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Conference Championships: Saturday Matchups

August 14, 2009 - arenafootball2 (af2) News Release

AMERICAN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

NO. 6 GREEN BAY BLIZZARD (12-6) AT NO. 1 WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PIONEERS (15-3)

SATURDAY, AUGUST 15, 2009 - Wachovia Arena (7,950) 7:00 P.M. ET

The Green Bay Blizzard travel to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. to face-off against the No.1 seed Pioneers in the 2009 American Conference Championship on Saturday. The winner earns the right to represent the American Conference under the bright lights of the Vegas Strip in the 2009 ArenaCup. Saturday's game will mark the second time the Blizzard and Pioneers collide in the American Conference Championship. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won the previous meeting in 2007, 46-43. In the one matchup between the two clubs in 2009, the Pioneers won handily, 69-19. Green Bay is coming off a 51-46 upset on the road last week against No. 2 seed Iowa. In front of a raucous Barnstormers crowd, the two teams traded the lead 10 times, with the Blizzard eventually sealing up the game on a late fourth quarter pick by DB Rayshaun Kizer. Green Bay QB GINO GUIDUGLI completed 20-of-33 passes for 253 yards and six TDs, he also added a rushing TD. More importantly, Guidugli kept his composure after throwing a late fourth quarter interception that was returned for a score, giving the lead back to the Barnstormers with six minutes left in the game. He roared back on the ensuing drive, leading his team downfield and plunging the ball in himself to take back the lead. WR NATE FORSE had seven catches for 100 yards and three TDs. WR/LB ROBERT GARTH grabbed six passes for 62 yards and two TDs. Kizer led his team in tackles with 5.5 and had a pass breakup. Blizzard DB ANTHONY IVY also added an interception in the game. Guidugli, who passed for 61 TDs during the regular season, has recorded 13 TD passes so far during the playoffs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has looked sharp so far this postseason, and they continued their bid for a second ArenaCup appearance with an 82-49 win over the Kentucky Horsemen last Saturday. Pioneers QB RYAN VENA set an af2 postseason record for passing TDs with 11 in the contest. He completed 25-of-34 passes for 282 yards. WR IRVING CAMPBELL grabbed the bulk of the TDs with seven on 10 catches for 154 yards. His effort ties the record for most TD receptions in a postseason game Kevin Prentiss - 2006). WR RICH MUSINSKI added five catches for 53 yards and 4 scores. The Pioneers offense failed to score a TD on only two drives in the game - one ending in an INT and one on a turnover on downs. Kentucky kept the game close in the first half, but it was a crippling effort by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defense in the third quarter that finished off the Horsemen. The defense stopped Kentucky's offense on three consecutive drives and would allow just two scores in the second half. DB MICHEAUX ROBINSON, who led the league in interceptions in the regular season, came up with two more picks in the game. The Pioneers are leading all playoff teams in scoring, averaging 80.0 points in their first two games. The Blizzard defense will need to find a way to slow down Vena and company if they hope to keep things close at Wachovia Arena where the Pioneers have won 31 of their last 32 games, including the playoffs.

BLIZZARD PIONEERS SERIES LEADER Pioneers lead 6-2

LAST MEETING Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won 69-19 on 5/23/09

LAST FIVE GAMES 4-1 4-1

LAST GAME Won 51-46 at Iowa on 8/8/09 Won 82-49 vs. Kentucky on 8/8/09

LEADERS BLIZZARD PIONEERS PASSING Guidugli: 304-475-16; 3913; 61 TDs Vena: 322-479-10; 4144; 87 TDs

RECEIVING Forse: 131-1875; 28 TDs Campbell: 99-1329; 18 TDs

RUSHING Medlock: 44-155; 8 TDs Griffin: 66-318; 18 TDs

TACKLES Belton: 90 Robinson: 99.5

SACKS Fitch: 14.5 Leak & Morgan: 11.0

INTERCEPTIONS Belton: 10 Robinson: 14

KICKING Forstrom: 91-104 PATs; 20-37 FGs; 151 PTs Davis: 129-134 PATs; 6-9 FGs; 147 PTs

TEAM OFFENSE 52.7 PPG; 302.8 YPG 60.8 PPG; 291.6 YPG

TEAM DEFENSE 48.6 PPG; 280.8 YPG 39.3 PPG; 263.2 YPG

* Stats reflect regular season numbers

NATIONAL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

NO. 2 TULSA TALONS (15-3) AT NO. 1 SPOKANE SHOCK (17-1)

