Austin Wranglers game notes
AUSTIN WRANGLERS BROADCASTS
The Austin Wranglers home game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Southwest. All the action will begin at 9:00 p.m. (CT) with analysis provided by Kent Derdivanis, Ron Wolfley, and Kevin McCabe.
The Austin Wranglers football game will be joined in progress on AM 1300 The Zone. 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 Fridays game and take phone calls on The Zone 1300 AM with Bucky Godbolt on Monday, April 11, 7-8 p.m. The players 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 L 53-56
12 Sunday, April 17 TAMPA BAY STORM L 42-54
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.
GAMES IN ALL CAPS ARE HOME GAMES PLAYED
AT THE FRANK ERWIN CENTER
All game times and locations are subject to change
The Austin Wranglers will meet the Columbus Destroyers for the first time in the teams history as the travel to Ohio in their second consecutive week on the road.
The Wranglers are scheduled to take on the Destroyers at Nationwide Arena, Friday, April 30 at 6:00 pm (CT).
The Wranglers looked to rack up a Week 12 win as they hosted the Tampa Bay Storm on Sunday. They lost to the Storm earlier this season and hoped to get a division win in their second meeting. QB John Fitzgerald went 17-for-32 for 216 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. Tampas QB, Shane Stafford, went 25 for 41 for 207 yards and five touchdowns. Tampa Bays Lawrence Samuels received Offensive Player of the Game honors, Jonathan Ordway was ADT Defensive Player of the Game, while Lynarios Elpheage was selected as U.S. Army Ironman of the Game. The opening kickoff was mishandled by Ira Gooch but the Wranglers got back on track as John Fitzgerald took them 49 yards on eight plays. It took two run attempts, but rookie Henry Bryant got the ball in and Todd Sievers converted the point after to make the score 7-0. Tampa Bay went 46 yards on four plays and the drive was capped off by a two-yard touchdown pass from Shane Stafford to Lynarios Elpheage. Matt Georges kick attempt was good and the score was evened at 7-7. On their next drive, Fitzgerald found Greg Brown for a career high 28-yard reception. With a first and goal situation, Fitzgerald found Angel Rubio on a five yard pass for his second touchdown of the season. Seivers kick made the score 14-7. Tampa mishandled the kickoff and Dane Krager recovered the ball on the Tampa Bay one-yard line. Bryant ran the ball in for his 10th touchdown of the season to make the score 21-7 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter began with Stafford finding WR/LB Lawrence Samuels on a four-yard pass to bring the Storm within a touchdown. They then stopped the Wranglers offense as Fitzgerald was picked off by Jonathan Ordway at the Austin 20-yard line. The Storm had to settle for a George field goal to make the score 21-17 in favor of the Wranglers. Fitzgerald got the Austin offense going again on the next drive as he took the Wranglers five plays for 43 yards. Krager dove into the end zone after a 12 yard pass from Fitzgerald and Sievers kick put the Wranglers up by 11. When the Storm got the ball back, Stafford again found Samuels despite defensive pressure from the Austin rush. This brought the Storm within four points again, and the Wranglers had 22 seconds to get down the field before the half. Austin got to the Tampa Bay 24 yard line and with four seconds left, Sievers attempted a field goal that went wide right to end the half with the score at 28-24 in favor of Austin. Tampa Bay started with the ball in the second half and ate up nine and a half minutes of the third quarter. Stafford finally found Samuels for his third touchdown of the day. Georges kick was good and Tampa went ahead by three points. It took less time for Fitzgerald to find Gooch on a 37-yard pass for his first touchdown of the day. Sievers kick made the score 35-31 in favor of the Wranglers. On the kickoff Freddie Solomon, returned the ball 29-yards to put Tampa in Wrangler territory. With the clock running out, Jarrod Penright ran the ball one yard for a touchdown and Georges kick was good to make the score 38-35, in favor of the Storm, at the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter was riddled with penalties by both teams. The Wranglers had the ball first and after four plays and 45 yards, Fitzgerald found Gooch in the endzone for a score. This put the Wranglers up by four once again, but on Tampas next drive, Stafford found Solomon again to make the score 45-42 in the Storms favor. The kickoff took a hard bounce off the net and the Wranglers could not handle it. The Storm recovered the ball on the Austin one. After a previous unsportsmanlike penalty took the Storm back 10 yards, Rubio put pressure on Stafford and the Wranglers held the Storm to force a field goal. Georges kick was good and the Storm went up by six. The Wrangler offense could not recover and on their next drive, they turned the ball over on downs. Tampa Bay scored again and kept the Wranglers out of the end zone one more time to make the final score 54-42.
