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Detroit Fury game notes

February 17, 2004 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Detroit Fury News Release

Indiana Firebirds (0-2) at Detroit Fury (1-1)
Date: Monday, February 23, 2004
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Site: The Palace of Auburn Hills (14,826)
Officials: Riley Johnson (Referee), Paul Frerking (Umpire),
Darrel Leftwich (Head Linesman), Paul Engelberts (Line Judge)
Bud McCleskey (Back Judge).
Radio: WXDX, 1310 AM
Fred McLeod (Play-by-Play)
Rob Rubick (Color Analyst)
TV: Comcast / Bright House Network
Mark Champion (Play-by-Play)
Jim Brandstatter (Color Analyst)
Series Record: Indiana Leads, (1-4)
Last Meeting: Sunday, February 2, 2003 @ Detroit
Indiana 66 – Detroit 57
Streaks: Indiana – Lose 2
Detroit – Win 1
Coaches: Indiana – Steve DeBerg (0-2, 1st Year)
Detroit – Tom Luginbill (1-1, 1st Year)

THE STAKES: Detroit and Indiana are preparing for their first divisional game, and both teams are looking to start divisional play well. The Fury are looking to keep their winning momentum with their first home win, while the Firebirds are looking to grab their first win under new head coach Steve DeBerg. The Fury would like to take another win before they head into their bye week. Following the by week, the Fury hit the road for consecutive games at Colorado and New Orleans.

THE SERIES: The Fury and Firebirds have met five times over the last three years. Indiana holds the series advantage, with the only Fury win coming on Sunday, July 22, 2001, a win that gave the Fury a berth into the 2001 ArenaBowl playoffs.


Date Opponent Series Result Score
2/05 SAN JOSE 1-1 L 43-58
2/13 @Arizona 1-2 W 48-31
Date Opponent Time TV Series
2/23 INDIANA 7:30 Comcast 1-4
2/28 BYE WEEK - - -
3/04 @Colorado 9:00 - 1-0
3/12 @New Orleans 8:00 - n/a
3/18 AUSTIN 7:30 Comcast n/a
3/28 @Chicago 3:00 NBC 2-3
4/01 GEORGIA 7:30 Comcast 1-1
4/10 GRAND RAPIDS 7:30 - 2-3
4/16 @Los Angeles 10:30 - 1-0
4/25 @Las Vegas 3:00 NBC 1-3
5/02 CHICAGO 3:00 NBC 2-3
5/08 @Indiana 8:00 - 1-4
5/15 ARIZONA 7:30 - 0-2
5/23 COLORADO 3:00 NBC 1-0
5/29 @Grand Rapids 7:30 - 2-3
Comcast Cable / Bright House Network

Date Opponent Series Result Score
2/7 COLUMBUS -- L 48-54
2/14 @ New Orleans -- L 40-41
Date Opponent Time TV Series
2/23 @ Detroit 7:30 - 4-1
2/29 CHICAGO 3:00 NBC -
3/6 @ Orlando 7:30 - -
3/14 @ Austin 3:00 - -
3/20 GEORGIA 7:00 - -
3/26 GRAND RAPIDS 7:30 - -
4/3 @ Colorado 3:00 - -
4/11 CAROLINA 3:00 NBC -
4/17 @ Grand Rapids 7:30 - -
4/25 ARIZONA 3:00 NBC -
5/2 @ Las Vegas 3:00 NBC -
5/8 DETROIT 8:00 - 4-1
5/16 COLORADO 3:00 NBC -
5/23 @ CHICAGO 3:00 NBC -
5/30 BYE WEEK - - -
* all times Eastern and subject to change


