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Colorado Crush game notes

February 7, 2006 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Colorado Crush News Release

QUICK FACTS:

Colorado Crush (2-0) vs. Las Vegas Gladiators (1-1)

Date: February 12, 2006
Kickoff: 12:45 p.m. MT
Site: Pepsi Center (18,093)
Television: FSN Rocky Mountain (Dave Benz: play-by-play, Howard Griffith: color analyst)
Radio: KHOW 630 AM (Marc Stout: play-by-play, Andy Lindahl: color analyst)
Coaches: Mike Dailey, Colorado (90-58, 10th Year)
Ron James, Las Vegas (9-9, 2nd Year)
Series Record: Crush lead the all-time series 2-1
Colorado 34, @ Las Vegas 68 (4/5/03)
@ Colorado 43, Las Vegas 42 (2/6/04)
@ Colorado 61, Las Vegas 40 (4/3/05)

Las Vegas: Jeremie Watkins (p: 702: 731-4977, jwatkins@lvgladiators.com).

THE OPPONENT:

The Las Vegas Gladiators come into Denver with a 1-1 record after winning their home opener against the San Jose SaberCats 51-48 on Monday night. For Las Vegas, quarterback Craig Whelihan leads the Gladiators under center while the team
also returns 2004 AFL Offensive Player of the Year Marcus Nash. Whelihan got off to a fast start in Week 1 passing for a league-high 330 yards and has thrown for 10 touchdowns on the season. Nash continues to be the Gladiators top weapons with back-to-back 100+ receiving yard games to start the year and seven scoring catches through two games.

THE GAME:

The 2005 ArenaBowl Champion Colorado Crush return home to host the Las Vegas Gladiators on Sunday, February 12th at 12:45 p.m. in the Pepsi Center.

Colorado holds a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series with Las Vegas with both wins coming at the Pepsi Center. The first of the Crush's home wins against the Gladiators back in 2004 was a thrilling 43-42 contest in which John Dutton connected with Damian Harrell twice in an eight-second span in the final 12 seconds of the game to pull out a miraculous win and give Colorado their first-ever home victory. Last season, the Crush defeated the Gladiators 61-40.

After wins against Chicago and Georgia, Colorado will be looking to improve their record to 3-0 for the first time in team history. The Crush are currently tied with Nashville atop the Central Division and both stand as the last two undefeated teams in the American Conference.

With back-to-back 60+ point games, the Crush's offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders. Dutton leads the league with 14 touchdown passes, while Harrell is atop the AFL with nine scoring receptions, including a career-high tying five TD catches against the Force last week.

The win in Georgia also gave Head Coach Mike Dailey is 90th career AFL victory. Dailey becomes just the fourth head coach in league history to surpass the 90-win mark.

PRACTICE SCHEDULE:

Wed, Feb. 8- Practice at Mile High Greyhound Park
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Thurs, Feb. 9- Practice at Mile High Greyhound Park
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Fri, Feb. 10- Practice at South Suburban Sports Dome
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Sat, Feb 11- Walk-Through

Sun, Feb 12- Colorado vs. Las Vegas, 12:45 p.m. MT

Mon, Feb 13- Players Day Off


THE SCHEDULE:

COLORADO CRUSH (2-0)

Date OPPONENT RESULT SCORE
Jan. 29 CHICAGO W 65-56
Feb. 5 at Georgia W 61-59
Feb. 12 LAS VEGAS
Feb. 18 at Nashville
Feb. 26 at Philadelphia
March 5 GRAND RAPIDS
March 10 at Chicago
March 19 at Los Angeles
March 25 COLUMBUS
April 1 NASHVILLE
April 8 at Grand Rapids
April 16 at Kansas City
April 21 UTAH
April 28 ORLANDO
May 6 at San Jose
May 12 ARIZONA

CRUSH NEXT WEEK:

The Crush travel to Nashville to take on the Kats on Saturday, February 18th at 6:00 p.m. MT in the Gaylord Center. Colorado swept the season series last year claiming victories of 42-35 and 52-49 against Nashville on the road and at home respectively. The Crush and Kats are currently tied atop the Central Division at 2-0 and the only two remaining undefeated teams in the American Conference.

