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April 5, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Austin Wranglers News Release

AUSTIN WRANGLERS BROADCASTS

Television:
The Austin Wranglers home game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Southwest. All the action will begin at 6:30 p.m. (CT) with play-by-play provided by NBC’s veteran analyst Eli Gold. Color commentary will be provided by former University of Tennessee defensive back Charles Davis, who has covered the AFL, NBA and various other professional and collegiate sporting events .

Radio:
The Austin Wranglers football game can be heard on AM 1300 The Zone on Friday, April 8 at 9:30 p.m. CT. Austin Wranglers road coverage will be provided by veteran radio sportscaster Kent Koen calling play-by-play and Austin Wranglers General Manager and former NFL player Glyn Milburn 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 on Monday, April 11, 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 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 W 56-55
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 to prepare for their third of four consecutive weeks of division opponents. They will host the Tampa Bay Storm with the hopes to avenge their loss to the Storm earlier this season.

The Wranglers are scheduled to take on the Storm at the Frank Erwin Center, Sunday, April 17 at noon.

LAST WEEK

AUSTIN--The VooDoo must have been fooled by the former New Orleans duo of John Fitzgerald and Ira Gooch. Gooch was voted US Army Ironman of the game after catching 12 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. Austin’s Kelvin Hunter was chosen as ADT Defensive Player of the Game after a momentum changing interception, three tackles and two pass breakups. New Orleans’ Aaron Bailey was chosen as the Offensive Player of the Game after catching nine passes for 135 yards and four of Andy Kelly’s eight touchdown passes. Fitzgerald completed 35 of 45 passes for 344 yards and five touchdowns. Gooch and Chiaverini caught 12 passes each for a combined 234 yards and four touchdowns. With three seconds left in the game, VooDoo kicker Brian Schmitz missed a 53-yard field goal that went wide right and Gooch received the missed field goal and knelt the ball to seal the Wranglers victory.

LAST TIME AGAINST NEW ORLEANS

AUSTIN—The Austin Wranglers fell to the Georgia Force, 66-63, after the teams traded scores for the first three quarters of play. Wranglers QB John Fitzgerald completed 22-34 passes for 300 yards and five touchdowns with one costly interception. The Georgia Force lost starting quarterback Jim Kubiak (10-12, 119 yards, 1 TD) after he went down with a left knee injury in the second quarter. Matt Nagy backed him up with a 257-yard performance on 19 completions of 25 attempts and one interception. Georgia fired the final touchdown of the half leaving the score 35-28 at intermission. To begin the second half, the Wranglers held on to the ball for a 8-play, 5:16 drive that was littered with short passes to WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini who came up with an 8-yard touchdown to tie the game at 35. The Wranglers made the first defensive stop of the game with less than seven minutes left in the game when WR/LB Ira Gooch intercepted a Nagy pass after it rebounded off the nets. Fitzgerald led the team on a quick 2-play drive capped off with WR/DB Charlie Davidson’s first touchdown of the season. The Wranglers took the lead with 6:03 left to go in the game until Georgia came up with their own interception on Austin’s next drive and converted for a touchdown. Fitzgerald led the Wranglers down the field and Bryant rushed for his third touchdown of the game, tying the score at 63 with 11 seconds remaining. The Force ran two plays before Kicker Nelson Garner connected on a 49-yard field goal for the win.

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 Six Games

Red Zone 65% 84%
3rd-Down Conversions 36.7% 57%
Scoring Offense 51 44.5
Total Offense 304.5 310.50
Take-aways 11 9
Give-aways 12 12
Possession Avg. 30:40 31:50

Wranglers Defensive Stops

Stops on 4th down 3
Stops in Red Zone 5
Interceptions 12
Fumble Recoveries 7
Field Goals 9
MFG 7
End of Half Stops 6
Safeties 0
Total Stops on the Season 45
Average Stops/Game 4.9

2005 Stat Comparison
AUS GEO
Games Played 10 10
First Downs 218 203
Total Yards Gained 2,944 2,847
Average/Game 294.4 284.7
Net Rushing Yards 175 175
Average/Game 17.5 17.5
Net Passing Yards 2,769 2,672
Average/Game 276.9 267.2
Kickoff Returns 51 48
Average Yards/Return 17 16.5
Time of Possession 30:52 28:34
Touchdowns 67 67
Points Scored 471 488

