Dawgz Play Significant Role in AFL Playoffs
OKLAHOMA CITY - Recently, Oklahoma City Yard Dawg, A.J. Haglund was named 2007 2nd Team All Arena as well as the AFL All-Rookie Team. Haglund played for the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz during the 2005 and 2006 seasons where he connected on 150 of 165 extra points. Haglund also set a postseason record in 2006, connecting on a 57-yard field goal, the longest in af2 postseason history. His af2 career concluded with the af2 Kicker of the Year Award in 2006.
"After A.J.'s accomplishments in the af2, it is no surprise that he is now one of the best kickers within the Arena Football League," commented Yard Dawgz General Manager Christie Cook.
Haglund signed with the San Jose SaberCats after the 2006 season. Following the regular season, he led the league in points scored by a kicker with 158. Haglund played in all 16 regular season games with the SaberCats and broke the AFL single-season extra point record with 128-of-138 PATs.
The 5-foot-8, 175 pounder out of the University of Central Oklahoma was a model of consistency, setting new standard for single season accuracy and moved to the top of the career accuracy list in af2 for PATs before signing with the AFL.
Haglund is one of several former Yard Dawgz players and coaches making an impact in the AFL playoffs. B.J. Barre, Howard Duncan and Peter Martinez have helped the Columbus Destroyers advance to the National Conference Championship game for the first time in franchise history.
During the first two rounds of the AFL play-offs, Barre has played a major role in the Columbus Destroyers upset wins over the Tampa Bay Storm and Dallas Desperados. Barre had 15 tackles, returned an interception for a touchdown, recovered a fumble, and earned Defensive Player of the Game versus the Storm. Howard Duncan, former University of Oklahoma standout, has anchored the Columbus Destroyer offensive line allowing only one sack during the postseason play. Peter Martinez, 2004 af2 Kicker of the Year, was 8 of 8 in extra point attempts against the Storm and averaged 52.8 yards per kickoff. Martinez played a major role in the Destroyer upset of the Desperados by connecting on all nine of his extra points and hitting metal on two consecutive kick-offs for touchdowns in the third quarter. During that same quarter, Martinez nailed a 31-yard field goal which sealed Columbus' victory.
When discussing Martinez' performance, Desperados quarterback Clint Dolezel had this to say, "Their kicker won the game for them hands down."
Former Yard Dawgz Head Coach Jeff Jarnigan is currently the Special Teams/Defensive Line Coach for the San Jose SaberCats. During Jarnigan's tenure with the Yard Dawgz he had a combined record of 21-11 and two playoff appearances. During the 2006 season, the Dawgz finished with a franchise best 11 wins. Prior to taking the Yard Dawgz head coaching position, Jarnigan was an assistant coach with the Tulsa Talons and Austin Wranglers of the Arena Football League. Jarnigan has helped lead the SaberCats to a 14-3 record.
"As an organization, we are very excited to see our former players and coaches succeed," said Yard Dawgz General Manager, Christie Cook. "Their success is a strong reflection of the Yard Dawgz commitment to the advancement of players and coaches to the next level."
The AFL playoffs continue this Saturday, July 14th, on ESPN when the San Jose SaberCats host the Chicago Rush and the Columbus Destroyers travel to the Georgia Force in conference title match ups. The winners will then travel to New Orleans to determine the ArenaBowl Champion on Sunday, July 29th at the New Orleans Arena.
For more information, contact the Yard Dawgz at (405) 228-3294 or visit www.okcyarddawgz.com. On Monday, July 16, the Yard Dawgz hit the road to face their division rivals the Tulsa Talons. The Yard Dawgz return home to Compassionate Care Hospice Field at the Ford Center for the final two games of the regular season. Tickets for those games start as low as $10.
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