STATISTICS:

A look at how Colorado and Las Vegas match-up on both sides of the ball based on 2006 regular season statistics:

Statistical COLORADO LAS VEGAS
Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 1st 63.0 9th 48.5
Scoring Defense 17th 57.5 16th 56.0
Total Offense (yds/g) 4th 296.0 6th 282.5
Total Defense (yds/g) 15th 292.5 10th 270.0
Pass Offense 3rd 284.0 9th 249.0
Pass Defense 12th 259.0 8th 241.0
Rushing Offense 13th 12.5 5th 33.5
Rushing Defense 16th 33.5 14th 29.0
Kickoff Returns 18th 7.0 14th 15.6
Turnover Margin T-8th -1 T-13th -2
Field Goals 18th 0-0 T-14th 1-3
First Downs T-2nd 44 T-5th 39
Opp. First Downs T-13th 41 17th 45

THE CRUSH THIS SEASON ARE:

O H R
Overall Record 2-0 1-0 1-0
Overtime Games 0-0 0-0 0-0
Score first 1-0 0-0 1-0
Opponent scores first 1-0 1-0 0-0
Score 40+ points 2-0 1-0 1-0
Score less than 40 points 0-0 0-0 0-0
Games decided by 10+ pts 0-0 0-0 0-0
Games decided by 7 pts or less 2-0 1-0 1-0
Games decided by 3 pts or less 2-0 1-0 1-0
Lead at halftime 1-0 0-0 1-0
Trail at halftime 0-0 0-0 0-0
Are tied at halftime 1-0 1-0 0-0
Lead after 3rd quarter 1-0 1-0 0-0
Trail after 3rd quarter 0-0 0-0 0-0
Are tied after 3rd quarter 1-0 0-0 1-0
Lead time of possession 1-0 0-0 1-0
Trail time of possession 1-0 1-0 0-0
Positive turnover margin 0-0 0-0 0-0
Negative turnover margin 1-0 0-0 1-0
Even turnover margin 1-0 1-0 0-0
More total yards offense 1-0 0-0 1-0
Less total yards offense 1-0 1-0 0-0
On Fridays 0-0 0-0 0-0
On Saturdays 0-0 0-0 0-0
On Sundays 2-0 1-0 1-0
vs. American Conference 1-0 1-0 0-0
vs. Central Division 1-0 1-0 0-0
vs. Western Division 0-0 0-0 0-0
vs. National Conference 1-0 0-0 1-0
vs. Eastern Division 0-0 0-0 0-0
vs. Southern Division 1-0 0-0 1-0

CONNECTIONS:

Las Vegas OS Marcus Nash was a teammate of Crush co-owner and CEO John Elway with the Denver Broncos in 1998. Nash was a first-round pick by the Denver Broncos (30th overall) in 1998 and earned a Super Bowl ring as a rookie...Nash and Crush WR/LB Andy McCullough were teammates at the University of Tennessee 1994-97...Gladiators WR/LB Joe Douglass became the first player in Crush franchise history when he was selected from Chicago with the No. 1 overall pick in the Crush's 2003 Expansion Draft.

HEAD COACHES:

MIKE DAILIEY, Colorado (90-58, 10th Year): Dailey enters his third season in Colorado and tenth as head coach in the AFL, after becoming the Crush's second head coach on June 26, 2003. Dailey joined the Crush following 13 seasons in the Albany/Indiana Firebirds organization, including the final seven as head coach.

One of the most successful and well-respected coaches in AFL history, his teams have made seven postseason appearances and he has won four division titles and two championships.

