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Blizzard First Round Matchup

August 3, 2007 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Green Bay Blizzard News Release

NO. 6 GREEN BAY BLIZZARD (10-6) AT NO. 3 QUAD CITY STEAMWHEELERS (10-6)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 2007 - i wireless Center (9,437) 8:30 P.M. ET

* Broadcast via B2 Network

Two bitter division rivals will go head to head on Friday night, and intensity will be at a maximum as the Green Bay Blizzard head to Quad City to face the Steamwheelers. Only one game in the win and loss column separated these two teams during the regular season, and even less separates them on the field. The Blizzard and Steamwheelers have faced off 11 times over the course of their histories, including two head-to-head affairs in 2007. Green Bay won the first contest at the Resch Center (44-14) while Quad City claimed the second showdown (61-33) in Moline, Ill. The Blizzard have struggled to find a winning formula on the road this season, winning just 1-of-8 games. Their only road victory was at Cincinnati (77-40), a team that won just one game overall. The Blizzard enter the postseason with a bit of a heavy heart after losing their offensive coordinator KERRY BROWN earlier this week in a tragic car accident. The Green Bay team will no doubt make the trip to the Quad Cities with Brown still in their thoughts. The Blizzard's main strength in 2007 has been on defense. The team ranks fifth in the league in scoring defense, limiting their opponents to just 40.2 points per outing. The Green Bay defensive backfield boasts talented rookies RONNIE AMADI and STEPHEN CASON. Amadi led the league in passes defended with 44 (36 PBUs, 8 INTs) on the season. Cason ranked fourth in the af2 in tackles with 113.0. He also recorded six interceptions. DL JASON HARDEE is the team's top pass rusher with 8.0 sacks. Offensively, the team isn't quite as talented. The Blizzard did seem to be rounding into form with GINO GUIDUGLI under center, but last week Guidugli left the team to pursue an opportunity in the CFL. Returning to the starter's role is ZEKE DIXON. Dixon has thrown for 26 TDs in 2007 with eight interceptions. The team's top wideouts are SCOTT BURNOSKI (58-775; 17 TDs) and KELLEN ALLEN (58-760; 14 TDs). ANTONIO FICKLIN is a threat out of the backfield with nine rushing TDs. The Steamwheelers enter the postseason on a high after earning a Week 18 win at Fort Wayne, 55-54. The victory, coupled with Green Bay's stumble in its season finale at Mahoning Valley, game Quad City the Midwest Division title. Leading the squad under center is J.J. RATERINK. Raterink has thrown for nearly 4,000 yards (3,956) with 82 TDs and 14 INTs in 2007. He's got three talented receivers to throw to in KRIS PETERS, JACK WALKER JR. and TOM ANTHONY. Peters has been the most prolific of the three with 40 TD catches and 1,627 receiving yards. Defensively, the Steamwheelers have a number of playmakers as well. FB/LB JERMAINE PETTY (18 tackles for loss, 13 sacks) and DB KEVIN ADAMS (95.5 tackles, 8 INTs) are the two most notable defensive standouts. Quad City has played well of late, winning three of the team's last four outings. The Steamwheelers have been nearly unbeatable at home as well, emerging victorious in seven of the team's eight home games this season. The Blizzard defense will keep this contest close at the beginning, but it'll be the team's offense that decides if Green Bay can keep pace with Quad City in this first round affair.

GREEN BAY QUAD CITY

SERIES LEADER Quad City leads 7-4

LAST MEETING Quad City won 61-33 on 6/29/07

LAST FIVE GAMES 3-2 3-2

LAST GAME Lost 50-70 at Mahoning Valley on 7/28 Won 56-55 vs. Fort Wayne on 7/26

2007 LEADERS GREEN BAY QUAD CITY

PASSING Guidugli: 137-236-6 1675; 40 TD Raterink: 367-535-14 3956; 82 TD

RECEIVING Burnowski: 58-775; 17 TD Peters: 125-1627; 40 TD

RUSHING Ficklin: 72-188; 9 TD Macrea: 45-145; 9 TD

TACKLES Cason: 113.0 Adams: 95.5

SACKS Hardee: 8.0 Petty: 13.0

INTERCEPTIONS Amade: 8 Adams: 8

KICKING Forstom: 72-88 PAT; 2-21 FG; 84 PTs Naehu: 56-75 PAT; 2- 5 FG; 62 PTs

TEAM OFFENSE 43.9 PPG; 244.0 YPG 54.5 PPG; 276.3 YPG

TEAM DEFENSE 40.2 PPG; 237.2 YPG 46.1 PPG; 285.4YPG

Other First Round af2 Matchups:

