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Darnerius Watson Back with the Manchester Wolves and to Start

July 9, 2008 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Manchester Wolves News Release

MANCHESTER, NH-- Darnerius Watson, one of the most talented and popular players in the history of the Manchester Wolves franchise, has rejoined the team for the final three regular season games as the Wolves continue their push to make the arenafootball2 league playoffs.

"Having Watson back is going to strengthen our offensive line tremendously for these last three games," said Head Coach Danton Barto. "He is an AFL caliber center who will make a huge impact both on the field and in the locker room."

Watson (6-2, 300 lbs.) is a fifth-year veteran who made his mark in Manchester over his career and started on the Wolves three consecutive playoff teams in 2005-07. He was always a force on the field, a steady and respected leader among his teammates, and a favorite with the fans for his outgoing and winning personality.

Barto has listed Watson as the Wolves (6-7) starting center on the depth chart for Saturday night's important game against the Mahoning Valley Thunder (3-10) on Brady Sullivan Field at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The Thunder, a 2007 af2 expansion team, may be out of the playoff picture but they will still be playing for pride as they try to upset the Wolves and beat Manchester for the first time in the history of the series between these two American Conference East rivals. The Wolves currently lead the series 4-0 and have already beaten the Thunder so far this year in home and away match ups.

Watson, who went to training camp with the Arena Football League Dallas Desperados and came close to making their final roster this spring, will certainly be in the thick of things as he sees live game action for the first time since the Wolves were knocked out of the playoffs in the first weekend of August last year.

The Thunder may be 3-10, but rookie defensive tackle Royce Morgan is performing like an All-af2 player. Morgan (6-2, 265 lbs.), named the af2 ADT Defensive Player of the Week after the Thurnder upset the Louisville Fire in their last game, set two franchise records in that contest when he dropped the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage 3.5 times and totaled his 12th sack of the season.

So it will be up to Watson to make an immediate impact with his line mates to protect Wolves quarterback James Pinkney and make sure his rhythm and timing with his receivers are not disrupted.

Tickets and great seating remain for Saturday night's game at 7:05 PM, plus for the final regular season game against the Corpus Christi Sharks on July 26th, and may be purchased through tickets@manchesterwolves.com or by calling 603-627-9653. Saturday night is Fire Appreciation Night to benefit the MDA and it is also Luau Night.

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