Last season under Dailey's guidance, the Crush captured their first Central Division title en route to claiming a 51-48 victory in ArenaBowl XIX giving Colorado their first AFL championship in only their third year of existence. With the team's win over Chicago in the American Conference championship game on June 5th, Dailey became the fourth winningest coach in AFL history surpassing Perry Moss.

In his first season in Colorado, Dailey helped guide the Crush to the largest turnaround in AFL history, inheriting a 2-14 team and leading them to an 11-5 record in 2004, tied for the best in the league. He also led the Crush to their first playoff appearance and first win, advancing to the AFL Semifinals.

In 1999, Dailey led the Firebirds to their only ArenaBowl championship and was named AFL Coach of the Year. Before being named head coach of the Firebirds in 1997,
Dailey served as an assistant in Albany for five seasons.

Dailey began his AFL coaching career with the Washington Commandos where he served as offensive/defensive line coach in 1990. He joined the Firebirds organization in the same capacity in 1991.

Prior to the AFL, Dailey worked as an assistant coach at Towson State University and was the offensive coordinator at Montgomery College-Rockville (Md.). Dailey got his start in coaching in 1981 as a 22-year-old assistant at Georgetown Prep High School in Rockville, Md. The move to coaching followed a semi-pro football career in the Washington D.C. area.

All-Time Winningest AFL Coaches
Including Postseason

Rank Name-Team Wins
1. Tim Marcum- Tampa Bay 177
2. Danny White- Utah 142
3. Mike Hohensee- Chicago 95
4. Mike Dailey- Colorado 90
5. Perry Moss- not active 86
6. Darren Arbet- San Jose 82
7. Michael Trigg- not active 80
8. John Gregory- not active 73


RON JAMES, Las Vegas (9-9, 2nd Year): Ron James is entering his second season as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Gladiators. In his first year as head coach the
Gladiator teams ranked #1 in total offense and #1 in total defense Arena Football League and finished with an 8-8 record.

Prior to becoming the head coach, James served as assistant head coach/line coach and special team's coordinator for the Gladiator organization from 2001-2004.
Coach James has nine years of AFL experience having served as the line coach and player personnel director with the Houston Thunderbears from 2000-2001 and as an assistant with the Albany Firebirds in 1990 and 1991.

In addition to coaching in the AFL, James has coached a combined total of 14 years on the collegiate level. In 1998 and 1999 Coach James served as the Admissions Support officer and assistant football coach at the United States Military Academy at West Point. From 1993 thru 1998 James coached at Kentucky Wesleyan College. While at KWC James served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach in 1993. The following season James was promoted the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator and coached the secondary. He remained in that position until 1998.

Among the other college stops were stints as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Hartwick College from
1992-1993. Prior to that, James was the defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at St. Lawrence University from 1989-1992.

Additionally James coached at Siena College from 1986-1989 as the linebacker coach and also served as JV Head Coach in 1989.

LAST TIME THESE TEAMS MET:

DENVER - Damian Harrell set a new AFL standard -- and then some.

After setting a league record by grabbing a touchdown pass for a 42nd consecutive game, he snared three more touchdown tosses from John Dutton, leading the Colorado Crush to a 61-40 win over the Las Vegas Gladiators at Pepsi Center on Sunday afternoon.

Harrell broke the record previously held by former Albany and Indiana Firebirds offensive specialist Eddie Brown, who caught touchdown passes in 41 consecutive games.

The win was the Crush's sixth in a row and pushed its record to a league-best 7-2, one-half game ahead of the Georgia Force and Orlando Predators, both standing at 7-3. It also put the Crush two games in front of the Chicago Rush atop the Central Division. Las Vegas dropped to 5-5 with the loss.

Ahmad Hawkins intercepted two Clint Dolezel passes. Colorado defensive specialist Rashad Floyd recovered a fumble and wide receiver/linebacker Andy McCullough returned an interception six yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first half to give the Crush a comfortable 27-7 lead at halftime.

Las Vegas never seriously threatened from that point forward as the teams exchanged touchdowns throughout the second half. The Gladiators never drew closer than 13 points, at 47-34 with 11:50 remaining in the game.

