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Austin Wranglers game notes

May 11, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Austin Wranglers News Release


The Austin Wranglers game will be televised in New Orleans on Cox Cable. All the action will begin at 7:00 p.m. (CT) with play-by-play provided by Todd Kalas and color commentary by Jim Pyne

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.

The Austin Wranglers football game can be heard 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 the game and take phone calls on The Zone 1300 AM with Bucky Godbolt on Monday from 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.


The Wranglers bye week comes in Week 17 of the season. They will not be able to catch up and be a part of the AFL playoffs, so the season will end in New Orleans in Week 16.


Although the Wranglers playoff hopes have been dashed, they were out for revenge as they finished their series with the Orlando Predators. Earlier in the season, the Predators defeated the Wranglers in Orlando, but Saturday, in their last home game of the season, the Wranglers evened the score with a win in Austin, 56-42. They did just that as John Fitzgerald went 19-for-32 for 236 yards and five touchdowns, while being named the Offensive Player of the Game. Dane Krager was named ADT Defensive Player of the Game, and Kevin Nickerson was named U.S. Army Ironman of the Game as the Wranglers defeated the Predators 56-42 in their last home contest this season. The Wranglers will finish out their season as they travel to New Orleans to meet their division rivals, the VooDoo. The Wranglers defeated the VooDoo earlier in the year and look to do so again on Saturday, May 14 at 7:00 pm.


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.


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)
Wranglers @ Columbus WR/DB Kevin Nickerson (AUS) DS Cedric Walker (AUS) OS Damien Groce (CMB)
Wranglers vs. Orlando QB John Fitzgerald (AUS) FB/LB Dane Krager (AUS) WR/DB Kevin Nickerson (AUS)

*Denotes Rookie

· 40.0 total sacks
· 185 total tackles

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

· 151 receptions
· 1,425 receiving yards

· 453 receptions
· 102 receiving touchdowns
· 7,453 all-purpose yards
· 21 interceptions
· 344 tackles

· 51 games played
· 10,491 yards passing
· 173 passing touchdowns
· 877 pass completions

· 25 receiving touchdowns
· 1,610 receiving yards
· 109 receptions
· 2,770 all-purpose yards
· 5.5 total sacks
· 7.5 total tackles for loss
· 8 forced fumbles
· 42.5 total tackles

· 20 receiving touchdowns
· 892 receiving yards
· 76 receptions



DE/TE Aaron Humphrey
This 2004 ALF all-rookie selection has been solid for the Wranglers in 2005. On defense this season, he has recorded 22.5 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss of nine yards. He has sacked the quarterback 2.5 times, forced four fumbles, and recorded two passes defensed and two quarterback hurries. His contributions on offense have included two touchdown receptions for 21 yards. Last week against the Orlando Predators, he caught a 12 yard pass for his second touchdown of the season. He also led the defense with three tackles, and his pressure on the quarterback forced quick decisions and led to stops by the Wranglers defense.

WR/DB P.J. Winston
Although this rookie has not seen a great deal of field time in his first AFL season, he has made the most of his opportunities and come up with big plays for the Wranglers on both sides of the ball. Against Arizona in Week 13, he caught four passes for 46 yards, and last week against Orlando he added to his offensive statistics as he caught four passes for 42 yards and the first touchdown of his AFL career.

WR/DB Kevin Nickerson
In his rookie season, Nickerson has turned heads with his amazing speed and agility and his improved play on defense. Offensively, he leads the team in scoring 134 points (22 touchdowns, one 2-point). In 15 games this season, he has accumulated 78 catches for 935 yards and 21 touchdowns and two rushes for seven yards and a touchdown. On special teams, he has returned seven kickoffs for 91 yards. He ranks third on the Wranglers defense in tackles with 37.5 and he has accumulated three passes defensed and an interception. Last week against the Predators, he led the Wranglers with eight catches for 95 yards and three touchdowns and recorded a tackle and pass breakup on defense.


DS Chris Pointer
In his third AFL season and second with the VooDoo. He leads the team and ranks 13th in the league in tackles with 70, 65 solo. He has also accumulated nine passes defensed, two interceptions for a 19-yard return and a forced fumble. Last week against the Crush, he led the defense with six tackles and two passes defensed.

WR/LB Thabiti Davis
In his third year in the AFL and first with the VooDoo, he and Aaron Bailey are the VooDoo’s one-two punch on offense. In 12 games this year, he has 95 catches for 829 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has also returned 19 kickoffs for 300 yards and a touchdown. Last week against the Colorado Crush, he led the team in receiving and all-purpose yards with 15 catches for 140 yards and three touchdowns.

WR/DB Jacques Rumph
In his second year in the AFL and with the VooDoo, he has been a vital part of offense and special teams. He has returned 29 kickoffs for 511 yards, caught 58 catches for 614 yards and 13 touchdowns, and rushed four times for two yards and a touchdown. He ranks second in all-purpose yards with 614 and is tied for third in scoring among non-kickers. Last week against Colorado, he caught three passes for 36 yards and two touchdowns and returned six kickoffs for 98 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.


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.


The Picture
In the Wranglers final 2005 game, they will face a Southern Division rival and another team with playoffs on the line. New Orleans and Orlando are currently competing for wildcard spots in the 2005 playoffs as the outcome of every remaining game dictates their post-season position. The VooDoo look for a win this weekend to put themselves in front of the Tampa Bay Storm and to avoid a tie-breaker that will determine their post-season chances. New Orleans has only one victory in-division this season: a Week Five overtime win against the Storm in the New Orleans Arena.

Everyone Is In
The Wranglers converted every time the offense reached the red zone, scoring on six of six attempts inside the 10-yard line. QB John Fitzgerald spread the ball out, hitting every active wide receiver (five) and connecting on a few gadget plays with FB/LB Dane Krager and OL/DL Aaron Humphrey. The Wranglers receiving corps has proved very productive this season, with three receivers in the League’s top 35 receiving yardage leaders: WR/DB Kevin Nickerson -935 (22nd), WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini-915 (24th), WR/LB-OS Ira Gooch-722 (33rd).

Pulling Out All the Stops
The Wranglers had their best defensive performance of the season as they managed to stop the Orlando Predators eight different times during their Week 15 meeting in Austin. Three of the stops came on downs, three resulted in missed field goals and two came on turnovers, one interception and one fumble recovery. As a team, they defended against nine passes, hurried the quarterback twice, had an interception and generated a fumble that was recovered and returned for a touchdown.

Despite a change in personnel in the backfield, the Wranglers secondary played tough allowing the Predators to complete only 13 passes on the game. New Orleans had similar frustration against Colorado in Week 15 as they were stopped two times in the fourth quarter. The VooDoo had a hard time getting into the endzone after being held to a field goal in the team’s first drive of the fourth and turning the ball over on downs with 4:05 left in the game.

The Wranglers line played a tough game as pressure on Orlando’s offense started up front. Linemen cluttered the passing lanes as they came up with four batted passes and six tackles. The Mack Linebackers also made an impact, in particular Dane Krager who was named US Defensive Player of the Game. Krager had two tackles, one for a loss of two yards, two passes defensed, a quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

2006 Season Tickets on Sale
The Wranglers have kicked off their third season with 2006 Season Ticket sales. For the first time, the Wranglers are offering 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 May 11, 2005

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