NO. 5 CENTRAL VALLEY COYOTES (10-6) AT NO. 4 MANCHESTER WOLVES (10-6) FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 2007 - Verizon Wireless Arena (9,650) 7:30 P.M. ET * Broadcast via B2 Network The 2007 af2 postseason kicks off Friday night with a matchup between the visiting Central Valley Coyotes and the Manchester Wolves. This is the first-ever meeting between these two clubs. Both the Coyotes and Wolves put up 10-6 records in competitive divisions in the American Conference. Central Valley boasts a top-flight offensive attack that has been hard to handle all season. The Coyotes finished the regular season ranked as the top-scoring offense in the league, averaging 58.4 points per game. They've also scored a league-high 136 touchdowns. Central Valley's offense, however, suffered a loss late in the season as QB CLAY GROEFSEMA suffered a hand injury in a Week 15 home win against Stockton. As a result, backup BRIAN LUKE was pressed into action, and Luke responded with 13 TDs against just two interceptions in three starts to close out the regular season. The Coyotes are 2-1 with Luke as a starter. Central Valley's top offensive threats are WRs JASON BARNES (119-1477; 37 TDs) and TONAE MARTIN (90-1052; 20 TDs). Defensively, the Coyotes are solid as well. Up front, veteran DL DOUG LAGENFELD has been the team's top pass rushing threat with seven sacks in 2007. The secondary is paced by DBs AARON MILLER (team-high 59.5 tackles, 5 INTs, 21 PBUs) and TIERRE SAMS (53.0 tackles, 19 PBUs). DONYELL BOOKER is another player to watch. Booker has been the team's top lineman who can rush the passer (5.5 sacks) or catch a pass (8 catches, 6 TDs). The Wolves enter the playoffs as one of the warmer teams in the league. After an up-and-down start of the season, Manchester has picked up the pace and reeled off five straight wins to close out the regular season. Leading the offense is QB MARK RADLINSKI. Since acquiring the second-year signal caller just before the midway point of the season, Radlinski has led the Wolves to a 7-3 record. Just like Central Valley, Manchester has a receiving combination that has been lethal in 2007, namely ARI CONFESOR (107-1290; 30 TDs) and PATRICK ROUZARD (105-1169; 31 TDs). The Wolves also have a rushing attack bolstered by ADAM FICHTER (196 rushing yards, 13 TDs). Manchester should be confident at home as the team has lost just once on Brady Sullivan Field at the Verizon Wireless Arena in 2007 (7-1). This should shape up to be a fantastic first round matchup.

CENTRAL VALLEY MANCHESTER

SERIES LEADER First ever meeting

LAST MEETING No previous meeting

LAST FIVE GAMES 3-2 5-0

LAST GAME Won 54-20 vs. Bakersfield on 7/28 Won 45-40 vs. Florida on 7/28

2007 LEADERS CENTRAL VALLEY MANCHESTER

PASSING Groefsema: 285-446-11 3509; 75 TD Radlinski: 222-366- 14 2423; 52 TD

RECEIVING Barnes:119-1477; 37 TD Confesor: 107-1290; 30 TD

RUSHING Walker: 36-150; 4 TD Fichter: 74-196; 13 TD

TACKLES Miller: 59.5 Sebastien: 88.5

SACKS Lagenfeld: 7.0 Fountain: 13.0

INTERCEPTIONS Miller: 5 Sebastian: 7

KICKING Bjork: 47-61 PAT; 3-5 FG; 56 PTs McCormick: 32-38 PAT; 5-8 FG; 47 PTs

TEAM OFFENSE 58.4 PPG; 294.2 YPG 50.4 PPG; 258.4 YPG

TEAM DEFENSE 52.6 PPG; 273.2 YPG 48.5 PPG; 278.0 YPG

For more information contact the Blizzard office at (920) 405-1264.

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