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Austin Wranglers game notes

April 27, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Austin Wranglers News Release

April 30, 2005, 6:00 p.m. CT., Nationwide Arena


The Austin Wranglers home game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Southwest. All the action will begin at 6:00 p.m. (CT) with analysis provided by Jeff Piecoro, Jim Lachey, and Jim Day on the sidelines.

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 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.


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 L 33-55
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 face the Orlando Predators at the Frank Erwin Center for their 2005 home finale. The Wranglers lost to the Predators at Orlando in Week Nine of the 2005 season, the first game of their home-home series.

The Wranglers are scheduled to take on the Predators at 7:30 p.m. at the Frank Erwin Center.


PHOENIX—Sherdrick Bonner threw five touchdown passes, four to Siaha Burley, as the Arizona Rattlers (4-8) defeated the Austin Wranglers (4-9), 52-26, at America West Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. Bonner finished 20 of 31 for 224 yards and 5 TDs. Burley caught 6 passes for 67 yards and 4 TDs. For Austin, John Fitzgerald completed 27-of-43 passes for 235 yards, 4 TDs and 2 INTs. The Wranglers took the ball downfield and scored on their first drive on a 5-yard pass in the corner of the endzone. After a long Arizona drive, returning QB Shedrick Bonner took the Rattlers downfield and scored on a 14-yard pass to OS Siaha Burley. The Wranglers second drive was stopped short and the Wranglers field goal attempt was short, as well. The Rattlers took over on the 25-yard line. Bonner capped off the drive with a 1-yard run into the endzone to take the lead for the Rattlers. The key drive of the night ended when the Wranglers were held out of the endzone on the one-yard line. From there, the game’s momentum appeared to be Arizona’s side. They scored on a 10-yard pass to WR/DB Randy Gatewood on their next drive, but the Wranglers still had some life left and took the ball down the field to score on a four-play drive that ended in a 9-yard touchdown pass to WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini. The Rattlers rounded-out the scoring in the first half with a 48-yard field goal extending their lead going into intermission, 24-13. The Wranglers defense started off the half looking for their first stop of the game and could not hold the Rattlers on their first drive. The Wranglers ensuing drive was stopped, thanks an interception by WR/DB Orshawante Bryant. Arizona converted three plays later on a 12-yard touchdown pass making the score 38-13. The Wranglers fired back when Fitzgerald connected with WR/DB Charlie Davidson on a 16-yard touchdown pass, but the game was clearly out of reach by the start of the fourth quarter. With the loss, the Wranglers drop to 4-9 on the season. Next week, the team travels to Columbus to take on the Destroyers. Saturday’s kickoff is slated for 6:00 pm and will be on Fox Sports Net.

Mid-Season Review
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% 74%
3rd Down Conversion 37% 53% 63%
Scoring Offense 51 47.5 39.6
Total Offense 310.25 291.25 300.4
Take-aways 2.5 1.75 .80
Give-aways 1.8 1.53 1.40
Possession Avg. 32:22 32:35 30:19

Wranglers Defensive Stops

Stops on 4th down 4
Stops in Red Zone 9
Interceptions 12
Fumble Recoveries 8
Field Goals 12
End of Half Stops 9
Safeties 0
Total Stops on the Season 52
Average Stops/Game 4.0

2005 Stat Comparison
Games Played 13 12
First Downs 273 214
Total Yards Gained 3,748 3,122
Average/Game 288.3 260.2
Net Rushing Yards 213 257
Average/Game 16.4 21.4
Net Passing Yards 3,535 2,865
Average/Game 271.9 238.8
Kickoff Returns 65 82
Average Yards/Return 16.5 19.4
Time of Possession 30:32 29:55
Touchdowns 84 70
Points Scored 592 511


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 @ Arizona OS Siaha Burley (ARI) DS Terrance Joseph (ARI) WR/DB Orshawante Bryant (ARI)