TOM LUGINBILL, Detroit (1-1, 1st Year): Luginbill enters his first season as an AFL head coach, after taking the reigns from his father Al, who served as the Fury’s head coach in 2003. At 30 years old, Luginbill is the youngest head coach in the AFL, and he looks forward to a breakout season as head coach. Last season, Luginbill helped to re-build the Fury team from a 1-13 record in 2002. With his guidance, the Fury finished the regular season at 8-8, which tied the AFL record for a single-season turnaround. The Fury also finished 1-1 in the playoffs, and the franchise won its first-ever playoff game. Prior to joining the Fury, Luginbill had coached for three different teams in three years, but he is no stranger to the game of Arena Football. Luginbill played two seasons as an AFL quarterback in 1996 & 1997, before joining the coaching staff on the New York CityHawks in 1998. Luginbill got his first head-coaching job in 2000, with the Tennessee Valley Vipers of af2, where he led the team to the championship game in his first year with the team. Following a season in af2, Luginbill teamed with his father Al in the XFL as the quarterback’s coach of the Los Angeles Xtreme. There, he coached XFL MVP Tommy Maddox, and helped guide the Xtreme to the league’s first and only championship. He re-joined the AFL in 2002 as an assistant head coach with the expansion Dallas Desperados. In Dallas, Luginbill’s offense set an AFL record for scoring the most points ever by an AFL expansion franchise in one year, and his red-zone offense was ranked number one in the league.

STEVE DEBERG, Indiana (0-2, 1st Year): DeBerg enters his year in the Arena Football League as head coach of the Indiana Firebirds. DeBerg brings a wealth of football experience to the Firebirds team, as both a player and a coach. DeBerg played quarterback for 18 years in the NFL, making stops with six different teams over his career (San Francisco 1977-1980, Denver Broncos 1981-1983, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1984-1987, Kansas City Chiefs 1988-1991, Miami Dolphins 1993 and Atlanta Falcons 1998). Since retiring as a player, he has made coaching stints with the New York Giants and the Atlanta Falcons. Today, DeBerg runs a quarterback camp out of Tampa, Florida, where some his most recognizable players to participate are: Quincy Carter, Byron Leftwich and Rex Grossman. As a coach, DeBerg has had the opportunity to learn from the best. Over his 18-year career, DeBerg has had the honor of playing for legendary head coaches Bill Walsh, Dan Reeves, Don Shula and Marty Schottenheimer.



Members of the Fury Team visit local area hospitals to bring cheer and hope to children during their stay. Often, players and coaches will “take over” the ward, filling it with Fury decorations. Players spend time with the children, sign autographs and leave special gifts behind. The Fury hope that these events will leave a lasting impression on the children and provide a life long memory they are sure to never forget.

In 2003, the Fury traveled to William Beaumont Hospital in and St. Joseph’s Mercy Macomb to visit children in the hospitals’ pediatric units. Fury players, the Fury Cheerleaders, and team mascot Frenzy toured the units bringing cheer and hope to children of all ages.


The Fury Field Trips program is designed to encourage young people’s interest in science, math and technology by introducing them to real-life examples of how the sciences are used in the world around them. The goal of Fury Field Trips is to instill an interest in the sciences that they will carry through adulthood.

The Fury embarked on three Field Trips in 2003. The first was a visit to the Ford River Rouge Plant in Dearborn. Children toured the plant with Fury players and representatives from Ford, and the children were treated to a behind the scenes look at Detroit’s automotive industry.
The Fury also traveled to Woodland Elementary School in Troy. Students in attendance were treated to a wonderful, educational learning experience through an interactive science show, involving players and students. Finally, the Fury joined forces with the Detroit Pistons family and traveled to the Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Students toured Selfridge Air National Guard History Museum as well as the Air Park, which displays over 30 planes.


In 2004, the Fury are still committed to making a difference off the field. The Fury will continue to host Fury Field Trips and Hospital Visits throughout the season. This season, the Fury will have four hospital visits to local area hospitals, with the first happening last Tuesday, February 17, at St. Joseph Mercy Macomb Hospital. Fury players Jon McCall, Dawan Moss, David Hill and cheerleaders visited the pediatric wing of the hospital and brought Fury swag and cheer to all the kids. The players and cheerleaders also toured the rest of the hospital.