The Wranglers have managed to improve on key team stats as the season has progressed.
These improvements can be seen when the season is broken down into three four-game segments.
Team Stats First Quarter Second Quarter Third Quarter
Red Zone 57% 75% 80%
3rd Down Conversion 37% 53% 65%
Scoring Offense 51 47.5 43
Total Offense 310.25 291.25 312.25
Take-aways 2.5 1.75 1
Give-aways 1.8 1.53 1.25
Possession Avg. 32:22 32:35 30:22
Wranglers Defensive Stops
Stops on 4th down 4
Stops in Red Zone 9
Fumble Recoveries 8
Field Goals 11
End of Half Stops 8
Total Stops on the Season 50
Average Stops/Game 4.2
2005 Stat Comparison
Games Played 12 11
First Downs 255 221
Total Yards Gained 3,495 3,156
Average/Game 291.3 286.9
Net Rushing Yards 195 184
Average/Game 16.3 16.7
Net Passing Yards 3,300 2,972
Average/Game 275.0 270.2
Kickoff Returns 60 64
Average Yards/Return 16.6 19.0
Time of Possession 30:34 31:02
Touchdowns 80 78
Points Scored 566 544
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)
Wranglers @ Georgia QB Matt Nagy (GEO) WR/DB Willie Gary (GEO) OS Chris Jackson (GEO)
Wranglers vs. Tampa Bay WR/LB Lawrence Samuels (TBS) DS Jonathan Ordway (TBS) WR/DB Lynaris Elpheage (TBS)
Wranglers vs. Philadelphia
Philadelphias 2nd Half Stand
Despite a competitive 1st half, the Wranglers were held to only one TD in each 3rd and 4th quarter. The Souls offense went on to take a commanding lead as they scored 21 points in the 4th quarter.
Wranglers @ Tampa Bay
Pesaventos 1st Quarter Injury
After throwing an incomplete pass, Pesavento was hit by Storm LB Nyle Wiren, causing Pesavento to leave the game.
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
Walkers 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
After an impressive 32 yard return by Georgia, Wranglers LB, Ira Gooch stepped in and intercepted Matt Nagys 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.
Fitzgeralds 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
Fitzgerald had a pass picked off on Austins first drive of the game. On Dallas third play of the ensuing drive, Nickerson intercepted Clint Stoerners pass which set up a Wranglers touchdown to bring the Wranglers within one.
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
Following Dane Kragers sack on New Yorks QB midway through the 2nd quarter, WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini intercepted Aaron Garcias 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
Fontaines 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 Fontaines AFL career.
Orlandos 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
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.
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
Jacksons 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.
Wranglers vs. Tampa Bay
Tampas 9-play Red Zone Stand
On their first drive of the second half, the Tampa Bay Storm took more than nine minutes off the clock on a drive that included nine plays inside the red zone. The Wranglers defense was not able to stop a 4-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal from QB Shane Stafford to WR/LB Lawrence Samuels that gave the Storm the lead in the game.