*Denotes Rookie

· 40.0 total sacks
· 182.5 total tackles

· 8 rushing touchdowns
· 2 receiving touchdowns
· 85 rushing yards

· 136 receptions
· 1,310 receiving yards

· 449 receptions
· 100 receiving touchdowns
· 7,395 all-purpose yards
· 21 interceptions
· 341 tackles

· 49 games played
· 9,915 yards passing
· 161 passing touchdowns
· 824 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
· 8 forced fumbles
· 36.5 total tackles

· 15 receiving touchdowns
· 722 receiving yards
· 59 receptions

· 601 total tackles
· 509 solo tackles
· 84 breakups



OL/DL Jeremy Beutler
After struggling with injuries in the first half of the season, this four year veteran has come on strong in the second half of the season. In four games this season, he has rushed 10 times for 29 yards and two touchdowns on offense, and he is averaging 7.2 rushing yards per game Defensively, he has also has five tackles and a forced fumble.

WR/RB Greg Brown
After playing in a few games for the Wranglers in 2004, this first year player has spent most of the season on the Wranglers practice squad. He has played in the last two games for the Wranglers and come up with some big plays. In two games, he has recorded six tackles a pass defensed and a forced fumble. Last week against Arizona, he led the defense with four tackles.

WR/DB P.J. Winston
After coming the Wranglers open tryouts in 2004, he was signed to the 2005 roster as an AFL rookie. Winston is an up and coming AFL Ironman. Last week against Arizona, he had a break out game and caught four passes for 46 yards.


OS Damien Groce
In his fifth year in the AFL and first year with the Destroyers, Groce is a leader on offense and special teams. In 11 games this season, he ranks first in receptions for Columbus with 76 catches for 968 yards and 14 touchdowns. On special teams, he has returned 39 kickoffs for 748 yards and two touchdowns. Last week against Dallas, he caught six passes for 47 yards and a touchdown and added five kickoff returns for 113 yard to lead the team in all-purpose yards (160).

DS Brandon Hefflin
This rookie out of the University of Toledo has come up big for Columbus this season. He is one of the defensive leaders for the Destroyers this season. In 10 games this season, he has accumulated 45.5 tackles, one interception for a 47 yard return, 10 passes defensed and a forced fumble. Last week against Dallas, he recorded three tackles, two fumble recoveries for a 29 yard return, one forced fumble and a pass breakup.

WR/DB Sedrick Robinson
In his second season with the Destroyers, and fifth in the league, Robinson has been a threat on offense, defense and special teams. In 10 games this season, he has accumulated 47 catches for 444 yards and eight touchdowns on offense and has returned 31 kickoffs for 615 yards and two touchdowns. His 19.8 yard kickoff return average leads the Destroyers’ special teams unit. Last week against Dallas, he collected seven catches for 80 yards and a touchdown and returned two kickoffs for 31 yards.


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.


