Conquest look to pass .500 at home
Albany, N.Y. - The Albany Conquest are coming off a 59-45 road loss to the Manchester Wolves at Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday. Albany (2-2) is tied for third in the East Division and will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak. The Quad City Steamwheelers dropped a 60-46 decision to the expansion Stockton Lightning on Saturday. Quad City (0-3) is sixth in the East Division and this match-up is the only regular season meeting between the East Division rivals. Saturday represents the second all-time meeting as the Steamwheelers recorded a 62-50 home victory on June 18, 2005 in the only previous match-up between the two franchises.
VENA IS THE STAT GUY: QB Ryan Vena has quickly risen to the top of the arenafootball2 leaderboard. He leads the league with an average of 301.5 yards of total offense per game, tops the circuit with 1,206 yards gained and leads the pack with 1,181 passing yards through four match-ups. He also ranks second in the af2 with seven rushing TDs.
MANNY MOVING FORWARD: WR/LB Manwell Talbert led the team with 11 catches for 107 yards with four receiving TDs in Manchester. He now ranks second in the af2 with 30 receptions and ranks eighth overall with 343 receiving yards. Talbert is tied for the team lead with five TD receptions and leads the club with an average 85.8/receiving yards per game.
HAPPY TO HAVE HARVEY: The Conquest have been assigned Colonie Central High School's R.J. Harvey, who compiled 1,555 rushing yards and 21 TDs in three seasons with the University of New Hampshire. He was a three-sport athlete at Colonie Central HS (football, basketball, track), rushing for over 4,000 yards and 65 touchdowns.
PLAYERS/MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
Quad City Offense: QB Tim Hicks completed 24-of-33 passes for two TDs in the loss to Stockton. He is among the league leaders in passing yards (816), total offense (826) and completion percentage (66.7%). WR/DB Tim Dodge is once again to the top aerial target with a team-high 21 receptions, while WR/DB Bo Smith provides the other option with a team-best 232 receiving yards with 6 TDs on the season.
Conquest Defense: OL/DL Ralph Horton anchored the middle with three solo tackles against Manchester, while DS Rob Green returned to the club with a solid 2.5 tackle, one INT performance. It really continues to be a team effort as the Conquest defensive unit allowed the Wolves just 159 yards of total offense. Albany ranks seventh in total defense by allowing just 232.5 yards per game, including the fifth-best total of 11.8 rushing yards/game.
Conquest Offense: QB Ryan Vena continues to move the ball down the field but it will be up to WR/LB Manwell Talbert as he takes the OS reins from the injured Chris Brewer. WR/LB Jim Jones will get more touches with the Williams' also playing major roles. WR/DB Kenny Williams caught three passes for 19 yards in limited action, while WR/DB Antwun Williams sat out after scoring his first af2 TD against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Steamwheelers Defense: DS Sidney Lewis posted a team-high eight tackles with a fumble recovery and a pass breakup against the Lightning. He tops the roster with 17 (14UA, 6A) tackles through the season's first three contests. This unit will get penetration as evidenced by their 18 QBHs and three blocked kicks in three games during the 2006 season.
DROPBACK: Albany is coming off the 59-45 loss to the Manchester Wolves at Verizon Wireless Arena last Saturday night.
FORWARD MOTION: The Albany Conquest will have a BYE during week six and return to U.S. Army Field at Pepsi Arena to take on the Manchester Wolves on May 13, 2006 at 7:00pm.
The Albany Conquest are in their fifth anniversary arenafootball2 season with full and partial season ticket packages currently on sale. Individual game tickets for the 2006 campaign are also on sale now by calling the Albany Conquest offices at (518) 487-2244 or by visiting www.albanyconquest.com for more information.
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