Phoenix, ARIZ. – In a game filled with crazy bounces and unbelievable catches, it was a strong defensive game that led the Detroit Fury (1-1) to a 48-31 victory over the Arizona Rattlers (0-2). The win was the first for the Fury franchise against the Rattlers.

Defensively, the Fury shut out the Rattlers in the first and fourth quarters, and clinched the win when linebacker Cameron Chance recovered and returned a fumble 22 yards for a touchdown with 19 seconds remaining in the game. Chance also recorded the only sack of the game.

“That is probably the best defensive game I have ever seen,” said Fury Head Coach Tom Luginbill. “I challenged our players to step up, and they answered. Our guys played their butts off. Our pash rush was non-stop, our defensive backs never gave up on plays and they made plays to put our offense in a position to win the game.”

Quarterback Andy Kelly led the offense, completing 20-of-39 passes for 204 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and one rushing touchdown. Kelly’s biggest play came in the fourth quarter, when he scrambled for 17 yards on a fourth down that set up the go-ahead score.

Offensive specialist David hill led the Fury receivers, catching seven passes for 55 yards. Receivers Herman Bell (six passes for 35 yards and one touchdown), Thabiti Davis (four catches for 95 yards and one touchdown) and Junior Lord (two catches for 13 yards and two touchdowns) all contributed for Kelly.

The Rattlers were led by quarterback Sherdrick Bonner, who completed 18-of-34 passes for 240 yards two touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and offensive specialist Siaha Burley, who led all receivers with 10 catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns including one off the rebound net.

Score by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Final
Detroit Fury 10 3 14 21 48
Arizona Rattlers 0 17 14 0 31

Baby Ruth Offensive Player: Andy Kelly (DET)
ADT Defensive Player: Reggie Doster (DET)
U.S. Army Ironman: Thabiti Davis (DET)

Attendance: 12,123


A look how Detroit and Indiana match-up on both sides of the ball based on the 2004 regular season statistics:

Category Stat Stat
Scoring Offense 91 88
Scoring Defense 89 95
Total Offense (yds/g) 226.5 213.5
Total Defense (yds/g) 206.0 226.0
Pass Offense (yds/g) 207.5 180.5
Pass Defense (yds/g) 184.0 212.0
Rushing Offense (yds/g) 19.0 33.0
Rushing Defense (yds/g) 22.0 14.0
Kickoff Return Avg. 17.1 20.1
Field Goals 2 / 4 2 / 4
PAT Kicking 11 / 11 10 / 12
Sacks By (sks-yds) 4 (25) 0 (0)
Sacks Against (sks-yds) 1 (6) 0 (0)
First Downs 38 36
Opponent First Downs 31 35
Penalties (#/yds) 10 (58) 16 (68)
Turnover Margin -2 0
Time of Possession 33:32 33:44
3rd Down % 50.0 % 46.7 %
4th Down % 50.0 % 50.0 %

Category Rank Rank
Total Offense 16th 17th
Total Defense 2nd 4th
Kickoff Returns 17th 8th
Kickoff Coverage 13th 16th
Red Zone Offense Tied 12th Tied 1st
Red Zone Defense Tied 3rd Tied 14th

If DETROIT defeats INDIANA, it would …
· Give DETROIT a (2-4) record against Arizona, and their first divisional win of the year
· Give DETROIT a (1-1) record at home
· Give DETROIT a (1-0) record against the Central Division and a (2-1) vs. the American Conference
· Give DETROIT a (1-1) record on TV
· Give DETROIT Head Coach Tom Luginbill his second win as an AFL head coach
· Increase DETROIT’s winning streak to two games
· Give DETROIT their first win against Indiana since 2001


Like our Chances: Through the first two weeks of the season, FB/LB Cameron Chance has made miserable for opposing offenses. He has registered two sacks, which ties him for first among the AFL’s League leaders, and he has also returned one fumble for a touchdown. In only his second year in the AFL, Chance is making an immediate impact for the Fury defensively. On the offensive side of the ball, Chance already has one rushing touchdown, and he is always looking for his next.

