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May 6, 2009 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Albany Firebirds News Release

The Stakes

The Albany Firebirds are looking to build on their first win of the season as they hit the road for their farthest trip of the year to Bossier City. After suffering their worst loss of the season in Week 5 against the division-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers, the Firebirds turned it around with a strong four-quarter effort to beat the Mahoning Valley Thunder 50-41 at home. The Battle Wings are one game below .500, but they've kept it close in every game this year, losing by an average of just 6.3 points. Their two wins, on the other hand, have been by an average margin of 26.5 points. Last week Bossier-Shreveport defeated the Arkansas Twisters at home 69-61

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

QB Stephen Wasil returned from a five-week stint on the IR to lead the Firebirds to their first win of the season in Week 6 with 278 yards and six touchdowns. The second-year signal-caller was deemed Albany's starting quarterback heading into the season, but went down with an injury after just one offensive series in Week 1.

WR Johnnie Butler also had a memorable return from the IR in Week 6. In his first action of the year, the big receiver out of CW Post put up 154 receiving yards with five touchdowns. Butler jumped into a first-place tie with Christian Wise for the team lead in receiving touchdowns after just 60 minutes of action.

WR/LB Alvin Ray Jackson caught another touchdown pass on Saturday to increase his total to a team-high seven total touchdowns on the year. Starting at WR in place of Christian Wise, Jackson caught a season-high nine passes for 56 yards. The Iron Man also started at Linebacker and registered 3.5 tackles.

Defensive Player of the Game DB Lawrence Wade recorded a team-high 6.5 tackles last weekend and also added three pass break-ups and his first interception of the season to seal the win late in the contest. Wade ranks second on the team with five pass break-ups and fifth with 15.0 tackles. DB Jamel Ramsay saw his first af2 action last week and matched Wade's game-high with three pass break-ups.

DE Reggie Paramoure led Albany's D-Line in Week 6 with one sack and a Firebirds season-high four QB-hurries. Paramoure's team-leading 3.5 sacks on the season rank ninth in the league. DE David Tash also produced on the D-Line in his third game with the Firebirds, notching two QB hurries and one tackle for a loss.

Week 7 Preview:

This will be the Firebirds only game of the year against a Southwest division opponent. Albany's Week 6 win moved the club into a tie for third place in the East Division with Mahoning Valley and this week the Thunder face a tough match-up with the division-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers. The Battle Wings are coming off of their second win of the season; both of Bossier-Shreveport's wins came at home.

Week 7 Schedule:

All games are broadcast LIVE on af2TV free streaming video at www.albanyfirebirds.com

Saturday, May 9th - 8:00 pm - CenturyTel Center - Bossier City, LA

vs. Bossier/Shreveport Battle Wings (2-3)

- This is the second all-time match-up between Albany and Bossier-Shreveport and the only meeting of the 2009 campaign. The two clubs first met on June 4, 2005 in Albany, when the home team dealt the Battle Wings a 68-53 defeat.

- Leading Passer: QB - Andrico Hines - (77-141-7, 928yds, 20TD)

- Leading Rusher: FB - Jason Schule - (18att-87yds-3TD)

- Leading Receivers: Butchie Ibeh - (28rec-299yds-13TD), PJ Berry - (25rec-378yds-6TD), Ch Miccollister - (17rec-212yds-3TD)

Firebirds Pecks:

- Free Agent Starters: Albany's Week 6 starting lineup featured three players who saw their first action of the season with the Firebirds. OL Pete Martocci started at guard and helped the O-Line tie a season low by giving up just one sack. DB Dieuseul Joseph played at cornerback and notched 3.5 tackles and a pass break-up. Finally, Jamel Ramsay played at safety and tallied three pass break-ups and 4.5 tackles.

- Season-Long Starters: DB Partick Horne, WR Christian Wise and DS Kenneth Williams sat out Week 6 with various injuries, leaving just four Firebirds who have started every game this season: WR/LB Alvin Ray Jackson, DE Reggie Paramoure, K Brian Umstead and DB Lawrence Wade.

- Birds in the Community: This Week WR Irani DeAraujo and DB Kenneth Williams visited Burnt Hills High School and Bethlehem High School with US Marines to work out with students and promote fitness. Spike spent Sunday morning entertaining runners at the Literacy Volunteers 5K at the Valley Cats stadium.

- Injury watch: DB Kenney Williams has been placed on the IR, but fellow Week 6 side-liner WR Christian Wise is expected to be available this weekend. LB Rob Wright was activated from IR this week and is expected to play in Week 7; Wright has been out since suffering a lower body injury in the first quarter of the season opener. DB Patrick Horne remains on team suspension after exiting Week 5's game late. C Junior Ramos left last week's game briefly with an injury but is expected to start in Bossier City.

East Division Standings:

(AMERICAN CONFERENCE)

Team W L PCT Home Road Streak

WB/Scranton 5 1 0.833 4-0 1-1 W3

Manchester 3 2 0.600 2-0 1-2 L1

Mahoning Valley 1 5 0.200 1-2 0-3 L5

Albany 1 5 0.200 1-2 0-3 W1

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