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Fire Return Home to Face the Thunder

May 15, 2008 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Louisville Fire News Release

Louisville KY-Louisville returns to Freedom Hall after a pair of Midwest games to face the Mahoning Valley Thunder on Saturday, May 17 at 7 p.m. This will be the first match-up between the American Conference opponents in the 2008 season. Louisville is second in the Midwest Division a game back of the Green Bay Blizzard, as the Thunder are in last place in the East Division

The Fire enters this week's game 4-3 after a disappointing 39-48 loss to the Iowa Barnstormers. Despite the outcome the offense set multiple franchise records, while Louisville's defense delivered an outstanding performance. Rookie Quarterback Matt Bassuener, set two individual records, highest average gain per rush at 4.8 and set the mark for most carries at 12. During the contest Bassuener made a rushing score and completed two passes into the end zone, connecting with Ricardo Lenhart and Darrell Holmes.

On the defensive end Matt Forbes and Perry Kyles grabbed down a total of three interceptions for a combined 76 yards. Forbes and Kyles ran an interception back for a touchdown. Perry Kyles was named the PNC Bank MVP and ADT Defensive Player of the Game for his efforts. Keller Speaks led the Fire defense with 5.5 total tackles. Speaks also put six points up for the Fire early in the fourth quarter after a blocked return.

Mahoning Valley is coming off a 56-30 loss to Lexington this week. They have struggled during the 2008 campaign, coming into this match-up with a 1-6 record. Thunder QB, Shane Adler threw for 155 yards and one touchdown, while Kenneth Johnson led all Thunder receivers with 63 carries for one touchdown. Their six game losing streak marks the longest in team history.

Last season these two teams met twice, with the Fire being victorious in each match-up. The Fire won the first game at Mahoning Valley 52-34. The Fire were led by Shane Adler who threw for 237 yards and four touchdowns. Tiger Jones had 11 receptions for 169 yards and three touchdowns. The second meeting was in Freedom Hall on July 7 and once again the Fire won 57-32. Jones was able to reel in seven receptions for 141 yards and four touchdowns.

The Fire looks for success as they head into this week's contest. Louisville is currently ranked ninth on the af2 coaches' poll. Visit www.louisvillefirefootball.com and click on the Nifty TV link, to view this week's game.

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