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Fire Look for Redemption on Derby Day

May 1, 2008 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Louisville Fire News Release

Louisville, KY-On Derby Day the Fire will be thinking about more than horses and bets. Redemption will be on their minds at Quad City this Saturday at 8:00 EST (7:00 CST). Each team has had a similar season. Louisville opened the season with two wins and then two losses. Quad City started the season with two wins but recently has gone on a two game losing streak.

The Fire are coming off of a week where everything went right, beating the Lexington Horsemen 61-34. A hot start contributed to a 27-12 lead at halftime and closed the game by allowing only eight points in the fourth quarter. The Fire rushed for five touchdowns (three by Bassuener and two by Forney) and threw for three more touchdowns. Matt Bassuener led the team with 30 yards rushing, 240 yards passing, and 6 total touchdowns.

"Matt [Bassuener] is starting to figure things out and move into a leadership role," stated Fire Head Coach Tommy Johnson. "He is making the right reads and learning to use a good combination of his arm and legs."

The Steamwheelers are coming off of two losses to the Iowa Barnstormers and the Green Bay Blizzard. During the 52-35 loss to the Blizzard, Quad City had 20 more yards than their opponent but had nine penalties in the game.

The Fire lost to the Steamwheelers on April 11, 39-28. "We knew Quad City was a good team and they were able to capitalize on our mistakes," stated Johnson after the loss to Quad City.

During the game on April 11, each team threw an interception, but the Fire had two more fumbles than the Steamwheelers and a total of 14 penalties for 93 yards. Each Fire quarterback, Aaron Marshall and Matt Bassuener, struggled throwing because of a constant rush applied by the Steamwheelers. Even with all of the Fire's struggles, they out gained the Steamwheelers by 51 yards.

The Fire are looking to establish the running game early to allow Bassuener a chance to settle into the flow of the game. In the previous match-up, the Fire was without key offensive lineman Thomas Coleman, who will be playing in this week's game. Louisville is ranked number one in arenafootball2 in rushing offense averaging 52.0 yards per game, whereas the Steamwheelers have the 19th best rushing defense in the league allowing 28.8 ypg. The Steamwheelers will be trying to take advantage of a depleted Fire secondary (two players from the opening day roster are still on the injured reserve). The Steamwheelers passing offense ranks seventh in the league with 240.8 ypg, and the Fire's pass defense ranks 16th allowing 222.6 ypg.

The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 93.9 FM The Ticket. The game can also be seen on the internet courtesy of Nifty TV by downloading the af2 player at www.Nifty-TV.com/af2.

GAME FACTS - Louisville Fire (3-2) vs. Quad City Steamwheelers (2-2) Date: Saturday, May 3 Time: 8:00 EST (7:00 CST) Site: iWireless Center Online Broadcast: Game will be streamed online at www.louisvillefirefootball.com Radio: The Ticket (93.9 FM) with Zack McCrite (play-by-play) Series History: Quad City leads 9-5 all-time (4-2 in Louisville, 5-3 in Moline, IL) Last Meeting: Louisville 28, Quad City 39 (April 11, 2008 - Freedom Hall, Louisville, Ky.)

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