LAST WEEK:

ATLANTA- In a game that was defined by a series of special-teams plays that ranged from the spectacular to the frustrating, it was offensive specialist Damian Harrell who made the difference, tying a career high with five touchdown receptions in leading the Colorado Crush to a 61-59 win over the Georgia Force at Philips Arena on Sunday.
The win pushed the Crush to 2-0 and kept them tied atop the Central Division with Nashville, which moved to 2-0 with a win over Columbus on Friday night. The Force dropped to 1-1 and saw its 13-game home winning streak snapped; until Sunday, the Force hadn't lost a home game at any venue since April 25, 2004 (63-34 to the San Jose SaberCats) and hadn't lost at Philips Arena since June 29, 2002, when the Tampa Bay Storm dealt the Force a 50-40 defeat.

But before the Crush could doom the Force to a rare home loss, the team had to endure a special-teams performance that hit the extremes.
The kicking game giveth and taketh away for the Crush throughout the game. Placekicker Clay Rush missed a pair of extra points after a perfect game a week earlier against the Chicago Rush, but also executed a successful on-side kick late in the first half that Andy McCullough recovered. The kickoff set up a 13-yard touchdown strike from John Dutton to Damian Harrell that put the Crush in front 27-20.
Three plays later, the special teams came through once again when Ahmad Hawkins fielded a missed field-goal try off the right rebound net, sprinted upfield and dashed untouched for a 56-yard touchdown. The closest Hawkins came to being caught was at midfield, when he juked left and moved right, faking out Nelson Garner and Sam Clemons and clearing the way for the score that increased Colorado's lead to 34-20.
But in the second half, special teams went against the Crush and allowed Georgia to tie the game at 41-apiece when Willis Marshall fumbled a kickoff return in the Colorado end zone, allowing Rob Carey to recover for the touchdown that tied the game.
Georgia never managed to take the lead in the second half. Saul Patu scored on the ensuing possession to put the Crush back in front by seven points at 48-41, and then Garner missed an extra point after the Force's next score, keeping Georgia behind by one point. He would miss his next extra point, which eventually forced the Force to go for a two-point conversion after scoring in the final minute, but Matt Nagy's lob pass sailed incomplete.
Colorado then ran out the clock for the win after Harrell knocked Garner's attempt at an on-side kickoff out of bounds.

THINGS TO WATCH:

IT'S NOT OVER TILL IT'S OVER:

Since head coach Mike Dailey has arrived in Colorado in 2004, the Crush have claimed victory in the final minute of the game in six contests. Both of the Crush wins in 2006 have come down to the final 60 seconds of play.

2004
- vs. Las Vegas (2/6)- QB John Dutton tosses two touchdown passes to OS Damian Harrell in the final 12 seconds to give Colorado a stunning 43-42 victory.

- at Detroit (5/23)- QB John Dutton found WR/DB Willis Marshall for a 10-yard touchdown pass with one second on the clock as the Crush won 45-42.

2005
- vs. Nashville (5/13)- K Clay Rush splits the uprights on a 31-yard field goal as time expires to give Colorado a 52-49 win.

- vs. Georgia (6/12)- K Clay Rush connects on a 20-yard field goal as time expires to give the Crush a 56-48 victory in ArenaBowl XIX.

2006
- vs. Chicago (1/29)- QB John Dutton hits OS Damian Harrell for a touchdown with one second remaining as the Crush go on to win 65-56.

- at Georgia (2/5)- QB John Dutton finds OS Damian Harrell for a 13-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left to lift Colorado to a 61-59 victory.

THE STEAK STOPS HERE:

Last week with the Crush's 61-59 victory over Georgia, Colorado snapped the Force's 11-game regular season home winning streak. Georgia's steak was tied for the third longest in AFL history. The Force had also won two playoff games in Philips Arena pushing their mark to 13 straight home games before the lost to Colorado.