2005 AUSTIN WRANGLERS MILESTONES
OL/DL TOM BRIGGS
· 40.0 total sacks
· 182.5 total tackles
FB/LB HENRY BRYANT*
· 8 rushing touchdowns
· 2 receiving touchdowns
· 67 rushing yards
WR/LB DARRIN CHIAVERINI
· 131 receptions
· 1,281 receiving yards
WR/DB CHARLIE DAVIDSON
· 448 receptions
· 99 receiving touchdowns
· 7,379 all-purpose yards
· 21 interceptions
· 339.5 tackles
QB JOHN FITZGERALD
· 48 games played
· 9,680 yards passing
· 157 passing touchdowns
· 797 pass completions
OS TACOMA FONTAINE
· 24 receiving touchdowns
· 1,466 receiving yards
· 99 receptions
· 2,329 all-purpose yards
OL/DL AARON HUMPHREY
· 5.5 total sacks
· 7.5 total tackles for loss
· 8 forced fumbles
· 36.5 total tackles
WR/DB KEVIN NICKERSON*
· 15 receiving touchdowns
· 653 receiving yards
· 51 receptions
DS CEDRIC WALKER
· 597.5 total tackles
· 506 solo tackles
· 84 breakups
PLAYERS TO WATCH
DS Brent Browner
In his third AFL season and second year with the Wranglers, Browner has been plagued with injuries, but came out strong against Tampa Bay in Week 12. He led the defense with seven tackles, all solo, and two pass breakups. In the eight games he has played in this season, he has recorded 19 total tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss of five yards, three passes defensed and an interception.
FB/LB Henry Bryant
Bryant is an AFL rookie who came to the Wranglers from the af2 Wichita Stealth. He has played in eight games for the Wranglers this season and attempted 27 rushes for 56 yards and 10 total touchdowns on offense. Defensively, he has recorded 11 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a quarterback hurry. Last week against the Storm, he rushed five times for 11 yards and two touchdowns and posted one tackle.
OS-WR/LB Ira Gooch
In his first season with the Wranglers and second AFL season, Gooch has stepped up to play in both positions. Offensively, he ranks third on the team with 46 catches for 573 yards and five touchdowns and has returned seven kickoffs for 145 yards. On defense, he has accumulated three tackles and an interception that resulted in a 21 yard return. In Week 12, he led all receivers with five catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns and returned three kick for 37 yards.
OS Siaha Burley
This four-year veteran is in his second year with Arizona. He has 1,224 yards on 92 catches and 31 touchdowns. He leads the Rattlers in receptions, yards and touchdowns. His numbers rank first in the league in scoring, second in receiving yard and third in receptions. He also leads the team in kick returns with 34 returns for 546 yards, and the combination of receiving and return yards puts him at the top of the Rattlers all-purpose yardage list and second in the league (1,226 yards). Against Columbus in Week 11, he caught seven passes for 86 yards and five touchdowns.
QB Joe Germaine
In eight games this season Germaine has completed 155 of 243 pass attempts for 1,987 yards and 40 touchdowns. He ranks third among passers with a rating of 118.6 and ranks second in average gain per attempt (8.18 yards) and has thrown fewer interceptions than all but one quarterback in the AFL. Against the Destroyers, he completed 23 of 35 passes for 324 yards and eight touchdowns.
DS Clarence Lawson
He is in his seventh AFL season and third with the Rattlers. He leads the Rattlers defense and ranks ninth in the league with 65.5 tackles, including one tackle for a loss of 11 yards. He has also accumulated 10 pass breakups on the season. Against Columbus he lead all defenders with 5.5 tackles.
