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Barracudas becoming new force in league

May 3, 2008 - Intense Football League (Intense) - CenTex Barracudas News Release

KATY - Being on the road has has been hard on the CenTex Barracudas professional indoor football team.

But after their huge 84-54 win over the Odessa Roughnecks last Saturday night at the Bell County Expo Center to snap a three-game losing streak, the Barracudas (3-3) may be flying so high they won't need transportation to get to Katy for tonight's 6 p.m. match-up with the Ruff Riders at the Leonard E. Merrell Center.

Then again, Barracuda first-year head coach Chris Duliban feels like his squad will come into to the game against Katy (1-4) grounded and focused on the job at hand.

While on paper, this contest may look like a mismatch in favor of the Barracudas, quick glances can be deceiving. So, let's take a closer look.

Thanks to an extremely strange quirk in the IFL scheduling, Katy has lost three consecutive games to the defending champion and undefeated league leader Louisiana Swashbucklers by a combined score of 239-95. Take those three losses out of the mix and Katy has a 1-1 record, losing to Frisco by three before knocking off Fairbanks, 75-61.

On the otherhand, the Barracudas just broke out of their three-game doldrums by setting a new franchise scoring record against Odessa. But two of those three losses were against Louisiana as well, sandwiched around a hard-fought game at Odessa.

But with IFL offensive player of the week James Brown and fullback David Banks added to the CenTex backfield last week, the Barracudas can no longer be judged by past performances.

A productive offense helped the Barracudas defense come alive last weekend, scoring three touchdowns on four interceptions and a fumble. On offense, they follow the explosive Brown and his host of receivers. And the new-found CenTex rushing game, led by Banks rolled up 140 yards on only 17 attempts making the Barracudas a deadly balanced attack.

Brown, the former University of Texas star playing in his first game with the Barracudas, led CenTex to its first-ever victory over the Odessa Roughnecks, 84-54.

He completed 18 of 31 passes for 211 yards, connecting with three different receivers on his six touchdown passes.

In addition, Brown showed he still had some life in his 32-year-old legs, rushing the ball five times for 30 yards and a touchdown.

Albert Higgs will try to guide the Ruff Riders to victory. The Ruff Riders play only their second home game of the season and look to send their fans home happy and get back into the playoff chase.

Katy had their own IFL player of the week in special teams kick returner Juan Reese.

Also playing in his first game with the Ruff Riders, Reese returned five kicks for 140 yards against Louisiana last Saturday. Although the Ruff Riders lost the Swashbucklers 70-24, Reese stood out as the bright spot for Katy, averaging 28 yards per return.

Historically, the Ruff Riders enter the game with a 2-0 lead in the series, knocking the Barracudas twice during their inaugural season in 2007. Katy notched its franchise first-ever victory over CenTex, 58-38 April 28, 2007 at the Bell County Expo Center, then doubled up on them with a 49-41 win at the Merrill Center.

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