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Austin Wranglers game notes

April 13, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Austin Wranglers News Release


This week’s Austin Wranglers game will be streamed live on AFLNet. AFLNet is a premium feature accessed on the AFL’s official website, AFLNet offers fans the most comprehensive online coverage of the AFL. Members can access Live Broadcast Video Streaming of AFL games, weekly highlights and recaps for each AFL Game, including the Game of the Week and archived games. Watch AFL games, meet the players, and get behind-the-scenes interviews with players and coaches and audio streaming of This Week in the AFL.

This week’s Austin Wranglers football game 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.


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 L 53-56
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

All game times and locations are subject to change


The Austin Wranglers will have a short week of practice before they travel to Arizona to face the Rattlers. This will be the first of Austin’s two consecutive road games.

The Wranglers are scheduled to take on the Rattlers at America West Arena, Friday, April 22 at 9:00 pm (CT).


ATLANTA -- For the second time this season, the Austin Wranglers fell to the Georgia Force by just three points. The Wranglers and Force swapped scores for most of the game along with a number of penalties, but in the end, Georgia prevailed 56-53. Force QB, Matt Nagy, led a quick offense attack and was nearly perfect on the night, going 24-of-28 for 245 yards and throwing six touchdown passes. His main target on the night, OS Chris Jackson, was definitely the difference maker in the game. Jackson, acquired just two weeks ago, caught 13 passes for 133 yards. He scored twice by air, once on the ground, and ran back a kickoff 57 yards for a score. The Wranglers tried to be sneaky on their last kickoff before halftime, with an onside kick. Austin recovered the ball, but had the play called back due to an offside penalty. Georgia took advantage as Nagy hit Derek Lee for a score on the next play to go back up by four points, taking a 21-17 lead into the half. Down by 11 late in the fourth quarter, Fitzgerald took command of the Austin offense and quickly marched them into Georgia territory. He hit Ira Gooch for a 14-yard score to bring the Wranglers back within five. Chiaverini hauled in the two-point conversion attempt to reduce the deficit to three, but Sievers’ onside kick attempt was recovered by Georgia with 20.9 seconds left. The Wranglers (4-7) return home next Sunday to take on the Tampa Bay Storm at the Frank Erwin Center. Kickoff has been switched from noon to 3pm (CDT).


TAMPA BAY -- 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.

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 past several weeks.

Team Stats First Four Games Last Seven Games

Red Zone 65% 74%
3rd-Down Conversions 36.7% 61%
Scoring Offense 51 45.71
Total Offense 304.5 312.42
Take-aways 11 9
Give-aways 12 12
Possession Avg. 30:40 32:41

Wranglers Defensive Stops

Stops on 4th down 4
Stops in Red Zone 7
Interceptions 12
Fumble Recoveries 7
Field Goals 9
End of Half Stops 6
Safeties 0
Total Stops on the Season 45
Average Stops/Game 4.1

2005 Stat Comparison
Games Played 11 10
First Downs 241 213
Total Yards Gained 3,268 3,036
Average/Game 297.1 303.6
Net Rushing Yards 184 117
Average/Game 16.7 11.7
Net Passing Yards 3,084 2,919
Average/Game 280.4 291.9
Kickoff Returns 56 55
Average Yards/Return 17.0 16.7
Time of Possession 31:11 30:40
Touchdowns 74 72
Points Scored 524 535


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)
Wranglers @ Georgia QB Matt Nagy (GEO) WR/DB Willie Gary (GEO) OS Chris Jackson (GEO)

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.
Wranglers vs. Georgia
Jackson’s Kickoff Return
The Wranglers had the Georgia Force handled through the first three quarters of play and managed to maintain the momentum of the game up until Force OS Chris Jackson returned a Wranglers kickoff 57 yards for a touchdown. That gave Georgia a 4-point lead on the Wranglers and turned the game into a two-score difference when the Wranglers offense got the ball with 1:21 left in the game.