Chris Spielman begins his second season with the Destroyers and first as the club's Head Coach & General Manager. Spielman was named Columbus' second head coach in team history on August 4, 2004, succeeding legendary coach and current Destroyers VP of Football Operations, Earle Bruce. Spielman was a standout on the football field, starring at The Ohio State University after a stellar high school career at Massillon Washington High School where he was even featured on a Wheaties cereal box. Spielman was a two-time All-American (1986 & 1987), two-time Big Ten champion (1984 & 1986) and three-time All-Big Ten selection (1985, 1986 & 1987) at linebacker for the Buckeyes under Bruce. In 1987 he was named the “Top Defensive Player” of the Cotton Bowl with 11 tackles and a 24-yard interception return for a touchdown in a 28-12 win against Texas A&M. He made 546 tackles in his OSU career (2nd most in school history), including a school record 283 solo stops. His best effort came in 1986 against the University of Michigan where he made an incredible 29 tackles. Spielman won the Lombardi award in 1987 as the nation’s top linebacker and finished 6th in the Heisman Trophy voting. Spielman was the 29th overall selection (2nd round) in the 1988 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. During the following eight seasons, he earned Pro Bowl honors four times (1989, 1990, 1991 & 1994) and was the first player to lead the Lions in tackles seven straight seasons. In 1996, Spielman joined the Buffalo Bills where he eclipsed the 100 tackle plateau for third time in his career. But in 1997, Spielman suffered a broken neck to end his 114 consecutive game streak. He had surgery to fuse vertebrae in his neck, which put his football career in jeopardy. But his football career was put on hold for a different reason. Prior to the 1998 season, Spielman’s wife, Stefanie, was diagnosed with breast cancer. This dramatic event would change the Spielmans’ lives forever. Chris took off the 1998 season to help his wife with her fight. In addition to battling the cancer itself, the Spielmans threw themselves into the world of fundraising, helping use their public profile to raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research. Stefanie won her battle and the Spielmans continue their effort through the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research. The Canton, Ohio native returned to football with the expansion Cleveland Browns in 1999. Spielman’s comeback attempt ended during the preseason when he announced his retirement from the NFL. The neck injury suffered in 1997 would not allow him to continue to play the game he loved so much. After retiring from the NFL, Spielman stepped into the broadcast booth. He currently hosts “Spielman on Sports” on 1460 The Fan in Columbus. Chris and Stefanie reside in Upper Arlington with their children Maddie (10), Noah (8), Macy (4) and Audrey (2).


Passes All Around
QB John Fitzgerald spread the ball out during the Wranglers Week 13 contest against the Arizona Rattlers, completing 27 of 43 pass attempts to 10 different Wranglers receivers. The Wranglers offense ground attack included only two runs for positive yardage, both 9-yard runs came from rookie FB/LB Henry Bryant.

Quarterback Challenge
Columbus Destroyers QB Matt D’Orazio was not the original starting quarterback for Columbus this season, but has started seven games in 2005. In those games, he has a 99.7 passer rating and has completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 1,553 yards and 24 touchdowns. Wranglers QB John Fitzgerald was originally the team’s reserve quarterback but took over the team’s starting position in Week Three after Austin’s original starter, Bobby Pesavento, was injured. Fitzgerald has started 10 games for the Wranglers, completing 65.7 percent of his pass attempts for 3,076 yards and 56 touchdowns.

Production from Scrimmage
The Wranglers receiving corps has posted more yards from scrimmage than the Columbus squad. The AFL top-50 receiving team of Darrin Chiaverini (805 yards from scrimmage), Kevin Nickerson (772 yards from scrimmage), Ira Gooch (720 yards from scrimmage), Tacoma Fontaine (445 yards from scrimmage) has accumulated a total of 2,742 yards from scrimmage so far this season. The Columbus receivers have accumulated a total of 2,341 yards from scrimmage, an average of 195 yards per game.

Containing the QB
Columbus QB Matt D’Orazio will pose a familiar challenge for the Wranglers this week. In only seven games, D’Orazio has accumulated 158 rushing yards, fifth-most in the AFL. He has posted a long-run of 44 yards and has scored five touchdowns on the ground. The Wranglers faced a mobile quarterback in their Week Four game against the Grand Rapids Rampage. Austin limited QB Michael Bishop (the AFL’s leading rushing, 63-382, 14 touchdowns) to 74 rushing yards and held him out of the endzone during that game.

Adding Pressure
The Wranglers linemen have an opportunity to take advantage of weak play of the Destroyers up front. So far this season, Columbus’ line has allowed 26 sacks on the quarterback, averaging more than two per game. On the defensive side of the ball, the Columbus line has only managed to compile 6.0 sacks on the season. The Wranglers line has picked up 9.0 sacks so far this season and has only allowed 4.0.

Fan Fiesta
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. Don’t miss the chalk talks, locker room tours, special photo sessions, raffles for game-worn merchandise and much more!

2006 Season Tickets on Sale!
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

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