BUILDING A WINNING TRADITION:

The Crush are the winningest team in the AFL since head coach Mike Dailey's arrival, having tied for the league's best record in 2004 (11-5) and finishing with the American Conference's top seed in 2005 (10-6).

Team 2004 2005 2006 Total
Colorado 11 10 2 23
Orlando 10 10 1 21
Chicago 11 9 0 20
Los Angeles 9 10 1 20
San Jose 11 9 0 20
Tampa Bay 9 10 1 20
New Orleans 11 9 0 20
New York 9 10 1 20

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH:

After finishing their inaugural season 0-8 at home, the Crush are now 16-3 under Mike Dailey (2-0 in the postseason) at the Pepsi Center. Two of the three losses consist of an overtime field goal by Indiana's kicker Clay Rush (now with Colorado) in 2004, and a 51-48 Chicago win in 2005 on a field goal with 3 seconds remaining.

STEEL CURTAIN:

After allowing 14 sacks in 2003 (12 on Dutton), the Crush pass protection has been stellar under head coach Mike Dailey. The team allowed just four sacks in 2004, and none after Week 6 at San Jose (3/14/04). Colorado did not allow a sack in their final 446 offensive plays of the 2004 regular season (10+ games).

The Crush allowed just six sacks in 2005, which includes an unforced fumble by QB John Dutton that the Crush recovered, on the opening play vs. Los Angele (2/27/05). On the 2005 season, Colorado held 10 opponents sackless.

The Crush have now allowed just six sacks in their last 26 regular season games (total of 1,239 plays).

TACKLING MACHINE:

After setting an AFL record with 122.0 tackles in 2004, Rashad Floyd smashed his record while recording the second most tackles in the league, 129.5, for the 2005 regular season. Floyd made a league-leading 123 solo tackles. This despite missing almost the entire game vs. Columbus (3/20) and being inactive in the game at Grand Rapids (4/30). Floyd also set an AFL record with 17.5 tackles vs. Los Angeles (2/27), besting the previous record of 17.0 set by L.A.'s Kevin Cobb at Houston (6/23/00). Floyd finished 30.0 tackles ahead of second place in 2004 Indiana's Anthony Derricks (93.0).

AFL Record - Most Tackle in a Season
Player Team Year Total Gms Avg.
Damon Mason Orl/GRR 2005 133.5* 17 7.85
Rashad Floyd Colorado 2005 129.5 15 8.63
Rashad Floyd Colorado 2004 122.0 16 7.63
Cornelius Coe Indiana 2001 121.5 14 8.68
Damon Mason Orlando 2000 108.0 14 7.71
Damon Mason Orlando 1999 103.0 14 7.36
Damon Mason Orlando 2001 101.0 14 7.21
* After being released by Orlando at the midway of the point of the season, Mason joined Grand Rapids for the team's final nine games. Mason missed both teams' bye week, therefore, he played in 17 games. Typically, regular season statistics are based on a 16-game season.

JUST FOR KICKS:

Crush kicker Clay Rush is among the all-time great AFL kickers. A two-time AFL Kicker of the Year, Rush currently ranks fourth on the all-time scoring list by kickers and fifth for field goals made.

AFL All-Time Leading Scorers (Kickers)
Rk Player Years Pres. Tm Points
1. Mike Black 1993-04 n/a 1,240
2. Steve Videtich 1996-pres. Utah 1,273
3. Remy Hamilton 1998-pres. L.A. 1,088
4. Clay Rush 1999-pres. Colorado 935
5. Daron Alcorn 1997-04 n/a 771
6. Kenny Stucker 1994-99, 2003 n/a 754

AFL Most All-Time Field Goals Made
Rk Player Years Pres. Tm FGM
1. Mike Black 1993-04 n/a 175
2. Steve Videtich 1996-pres. Utah 162
3. Remy Hamilton 1998-pres. L.A. 139
4. Kenny Stucker 1994-99, 2003 n/a 118
5. Clay Rush 1999-pres. Colorado 111
6. Daron Alcorn 1997-04 n/a 100

A BROKEN RECORD:

Damian Harrell has caught a touchdown pass in an AFL record 51 straight regular season games, including all 48 games as a member of the Crush. That streak is also the longest active streak of consecutive games scoring a TD. He broke the record for consecutive games with a receiving touchdown on 4/3/05 in the win over Las Vegas. It is also second-longest streak of consecutive games with a TD. Harrell's streak began with the Toronto Phantoms vs. Carolina on 7/4/02.