*Denotes Rookie

· 40.0 total sacks
· 180.0 total tackles

· 127 receptions
· 1,258 receiving yards

· 447 receptions
· 99 receiving touchdowns
· 7,370 all-purpose yards
· 21 interceptions
· 337.5 tackles

· 47 games played
· 9,464 yards passing
· 153 passing touchdowns
· 780 pass completions

· 24 receiving touchdowns
· 1,466 receiving yards
· 99 receptions
· 2,329 all-purpose yards

· 5.5 total sacks
· 7.5 total tackles for loss
· 7 forced fumbles
· 36 total tackles

· 143 tackles
· 6 interceptions
· 31 breakups

· 15 receiving touchdowns
· 635 receiving yards
· 49 receptions

· 594 total tackles
· 506 solo tackles
· 84 breakups



OL/DL Jeremy Beutler
He was ranked second on the team in 2004 in rushing with 47 attempts for 139 yards and six touchdowns, and he started the 2005 season off right as he led the team in rushing with 4 carries for 17 yards and a touchdown in their first game against Philadelphia. In the Wranglers second game at Tampa Bay, he had an unfortunate injury that kept him on the Injured Reserve until Week 10. He came back strong and in Week 11, he rushed three times for nine yards and a touchdown. He is averaging 2.9 yards per rush and 7.2 yards per game, and the Wranglers will look to Beutler for leadership in the remainder of their season.

WR/DB Charlie Davidson
He has been a consistent veteran leader for the Wranglers both this season and last. In his 10th year in the AFL, Davidson has proven himself as a true Ironman with solid production on all-aspects of the arena game. He has played in all 11 games for the Wranglers this season and has 38 catches for 355 yards and five touchdowns on offense, 12 kickoff returns for 136 yards on special teams, and 22 tackles, six passes defensed, one interception and a fumble recovery for a 12 yard return on defense. Last week against the Georgia Force, he caught seven passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns, and defensively, he racked up 5.5 tackles.

OL/DL Angel Rubio
In his fifth AFL season and first with the Wranglers, Rubio has battled injuries in 2005 but has been a positive addition to the Wranglers line. Offensively he has caught two passes for 19 yards and a touchdown and has worked with the line to hold opponents defenses to only three sacks on the season. Defensively he is a huge force up the middle, he has 14.5 total tackles, two for a loss of 11 yards, one sack for a loss of 10 yards, two fumble recoveries and two quarterback hurries. Last week against the Force, he racked up three tackles and a sack.


DS Tramain Jones
In his second season with the Storm, he has stepped up to lead the Tampa Bay defense. Last week against Orlando, he accumulated 10.5 tackles and a pass breakup. He is on the top of the Storm defense and ranks second in the league with 77 tackles and 70 solo tackles. He also has 11 pass breakups (tied him for seventh in the league), two fumble recoveries, an interception and a forced fumble.

OS Freddie Solomon
The AFL’s 2004 leading receiver is making his presence felt once again. After playing in eight games for the Storm, he ranks second on the team and 26th in the league in receptions (54), 22nd in receiving yards (698), and is tied for 24th in the league in scoring (14 touchdowns). He is averaging 11.7 yards per catch and 89.1 yards per game. Last week against the Predators, he led the team in receiving and all-purpose yards with six catches for 75 yards and two touchdowns and six kickoff returns for 95 yards for a total of 176 all-purpose yards.

QB Shane Stafford
In his third season with the Storm, he ranks sixth in the league among passers with a rating of 114.4 and he ranks second among passes in attempts (402) and completions (266). He has passed for over 300 yards in three games this season and has led the offense to a third place league ranking in total offense and pass offense. Last week against Orlando, he completed 27 of 40 passes for 262 yards and four touchdowns.


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.


