’s Interception
Fitzgerald had a pass picked off on Austin’s first drive of the game. On Dallas’ third play of the ensuing drive, Nickerson intercepted Clint Stoerner’s pass which set up a Wranglers touchdown to bring the Wranglers within one.
Humphrey’s Defense
He stopped a second quarter touchdown by tackling Ricki Simpkins after a 27 yard gain. In the fourth quarter, he Sacked Stoerner on 3-24 to push them back to 4-30, and later that quarter, he forced a John Pettijohn fumble that Charlie Davidson returned 12 yards.

Wranglers vs. New York
Chiaverini’s Interception
Following Dane Krager’s sack on New York’s QB midway through the 2nd quarter, WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini intercepted Aaron Garcia’s pass on the Austin 13 yard line and returned it for 16 yards. This set up an impressive drive that resulted in a Wrangler TD.
Late 4th Quarter Drive
With the score tied at 47, Fitzgerald led the offense down the field and connected with Henry Bryant for a TD with 2:17 left to play.

Wranglers @ Orlando
Fontaine’s KO Return for TD
On the opening play of the game, OS Tacoma Fontaine ran a kickoff back 56 yards for a touchdown. It was the Wranglers first touchdown on a kickoff return in team history and the first in Fontaine’s AFL career.
Orlando’s Fifth Consecutive TD
With two seconds left in the first half, Predators QB Joe Hamilton completed his fifth consecutive touchdown pass on as many drives to WR/LB Jerrian James.

2005 AUSTIN WRANGLERS MILESTONES
*Denotes Rookie


OL/DL TOM BRIGGS
CAREER
· 40.0 total sacks
· 179 total tackles

WR/LB DARRIN CHIAVERINI
CAREER
· 106 receptions
· 1101 receiving yards

WR/DB CHARLIE DAVIDSON
CAREER
· 433 receptions
· 96 receiving touchdowns
· 7,227 all-purpose yards
· 21 interceptions
· 330 tackles


QB JOHN FITZGERALD
CAREER
· 45 games played
· 8,805 yards passing
· 147 passing touchdowns
· 748 pass completions

OS TACOMA FONTAINE
CAREER
· 24 receiving touchdowns
· 1,466 receiving yards
· 99 receptions
· 2,329 all-purpose yards

OL/DL AARON HUMPHREY
CAREER
· 5.0 total sacks
· 7.0 total tackles for loss
· 7 forced fumbles
· 35.5 total tackles


DS KELVIN HUNTER
CAREER
· 143 tackles
· 5 interceptions
· 28 breakups

WR/DB KEVIN NICKERSON*
CAREER/SEASON
· 14 receiving touchdowns
· 548 receiving yards
· 40 receptions

DS CEDRIC WALKER
CAREER
· 581 total tackles
· 495 solo tackles
· 84 breakups

PLAYERS TO WATCH

AUSTIN WRANGLERS

DS Brent Browner
Browner is in his third AFL season and second season with the Wranglers and has been plagued by injury. Last week against Orlando, however, a healthy Browner stepped up and accumulated 3.5 tackles, including one tackle for a loss of four yards, one interception and a broken up pass.

OS Tacoma Fontaine
Fontaine has been a consistent receiver and special teams returner for the Wranglers during his second year in the AFL. Last week against Orlando, he returned the opening kickoff 56 yards for the first kickoff returned for a touchdown in Wrangler history. He ranks first in the AFL in missed field goal returns (3 for 106 yards), ninth in kickoff returns (25 for 523) and the combination of the two ranks fifth in the league (28 returns for 629 yards). He also ranks ninth in the league and first on the team in all-purpose yards with 1,074. Last week against the Predators, he caught two passes for 34 yards and returned five kickoffs for 156 yards to lead the team in all-purpose yards.

FB/LB Henry Bryant
This rookie has been a leader in the backfield for the Wranglers this season. He leads the team and is tied for 17th in the League in rushing with 27 attempts for 56 yards and he is tied for third among rushers in touchdowns with six.

NEW ORLEANS VOODOO

OS Aaron Bailey
In his second season with the VooDoo, this five-year veteran is a 2005 League leader at his position. He is tied for sixth in scoring (120 points), first in receptions (80) and second in yards (970). He leads New Orleans in receiving with 80 catches for 970 yards and 18 touchdowns, and last week, he caught 11 passes for 112 yards and 1 touchdown.

QB Andy Kelly
Kelly is one of the AFL’s most successful quarterbacks of all time. He is in his 12th season in the AFL and this is his first with New Orleans. Kelly holds current AFL career records for completions (2,863), attempts (4,671), passing yards (32,031) and touchdown passes (621). He ranks 12th in the league in pass rating (110.9) and first in attempts (410), completions (275) and yards (2,684). Last week against the Force, he completed 32 of 50 attempts for 267 yards and three touchdowns.

FB/LB Leroy Thompson
This 10-year veteran is in his first season with the VooDoo. He leads the team and ranks 16th in the AFL in rushing with 28 attempts for 64 yards and six touchdowns on the season. Last week against Georgia, he rushed six times for 28 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, he added one tackle and one sack.

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.