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)
Wranglers vs. New Orleans OS Aaron Bailey (NOV) DS Kelvin Hunter (AUS) OS Ira Gooch (AUS)

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.
Wranglers vs. New Orleans
Hunter’s Interception
On third-and-goal at the Austin 3-yard line, Wranglers DS Kelvin Hunter intercepted a Andy Kelly pass over the middle and took the ball back to the Austin 13-yard line. The Wranglers offense converted on the ensuing drive and cut the VooDoo lead to one touchdown.
Sievers PATs
In his third AFL game, Todd Sievers went 8-8 on PATs. His consistency was the difference in the game as VooDoo kicker Brian Schmitz was 7-8 and allowed the Wranglers to get one point ahead of New Orleans.

2005 AUSTIN WRANGLERS MILESTONES
*Denotes Rookie


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

WR/LB DARRIN CHIAVERINI
CAREER
· 118 receptions
· 1,197 receiving yards

WR/DB CHARLIE DAVIDSON
CAREER
· 440 receptions
· 97 receiving touchdowns
· 7,303 all-purpose yards
· 21 interceptions
· 332 tackles






QB JOHN FITZGERALD
CAREER
· 46 games played
· 9,149 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
· 6 interceptions
· 31 breakups

WR/DB KEVIN NICKERSON*
CAREER/SEASON
· 14 receiving touchdowns
· 556 receiving yards
· 42 receptions

DS CEDRIC WALKER
CAREER
· 587.5 total tackles
· 501 solo tackles
· 84 breakups

PLAYERS TO WATCH

AUSTIN WRANGLERS

WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini
He has been a consistent producer for the Wranglers this season as he leads the team in receptions (77) and receiving yards (687) and ranks second in touchdowns with 13. His 77 receptions also rank fifth in the league. He has also added 18 tackles, including two tackles for loss, two interceptions, a pass break up and a fumble recovery. Last week against New Orleans, he rushed two times for five yards and a touchdown and caught 12 passes for 96 yards and three touchdowns, on offense.

QB John Fitzgerald
He ranks fifth among AFL passers with a rating of 115.1, fourth in completions (200), and second in completion percentage (67.6%). This season he has completed 200 of 296 attempts for 2,310 yards and 42 touchdowns. Last week against his former team, the VooDoo, he completed 35 of 45 attempts for 344 yards, five touchdowns and no sacks. This was his fourth of eight games with at least 300 yards passing.

OS- WR/LB Ira Gooch
In the absence of Tacoma Fontaine, Gooch stepped up to be a big producer against New Orleans, his former team. He caught a career-high 12 passes for 138 and a touchdown. He also returned two kickoffs for 58 yards that gave the Wranglers excellent field position to start those two drives. He also caught the VooDoo’s final field goal attempt off the net to seal the victory for the Wranglers.

GEORGIA FORCE

OS Troy Bergeron and WR/LB Derek Lee
This dynamic duo of rookies has been the driving force in the Georgia offense. Despite a quarterback change at the beginning of the season, Bergeron and Lee are ranked fourth (987) and eighth (846) in the league in receiving yardage, respectively. They account for 69% of Georgia’s touchdowns and 63% of all receptions. Last week against Tampa Bay, Bergeron caught five passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns and returned seven kickoff returns for 139 yards. Lee roped in 12 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown.

DS Kevin Gaines
He leads the Georgia defense with 73 tackles, 69 solo, as well as six interceptions that he has returned for 61 yards and a touchdown. He has also recorded three passes defensed and a fumble recovery. Last week against Tampa Bay, he recorded eight tackles and one kick off return for 16 yards.

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.