AFL Consecutive Games with a TD Reception
Year (Week)
Player (team) Stk began Stk ended # Games
Damian Harrell (Tor/Col) 2002 (Wk 12) --- 51
Eddie Brown (Albany) 1997 (Wk 3) 2000 (Wk 1) 41
Eddie Brown (Albany) 1994 (Wk 1) 1996 (Wk 14) 33
Chris Jackson (LA) 2000 (Wk 1) 2002 (Wk 7) 28

AFL Consecutive Games Scoring a Touchdown
Year (Week)
Player (team) Stk began Stk ended # Games
Eddie Brown (Alb/Ind) 1997 (Wk 3) 2002 (Wk 3) 65
Damian Harrell (Tor/Col) 2002 (Wk 12) --- 51
Chris Jackson (LA) 2000 (Wk 1) 2003 (Wk 14) 47
Barry Wagner (Orlando) 1992 (Wk 10) 1996 (Wk 11) 43
Eddie Brown (Albany) 1994 (Wk 1) 1996 (Wk 14) 33

MAN OF STEEL:

A true AFL Ironman, Kyle Moore-Brown is in his 12th season in the league and has never missed a game. ArenaBowl XIX marked his AFL record 176th consecutive start. The first 139 all came with the Firebirds organization before he signed with the Crush prior to the 2004 season.

With Grand Rapids OL/DL Otis Moore missing two games in 2005, Moore-Brown now stands alone in the record books with 159 straight regular season games. Each had appeared in every game since 1995, with Moore-Brown having the overall edge with more playoff appearances.

AFL Record for Consecutive Games
Player (current team) Reg. Season Playoffs Total
Kyle Moore-Brown (Colo.)* 160 17 177
Otis Moore (Gra.) 153 1 155
*streak current

CRADLE OF COACHES:

Strangely enough, little Montgomery Junior College in Rockville, Md., is the cradle of AFL coaches. Crush head coach Mike Dailey (offensive coordinator) and Chicago head coach Mike Hohensee (quarterbacks coach) were assistants on the same staff there. Los Angeles head coach Ed Hodgkiss also coached there. Seven future NFL players played at Montgomery as well as Columbus quarterback John Kaleo, who finished his collegiate career at Maryland after leading Montgomery to the national championship game. Sadly, despite all of these successes and an all-time record of 315-154-13, Montgomery JC discontinued the football program in 2002.

Former Montgomery Junior College Coaches
Mike Dailey (current Colorado head coach) Ernesto Purnsley (1997-98, 2000-03)
Mike Hohensee (current Chicago head coach)
Ed Hodgkiss (current Los Angeles head coach)
Brent Winter (current Los Angeles assistant head coach)
Earl Hoffman (former Albany Firebirds quarterback coach)

AND THE AWARD GOES TO:

The Crush have been recognized for some of their achievements this season, both as a team and as players by being honored with the following awards:

AFLWA Schutt Top 12 Team Poll
#1 ranking- Week 1
#1 ranking- Week 2

AFLWA pre-season Offensive Player of the Year
Damian Harrell

AFLWA pre-season Defensive Player of the Year
Rashad Floyd

AFLWA Player of the Week
Damian Harrell- Week 1

ArenaFan Offensive Player of the Week
Damian Harrell- Week 1

AFL Offensive Player of the Week
John Dutton- Week 1

Beckett.com Player of the Week
John Dutton- Week 1

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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