NEW ORLEANS HEAD COACH
MIKE NEU

Since being named coach of the VooDoo on June 17, 2003, Neu worked tirelessly to make the expansion VooDoo a winner in their inaugural season. He successfully molded a 24-man roster comprised of a mix of AFL veterans and rookies, allowing the VooDoo to get off to a 7-1 start, one of the fastest starts for a first-year AFL entry. Neu led the VooDoo to an 11-5 record in their inaugural season. The VooDoo's Southern Division title marked only the fourth time in Arena Football League history that an expansion franchise has won their division in their first year of play. Following the season, Neu was named the Arena Football League Coach of the Year. New Orleans' regular season 11-5 record was tied for the best mark in the Arena Football League, making the VooDoo the only team in Arena Football League history to win 11 games in their inaugural season. For his professional career, Neu has posted a 17-13 regular season record and has reached the playoffs every season as both a coach and a player in the Arena Football League. Neu came to New Orleans after serving as head coach of the Carolina Cobras. In 2002, Neu guided the Cobras to a 5-2 record on the road and their second-straight playoff berth. Carolina also posted the first playoff victory in club history (a 72-64 win at Grand Rapids) in 2002 as the club featured the AFL's fourth-ranked defense. As offensive coordinator with the Cobras in 2001, before being promoted to head coach prior to the team's first round playoff game, the Cobras averaged over 56 points a game (fifth in the league) and finished 7-7 (improving from a 3-13 record the year before). Prior to coming to Carolina, Neu served as head coach and director of football operations for the Augusta Stallions of af2 in 2000. In his only season, Neu led Augusta to a 14-4 record, the American Conference title and was named the league's Coach of the Year. Neu started his Arena Football League coaching career with Nashville in 1998, when he served as quarterbacks coach for the Kats and handled all play-calling responsibilities for the offense. The next year he was promoted to offensive coordinator and the Kats achieved their third consecutive playoff berth. Neu began his coaching career in 1994 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Ball State. Neu's professional playing career started with a stint with the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders in 1995 before joining the Arena Football League's Orlando Predators in 1996 and moving on to the Nashville Kats in 1997. The 1997 Nashville squad which Neu played on won an expansion-record 10 games, a record which was broken by this VooDoo this past season. Neu played four seasons at Ball State, where he was named the MAC Most Valuable Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in 1993.

WRANGLERS ROSTER NOTES


Southern Division Battle
The New Orleans VooDoo will be the Wranglers sixth-consecutive opponent with a winning record. New Orleans lost last week in a Southern Division battle against the Georgia Force. At 6-3, the VooDoo is tied for second place in the division with the Wranglers Week Nine opponent, the Orlando Predators. New Orleans is 1-3 in Southern Division play and the Wranglers can tie their division record with a win on Friday night.

Kickoff Return for TD
A highlight during the Wranglers loss to Orlando was OS Tacoma Fontaine running back the Wranglers first touchdown off a kickoff return. After fielding the ball off the net, Fontaine took the ball 56-yards on the game’s opening play. Fontaine’s 156 return yards has put him in the AFL’s top-10 kickoff return leaders with 25 returns for 523 yards and a 20.9-yard average.

Wranglers Ironmen
The Wranglers have had two US Army AFL Ironman of the Week recipients this season. After his return to the active roster in Week Six, FB/LB Dane Krager has rushed the ball 10 times for 19 yards and one touchdown. “Dane is a high energy player who was important to our team in its first season,” said Coach Skip Foster. “Now that he is back, we will expect him to lead the team the same way he did last year. We were very pleased with his Ironman performance and hope it’s an indicator of what he will bring for the rest of his season.”

During the Wranglers Week Eight win against the New York Dragons, WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini won the US Army AFL Ironman of the Week award after his third 100+ yard receiving game on 11 receptions, two for touchdown. His defensive performance included 1.5 tackles and an interception that gave the Wranglers momentum that gave them their first home win. Chiaverini is the Wranglers leading receiver this season with 65 receptions for 591 yards and 10 touchdowns. On defense he has 17 tackles, two for a loss, two interceptions, one blocked pass and a fumble recovery. “I am truly honored to be representing the US Army,” said Chiaverini. “We’re just playing a game and the troops are overseas protecting our country.”

Lady Wranglers Dance Clinic
The Lady Wranglers will host a dance clinic for aspiring dancers on Saturday, April 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Full Court Fitness, 11900 RR 620 North. As part of the clinic, these young dancers will get to perform during half-time at the Wranglers game against Tampa Bay Storm on Sunday, April 17 at noon.

2006 Season Tickets on Sale
It’s not too early to get your 2006 season tickets! The Austin Wranglers have new prices and plans for 2006 season tickets that will go on sale at this home game on April 1. For the first time, the Wranglers will offer children’s season tickets. With our new pricing and children’s tickets, a family of four can go to 8 home games for as low as $150! Austin Wranglers Season Tickets Holders are called the Austin Wranglers “First Team.” There are many advantages to being part of The First Team:
- Best seats go early to season ticket holders
- Rowdy Wrangler upgrade priority
- Payment plan (25% down, 50% due by Sept. 30, 75% due by Nov. 15, full payment due by Dec. 31)
- Up to 22% discount over single-game tickets
- Ticket exchange program (if you can’t make a game, you can exchange your tickets for another game)
- Price protection package – you can lock in 2006 ticket prices for 3 years

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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from March 29, 2005


The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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