Columbus Wardogs game notes
The Florida Firecats (9-5) set a franchise single-game scoring record and clinched a playoff spot with a 67-17 win at Laredo (3-11) last week. The Firecats broke open a 19-17 game by scoring 48 unanswered points. Florida fullback Steve Gorrie rushed for 26 yards to break the leagues single-season rushing record. He enters Mondays game with 447 rushing yards this year. The Firecats also feature the leagues top-ranked defense, holding opponents to 198 yards total offense and 36.4 points per game.
The Columbus Wardogs (6-8) have dropped two straight road games including a 58-40 loss at Peoria last week. The Pirates broke open the game with 28 points in the second quarter. Columbus quarterback Kyle Rowley threw for 320 yards and five touchdowns, while receiver Troy Bergeron caught 14 passes for 193 yards and two scores. Despite struggling this year on the road (1-7), the Wardogs are a different team at home where they have won five of six. Their only home loss was against Florida early in the season. Since then, the Wardogs have won four straight at home including an impressive 62-56 win over Oklahoma City on June 26.
If Macon can beat Memphis (8-6) on Saturday night and the Wardogs beat Florida on Monday, then the winner of the Wardogs final home game on Saturday, July 31 against Memphis would earn the sixth and final playoff spot in the American Conference.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Mondays game marks only the second regular season game played on Monday night in af2 history. The first was on April 24, 2000 when Tulsa beat Richmond 58-54. The 2001 season also featured two first-round playoff games played on a Monday. Mondays game also marks the first Columbus home game not played on a Saturday night.
ON A ROLL
Columbus quarterback Kyle Rowley has been a key factor in the Wardogs current four-game home winning streak. In the last four home games, Rowley has completed 67% of his passes for 1,139 yards, 23 touchdowns and only one interception. Rowley could become only the 8th player in league history to reach 4,000 yards passing in a season. With two games left to go, Rowley has thrown for 3,695 yards and 70 touchdowns.
Receiver Adrian Cockfield is on the verge of becoming the teams single-season receiving leader. Cockfield (1,313 yards) needs only 45 receiving yards Monday to pass Phil Taylor who had 1,358 yards in 2002.
With 193 receiving yards last week, Columbus rookie Troy Bergeron fell just seven yards shy of becoming the first player in league history to record back-to-back 200-yard receiving games. Despite missing that mark, Bergeron has become only the third player in team history to reach 1,000 yards receiving in a season, joining Phil Taylor (2002) and Adrian Cockfield (2004).
UP NEXT FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT!
The Wardogs play their final home game of the year next Saturday, July 31 against Memphis. Depending on this weekends results, that game could decide the sixth and final playoff berth in the American Conference. Hundreds of prizes will be awarded to fans including barbeque grills, televisions and car rentals. A lucky fan will try to kick a field goal and win $50,000, and the Wardogs will hold a post-game jersey auction. For tickets, call (706) 494-8330, log on to ticketmaster.com or visit the Columbus Civic Center box office.
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