More than just an Arm: Last week, Fury quarterback Andy Kelly proved he carries more than just one offensive weapon. With the game on the line on 4th and 10, Kelly took off from the pocket and scrambled 17 yards for a Fury first down. The run, which set up the Fury’s go-ahead and game-winning touchdown, will give defenses something else to think about when plays break down. Kelly also rushed in for a touchdown last week.

Consistency Returns: Last season, the Fury were never able to start the same offensive specialist for more than two weeks in a row. So far in 2004, OS David Hill leads all Fury receivers in receptions and yardage, and he will be looking to start at the OS spot for the third straight week. In 2003, there were two weeks when the Fury started an offensive lineman as the OS.

Some familiar Mo-town Faces: It is not to often that players get to play professional football in the same cities that they grew up in, but the Fury are proud to have two Detroit locals on their roster. Returning lineman Jon McCall grew up in Troy and attended Central Michigan University. This season, Detroit native Dawan Moss will make his AFL debut in the city where he was raised. Moss grew up in Detroit and attended Michigan State University. Watch as these two try to make a lasting impression at home.

Bad Against the Birds: The Fury do not have a great overall record against the Indiana Firebirds. The team’s only win came against the Firebirds in July 2001, a win that qualified the team for the playoffs. In all four losses, the Firebirds have beaten the Fury by an average of 12.75 points, with the biggest margin of loss at 21 points.

Welcome Back an AFL Veteran: Tonight, the Fury are welcoming back a former AFL veteran, and current NFL star to the game. Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Tommy Maddox will be in attendance in Monday’s game, raising money for his personal charity. Tonight, one dollar from each ticket purchased will be directly donated to the Maddox foundation. A close friend of the Luginbill’s, Maddox played for Al and Tom in the XFL.

RUNNING WITH THE RECORDS: Watch as Fury Quarterback Andy Kelly continues his assault on the Arena Football League’s record books, as he hopes to remain the league’s all-time leading passer. AFL Veterans Aaron Garcia (NY) and Sherdrick Bonner (AZ) are right behind.

All-Time Pass Attempts: #
1) Andy Kelly, Detroit 4,171
2) Todd Hammel, Philadelphia* 3,501
3) Sherdrick Bonner, Arizona 3,477
4) Aaron Garcia, New York 3,400

All-Time Pass Completions #
1) Andy Kelly, Detroit 2,546
2) Sherdrick Bonner, Arizona 2,150
3) Aaron Garcia, New York 2,126
4) Clint Dolezel, Las Vegas 2,106

All-Time Passing Yards #
1) Aaron Garcia, New York 28,270
2) Andy Kelly, Detroit 28,268
3) Sherdrick Bonner, Arizona 28,267
4) Clint Dolezel, Las Vegas 24,943

All-Time Passing Touchdowns #
1) Andy Kelly, Detroit 556
2) Aaron Garcia, New York 552
3) Sherdrick Bonner, Arizona 540
4) Clint Dolezel, Las Vegas 494

* Denotes In-active Quarterback in the AFL

CARP’S COUNTDOWN: Last season, Ron Carpenter, “Carp”, set the AFL’s single-season record for kickoff return yardage in his first year with the Fury. Follow the countdown to see if Carp will defend his record and try to beat the mark he set in 2003.