WRANGLERS HEAD COACH
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 teams 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 teams inaugural season performance, Fosters 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 Leagues 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 teams 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.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH
On August 5, 2004, the Arizona Rattlers named Todd Shell as the second Head Coach in franchise history. Shell began his Arena Football coaching career as the first Defensive Coordinator in Rattlers history, leading the Rattler defense from 1992 until 1994, winning the ArenaBowl title in his final season with the club. Shell became the first Head Coach in San Jose SaberCats history in 1995, and led the expansion SaberCats to an 8-4 record and the Western Division Title, the first expansion team to ever win a Division Championship. In his four seasons as Head Coach, San Jose was 29-25, making three playoff appearances. Shell returned to Arizona in 2003 as the Color Analyst on Rattlers TV broadcasts, but he appeared on only one telecast, leaving to join the New York Dragons after Week 4. The Dragons, off to an 0-4 start, fired Head Coach John Gregory and replaced him with Shell. New York went 8-4 under Shell, finishing the year 8-8 and as the Eastern Division Champs. Following New Yorks last-second win over Chicago in the Wild Card round of the AFL playoffs, Shell was named the Arena Football Leagues 2003 Coach of the Year. Shell and the Dragons defended their 2003 Division Title, winning the East again in 2004 with a 9-7 record. New York lost a tiebreaker with the Los Angeles Avengers and did not qualify for the 2004 playoffs. In his two seasons in New York, Shell compiled a record of 17-11 with two Eastern Division Championships. He also garnered a 1-1 postseason record with the Dragons. Shell was a standout college player at BYU, where he helped lead the Cougars to three straight WAC titles from 1981 to 1983. Shell finished his career with 205 tackles and 22 quarterback sacks. He led BYU in tackles his Junior and Senior seasons. A 1984 First Round Draft Pick of the San Francisco 49ers, Shell played linebacker for five seasons in San Francisco, earning a Super Bowl ring in 1984 and 1988. Shell and his wife Kellie reside in Mesa, Arizona. The couple has two children, Tanner, who played basketball for Arizona State from 2000 through 2002, and Krystal. Krystal and her husband Jason Arnett have twins.
WRANGLERS ROSTER NOTES
.500 or Better
The Arizona Rattlers are coming off their Week 13 bye to face the Wranglers. The Rattlers are the first team the Wranglers have faced with a record below .500 since AFL Week Four. Of the Wranglers 12 prior opponents, only Grand Rapids had a losing record going into their contest. The Wranglers beat Grand Rapids at the Van Andel Arena 73-61.
During their Week 12 game against the Tampa Bay Storm, the Wranglers could not get in an offensive rhythm in the second half after having the ball a total of 8:24. The Tampa Bay Storm managed to hold the ball for 13:22 in the third quarter, as the Wranglers scored one touchdown in the 1:38 the team had the ball.
Two Touchdowns, Please
For the first time since his start against the Dallas Desperados, QB John Fitzgerald threw for less than 300 yards against the Tampa Bay Storm. Fitzgerald accumulated 216 yards passing and tossed for four touchdowns. He handed off the ball two times to rookie FB/LB Henry Bryant in the first half for his ninth and tenth touchdowns of the season. For the second consecutive week OS Ira Gooch led the team in receptions; he posted five receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns last week against Tampa. Since taking over the starting OS position three weeks ago, Gooch has scored five touchdowns and led the team in receiving twice.
The Wranglers defense was challenged as they were on the field for more than 36 minutes against the Storm last week. Despite holding the Storm from scoring on eight different tries from the red zone during their first drive of the second half, QB Shane Stafford connected with WR/LB Lawrence Samuels on a four-yard pass on third down. However, the Wranglers backfield was productive, breaking up four passes and posting 18 tackles. Up front the line made eight tackles, hurried QB Shane Stafford four times, forced two fumbles, made one tackle for a loss of four yards, and blocked one pass.
Since signing with the team in Week Eight, Todd Seivers has made 29 of 30 extra point attempts for the Wranglers. He strengthens Austins kick return coverage, ranked first in the AFL, combining for 36 total touchbacks on the year, 10 since Week Eight. The Wranglers kickoff coverage has continued to dominate by holding opponents to an average start at the 9.7-yard line. However, in the Wranglers contest against the Tampa Bay Storm, Head Coach Tim Marcum used the long field to his teams advantage, holding on to the ball more than 22 minutes during the second half of the game.
2005 and 2006 Season Ticket Holders 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. Dont miss the chalk talks, locker room tours, special photo sessions, raffles for game-worn merchandise and much more!
2006 Season Tickets on Sale: Dont Miss Fan Fiesta
The Wranglers 2006 Season Tickets are on sale now! For the first time, the Wranglers are offering childrens 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 cant 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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