SATURDAY, AUGUST 15, 2009 - Spokane Arena (10,653) 10:00 P.M. ET

The No. 1 seed Shock host No. 2 seed Tulsa Saturday night in the National Conference Championship at Spokane Arena in Spokane, Wash. These two teams have never met before, but their explosive offenses should make for an entertaining matchup as they vie for a chance to advance to the 2009 ArenaCup title game. The Talons are coming off a 59-34 win against Bossier-Shreveport. The two teams went into the halftime break tied at 21, and the BattleWings jumped to the lead in early in the third quarter, but the Talons would go on to score 32 unanswered points to sock the game away for the victory. Tulsa QB JUSTIN ALLGOOD was automatic, completing 26-of-38 passes for 385 yards (a 2009 postseason high) and 7 TDs. Allgood was coming off an absolutely lights-out effort against the Oklahoma Yard Dawgz in the first round of the playoffs when he completed 86 percent of his passes and led the Talon offense to 90 points, a postseason af2 record. Allgood helped Tulsa's WR JEFF HUGHLEY to an af2 record-setting night of his own. Hughley grabbed 14 catches for a postseason-high 241 yards (4 TDs). WR ZACH EDWARDS added another six catches for 93 yards. WR/DB LARICO STEVENSON had a 40-yard TD rush for Tulsa's last score of the game. He also added 1.5 tackles and one interception. The Talons defense played an outstanding second half. After allowing a TD on the BattleWing's first drive, they stonewalled Bossier-Shreveport's offense the rest of the game, forcing three turnover-on-downs and a fumble. Tulsa's defensive effort was spearheaded by LB JAMAR RANSOM who recorded a week-high 11.0 tackles. Ransom also had a fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter. After outlasting the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz in the first round, the Talons showed they can make the defensive stands they'll need to withstand a Spokane Shock offensive onslaught. Spokane continued its winning ways against the Boise Burn last Saturday night, winning 59-35 for their fourth victory over the Burn this season. With the win, the Shock stretched their all-time playoff record to 8-2. They put on an all-together balanced performance against the Burn as QB NICK DAVILA completed 13-of-24 passes for 151 yards and three TDs. He spread the field to three receivers, hitting WRs RAUL VIJIL, ANDY OLSON, and CHARLES DILLON for one TD apiece. Vijil led the receiving corps with five catches for 64 yards. Spokane's defense was the real story, however, pressuring Boise's young QB MATT THORSON constantly. In just his second career af2 start, Thorson was sacked twice, brought down for a safety, and picked off twice. Spokane DB SERGIO GILLAM grabbed one of the picks, increasing his total to four postseason INTs, 17 on the season. LB KEVIN MCCOLLOUGH had the other interception. Rookie DB STANLEY FRANKS led the Spokane defense in tackles with 8.0. DL JOHNIE KIRTON came up with his first career touchdown, scooping up a fumble and running it back 22 yards for a score late in the third quarter. Spokane's balanced defensive effort saw four different players come up with turnovers. The win was the Shock's tenth straight home victory. They have yet to lose at Spokane Arena this season. Saturday's game should be a hard-fought, back-and-forth affair featuring the best two teams in the National Conference.

TALONS SHOCK SERIES LEADER No previous meetings

LAST MEETING No previous meetings

LAST FIVE GAMES 4-1 5-0

LAST GAME Won 59-34 vs. Boss.-Shrev. on 8/8/09 Won 59-35 vs. Boise on 8/8/09

LEADERS TALONS SHOCK PASSING Allgood: 341-526-17; 4312; 108 TDs Davila: 349-491-9; 3863; 86 TDs

RECEIVING Hughley: 140-1909; 50 TDs Vijil: 116-1415; 36 TDs

RUSHING Floyd: 24-85; 5 TDs Nikolao: 59-182; 8 TDs

TACKLES Ransom: 92.5 Franks: 96

SACKS Carter: 9.5 McCombs: 15.5

INTERCEPTIONS Ransom & Thomas: 6 Gilliam: 13

KICKING Phillips: 87-95 PAT; 6-16 FGs; 105 PTs Jackson: 110-128 PAT; 9-11 FGs; 137 PTs

TEAM OFFENSE 61.8 PPG; 286.9 YPG 60.8 PPG; 293.1 YPG

TEAM DEFENSE 47.4 PPG; 274.9 YPG 37.6 PPG; 251.7 YPG

* Stats reflect regular season numbers

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