Ron Carpenter in 2003 2,248
Kickoff Returns Yards to Date in 2004 134
Average Yards / Game to Break Record 151.0

Andy Kelly Needs
1,732 Passing Yards for: 30,000 Career Passing Yards
44 Touchdowns for: 600 Career Passing Touchdowns

Ron Carpenter Needs
2 Interceptions for: 20 Career Interceptions

Curtis Eason Needs
2 Sacks for: 20 Career Sacks



1 San Jose Mark Grieb
2 Detroit Andy Kelly


1 San Jose Omarr Smith
2 Detroit Reggie Doster


1 Detroit Cameron Chance
2 Detroit Thabiti Davis


0-1 at The Palace of Auburn Hills
1-0 on the road

0-0 vs. National Conference
1-1 vs. American Conference

0-0 vs. Eastern Division
0-0 vs. Southern Division
0-0 vs. Central Division
1-1 vs. Western Division

0-0 on NBC
0-1 on Local TV Broadcast

0-1 on Thursdays
1-0 on Fridays
0-0 on Saturdays
0-0 on Sundays

1-1 in February
0-0 in March
0-0 in April
0-0 in May

1-0 when leading after first quarter
0-0 when trailing after first quarter
0-1 when tied after first quarter

0-0 when leading at halftime
1-1 when trailing at halftime
0-0 when tied at halftime

0-0 when leading after three quarters
1-1 when trailing after three quarters
0-0 when tied after three quarters

1-1 in games decided by 10+ points
0-0 in games decided by 4-9 points
0-0 in games decided by 3 or less points

0-1 when opponent scores more than 50 points
1-0 when opponent scores less than 50 points

0-0 when Fury score more than 50 points
1-1 when Fury score less than 50 points

1-1 when the Fury score first
0-0 when opponent score first

0-0 in overtime

2004 Playoff Seedings (-):

1. -
2. -
3. -
4. -
5. -
6. -
7. -
8. -

* Current Division Leader

Last Week in the AFL:
Friday, February 13
Carolina Cobras 54 – Columbus Destroyers 53
Georgia Force 70 – Tampa Bay Storm 62
Austin Wranglers 49 – Orlando Predators 48
Detroit Fury 48 – Arizona Rattlers 31
Saturday, February 14
Chicago Rush 56 – New York Dragons 54
Indiana Firebirds 40 – New Orleans VooDoo 41
Los Angeles Avengers 62 – Las Vegas Gladiators 55
Colorado Crush 55 – Grand Rapids Rampage 37
Sunday, February 15
Philadelphia Soul 47 – Dallas Desperados 51

Bye: San Jose SaberCats

This Week in the AFL:
Saturday, February 21
Columbus Destroyers @ Philadelphia Soul, 7:30 pm
Arizona Rattlers @ Carolina Cobras, 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 22
Las Vegas Gladiators @ Grand Rapids Rampage, 3:00 pm
San Jose SaberCats @ Los Angeles Avengers, 3:00 pm
Colorado Crush @ Chicago Crush, 3:00 pm
Tampa Bay Storm @ Austin Wranglers, 3:00 pm
New Orleans VooDoo @ Georgia Force, 3:00 pm
Dallas Desperados @ New York Dragons, 3:00 pm
Monday, February 23
Indiana Firebirds @ Detroit Fury, 7:30 pm

Bye: Orlando Predators

Next Week in the AFL:
Friday, February 27
Austin Wranglers @ Colorado Crush, 9:00 pm
Saturday, February 28
Orlando Predators @ Carolina Cobras, 7:30 pm
Grand Rapids Rampage @ San Jose SaberCats, 10:30 pm
Sunday, February 29
New York Dragons @ Arizona Rattlers, 3:00 pm
Chicago Rush @ Indiana Firebirds, 3:00 pm
Philadelphia Soul @ Tampa Bay Storm, 3:00 pm
Dallas Desperados @ Columbus Destroyers, 3:00 pm
New Orleans VooDoo @ Las Vegas Gladiators, 3:00 pm
Monday, March 1
Georgia Force @ Los Angeles Avengers, 10:30 pm

Bye: Detroit Fury

* All Times Eastern

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