GEORGIA HEAD COACH
DOUG PLANK


On July 30, 2004, Doug Plank was announced as the new head coach of the Georgia Force becoming the fourth head coach in the team's history. Plank comes to the Force having served as the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Rattlers from 2002-2004, which included three consecutive ArenaBowl championship game births. Following a 3-5 start in 2004, the Rattlers turned their season around to finish with a league-tying best 11-5 record and secure the top seed in the AFL playoffs. In 2002, Plank helped guide the Rattlers defense to a number one regular season ranking in rushing defense and scoring defense. In his three years with the Rattlers, he coached four First Team All-Arena selections, two Second Team All-Arena players and four All-Ironman Team choices, including 2003 AFL Ironman of the Year Randy Gatewood. A former member of The Ohio State University football team, Plank played in three consecutive Rose Bowls, 1973, 1974, and 1975. While at Ohio State, he played for legendary coach Woody Hayes. Plank brings with him a wealth of football experience that includes an impressive career in the NFL. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 12th round of the 1975 NFL Entry Draft and started at safety for eight seasons. The “46 Defense” created by Buddy Ryan was named for Plank's jersey number and aggressive style of play. Plank was also the first Bears rookie to ever lead the team in tackles. Following his playing career, Plank became a franchisee for the Burger King Corporation owning and operating 17 restaurants in three different states. Plank's professional history also includes experience as a member of the Rattlers broadcast team. Prior to becoming defensive coordinator, he spent five years as the Rattlers' radio analyst and two seasons as their television color analyst.
His broadcasting experience also includes stints with the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona State University Football, Fox Sports Net, Westwood One and Sports USA Radio Network. Plank and his wife Nancy have two children, Andrea and Michael.

WRANGLERS ROSTER NOTES

Fighting for the Win
The Austin Wranglers beat the New Orleans VooDoo for the first time in team history with an overwhelming offensive performance by QB John Fitzgerald (35-45, 344 yards, 5 touchdowns) and three of Austin’s receivers: OS Ira Gooch (12, 138 yards, 1 touchdown), WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini (12, 96 yards, 3 touchdowns) and WR/DB Charlie Davidson (7, 76 yards, 1 touchdown). The Wranglers offense generated a total 363 yards, eight touchdowns, and eight crucial PATs to post their second home win this season. This is the Wranglers second-best offensive performance this season, with the last 350+-yard performance coming in the Wranglers Week Three contest against the Los Angeles Avengers (376 yards) and the highest scoring since Week Five when the Wranglers scored seven touchdowns on the Georgia Force at the Erwin Center.

The Match Up
The National Conference’s third (AUS) and fourth (GEO) offenses square off this week in Atlanta. The Wranglers are looking for their second-straight win for the first time since the Weeks 13-14 of the 2004 season. Georgia is coming off a loss against the Tampa Bay Storm, their third loss of 2005. The last time the Force lost two games in a row was in Weeks 11-12 of the 2004 season. The Force’s 2005 surge has been maintained by scoring machines Troy Bergeron and Derek Lee. Together, they have combined for almost 69 percent of the Force’s touchdowns in the 2005 season. Force starting QB Jim Kubiak sustained a season-ending injury in the team’s first meeting with Austin this season. Reserve QB Matt Nagy has since led Georgia to a 4-2 record. Nagy has completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 33 touchdowns and eight interceptions so far this season.

Applying Some Pressure
The Wranglers defense has been able to step in and change the momentum of games for Austin this season. The Wranglers defense has been able to intercept four passes while their opponent is in the red zone. In Week 10, the Wranglers defensive unit changed the momentum in the third quarter after New Orleans took a two-touchdown lead. DS Kelvin Hunter came up with a big pick in the endzone, and the Wranglers only defensive stop of the game, to prevent an impending VooDoo touchdown and put the Wranglers back on track, as the Wranglers were able to convert on the ensuing seven-play drive.

Keeping His Rhythm.
Wranglers kicker Todd Sievers consistent PAT kicks in his third AFL performance kept the Wranglers in the game in Week 10. Sievers’ connected on 8-straight PATs and secured the win for Austin when New Orleans kicker Brian Schmitz missed the VooDoo’s final PAT of the game with 1:16 left on the clock. The Wranglers offense took over and drove down the field for the game’s final touchdown and Sievers sealed the deal completing the game 8-8 on PATs.

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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