AFL head coach Tim Marcum coached in his ninth season as head coach of the Tampa Bay Storm in 2003 and his 15th overall as an AFL head coach. A charter member of the Arena Football League Hall of Fame, Marcum is the winningest head coach in Arena Football history. He enters the 2004 season having won seven ArenaBowl championships and has coached in ten of the league’s 17 ArenaBowls. Marcum is the only coach in Arena Football history to lead three different teams to ArenaBowl championships (Denver, Detroit, and Tampa Bay), and is the AFL career coaching leader in victories (158), winning percentage (.742), games coached (213), and postseason victories (25). A two-time recipient of the AFL Coach of the Year Award (1987 and 1998), Marcum was the first coach in AFL history to win more than 100 games and has missed out in playing for the league championship only five times in his career. Incredibly, Marcum’s AFL clubs have advanced to the postseason in every year he has coached. After Storm owner Woody Kern purchased the team prior to the 1995 season, Kern brought four-time ArenaBowl champion Marcum aboard as his head coach. The Storm proceeded to put together a record-breaking two-year stretch, winning back-to-back ArenaBowls in 1995 and 1996. The Storm combined for a 28-4 mark during that stretch, and put together an AFL record 17-game winning streak from July 1, 1995, to June 29, 1996. Marcum, who also won the 2003 ArenaBowl in Tampa and led the Storm to the 1998 championship game, owns a 103-43 overall record in Tampa Bay. Marcum began his Arena Football career in 1987 as head coach of the Denver Dynamite during the league’s inaugural season. Marcum’s five-year tenure in Detroit resulted in three ArenaBowl championships and a 50-10 overall record. Like his father, the Snyder, TX, native began his coaching career in the high schools of West Texas. He landed his first collegiate job at Ranger College, and, in 1979, guided the school to the Junior College National Championship with an 11-0 record. As a prelude to his arrival in the explosive Arena League, Marcum’s junior college champions averaged nearly 35 points per game. In 1980 Marcum left Ranger and joined the coaching staff at Rice University as an assistant coach. From there he made his entrance into the professional coaching ranks, joining the San Antonio Gunslingers of the USFL as linebackers coach in 1984 and later being named the defensive coordinator. Marcum was then hired as the assistant head coach of the New York Knights of the World League of American Football. In between stints as head coach of the Detroit Drive, Marcum coached linebackers for Steve Spurrier at the University of Florida in 1990. He then spent the 1994 season as a defensive assistant with the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League before Storm owner Woody Kern lured him to Tampa.


Zero for the Road
The Tampa Bay Storm are winless on the road. The Wranglers home-field advantage at the Frank Erwin Center can make a difference in the game with Tampa’s road record now standing at 0-4.

Holding On
The Wranglers defense started the first drive of their Week 11 contest against the Georgia Force with a stop, holding the Force on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line. The Wranglers defense came up with a strong performance against Georgia, allowing only 244 yards of offense and antagonized the quarterback with two big sacks for a loss of 17 yards. Unfortunately, that performance was ultimately overshadowed when WR/LB Chris Jackson ran a Wranglers fourth quarter kickoff back for a touchdown.

Putting Up Numbers
QB John Fitzgerald racked up 315 passing yards, his fifth 300+-yard passing game of the season (his third consecutive game with 300+ yards in his last three starts), and threw for six touchdowns. The offensive line managed to protect Fitzgerald from a strong defensive front that averages one sack per game. The offense turned in their most effective red zone performance of the season, converting all four times they made it inside the 10-yard line. Two were on receptions by Darrin Chiaverini and Charlie Davidson and one by a three-yard Jeremy Beutler run. Austin’s offense also managed the ball well, racking up 34:30 of possession time and not allowing a turnover.

The Wranglers have two players in the AFL’s top-20 scorers (nonkickers). WR/DB Kevin Nickerson is tied for 16th in the League in scoring with 17 touchdowns, 16 receiving and one rushing, and one two-point conversion for 104 points on the season. WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini is ranked 19th in the AFL in scoring with 15 touchdowns, 14 receiving, one rushing and a two-point conversion for a total of 92 points. Chiaverini also is fourth in the AFL in receptions with 86 for 748 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Blocking Downfield
Despite allowing their first kickoff return for a touchdown against the Force, the Wranglers’ kicking team still led the League limiting opponents’ returns. The special teams unit has been able to give their opponents a long field, with an average start on the 9.6-yard line.

Young Lady Wranglers Dancers (and Steaming Steeds)
After a full-day dance clinic with the Lady Wranglers on Saturday, April 16, a group of young dancers will perform and show their stuff during half-time on Sunday, April 17. And while they may not have the same moves and dance skills as the young Lady Wrangler dancers, the Steaming Steeds male dance team (who surprised and delighted fans at the April Fools game) will perform once again this Sunday!

2006 Season Tickets on Sale: Don’t Miss Fan Fiesta
The Wranglers 2006 Season Tickets are on sale now! For the first time, the Wranglers are offering children’s season tickets. There are many advantages to being part of The First Team (the Wranglers season ticket holders):
- 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

2005 and 2006 Season Ticket Holders (as of May 7) are invited to attend Fan Fiesta on Sunday, May 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. Fan Fiesta is a special on-field event with Austin Wranglers players, coaches, Lady Wranglers, and mascots. Don’t miss the chalk talks, locker room tours, special photo sessions, raffles for game-worn merchandise and much more!

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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from April 13, 2005

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