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Florida Firecats game notes

June 1, 2004 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Florida Firecats News Release

QUICK FACTS:
Florida Firecats (5-3) at Macon Knights (2-6)
Date: Friday, June 4, 2004
Kickoff: 7:40 p.m. EST
Site: Macon Coliseum (7,182)
National Anthem:
Coin Toss:
Officials: (Referee), (Umpire),
(Head Linesman), (Line Judge), (Back Judge)
Radio: ESPN 770 (Dave Parks)
TV: None
Series Record: Florida 4-3
Last Meeting: Florida 58 Macon 23/ Macon, Georgia, 5/1/04
Streaks: Florida W2 Macon L2
Coach: Ben Bennett (15-9 regular season; 0-1 playoffs, Second season)
Mike Hold (2-6 regular season, First Season)

THE STAKES: Macon, the defending American Conference champions, must win this game to maintain any hopes of reaching the playoffs. The Firecats are beginning to heat up, and a win against this division foe would give the team their first three-game winning streak of the season.

THE SERIES: The Firecats have the edge in the series 4-3. The Knights knocked the Firecats out of the playoffs last year en route to an ArenaCup birth. The Firecats knocked the Knights out of the 2002 playoffs en route to their own ArenaCup appearance.

THE IFs:
If Florida beats Macon, it would …
· Give Florida a 5-3 series record with Macon
· Give Florida a 4-2 away record in 2004
· Give Ben Bennett a 16-9 regular season record as a head coach
· Give Florida a 6-3 record for the season
· Give Florida a 6-3 record against the American Conference


FLORIDA (5-3, Won 2)
Date Opponent Result Score
4/104/174/245/15/85/145/225/29 BOSSIER @MEMPHISCAPE FEAR@MACON@COLUMBUS@BIRMINGHAM@TENN. VALLEYMEMPHIS WLLWWLWW 46-3151-5435-5558-2362-3334-5553-3043-20
Date Opponent Streak Series
6/4 @MACON L2 FLO 4-3
6/12 COLUMBUS FLO 5-0
6/19 @CAPE FEAR TIE 2-2
6/26 MACON FLO 4-3
7/3 BYE
7/10 BIRMINGHAM BIR 3-1
7/17 LAREDO
7/26 @COLUMBUS FLO 5-0
7/31 TENN. VALLEY TV 2-1

MACON (2-6, LOST 2)
Date Opponent Result Score
4/104/164/245/15/85/155/225/296/46/126/196/267/107/177/247/31 TULSA@LOUISVILLEMANCHESTERFLORIDA@BIRMINGHAMCOLUMBUS@ALBANY@CAPE FEARFLORIDATENN. VALLEY@COLUMBUS@FLORIDACAPE FEAR@TENN. VALLEY@MEMPHISBIRMINGHAM LLWLLWLL 40-4942-7857-3423-5827-5555-4037-5642-60

HEAD COACH: Firecats’ Head Coach Ben Bennett played college ball at Duke under Steve Spurrier. Bennett was the 1980 ACC Rookie of the Year, and he was named ACC Player of the Year in 1982 and 1983. Bennett went on to have one of the prolific careers of any quarterback in Arena Football League history. He was named the AFL Most Valuable Player in 1988 while playing with the Chicago Bruisers. He is only quarterback in AFL history to lead three different teams to a total of five Arena Bowls.

LEAGUE TOP 10s:
FIRECATS
Player Rank Category Stat
Steve Gorrie 1 Rushing 229
Cainon Lamb T-6 Scoring 114
Cainon Lamb 6 Scoring (TD) 18
Quincy Sorrell 2 Tackles 44.5
Ken Mastrole T-7 Pass Rating 112.9

TALE OF THE TAPE: Here’s how Florida and Macon stack up:
Statistical FIRECATS KNIGHTS
Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 12 47.8 21 40.4
Scoring Defense 4 37.6 23 53.8
Total Offense 14 254.6 11 263.1
Total Defense 2 206.4 18 265.9
Pass Offense 19 213.2 13 233.1
Pass Defense 2 183.5 17 239.8
Rushing Offense 1 41.4 5 30.0
Rushing Defense 17 22.9 22 26.1
Scoring (Non-Kick) 11 336 21 280
Scoring (Kicking) 17 46 20 43
Pass Rating 4 112.9 25 88.5
Pass Def. Rating 8 100.5 16 108.2
Kickoff Returns 11 19.8 11 19.8
MFG Returns 15 17.6 23 10.0
Turnover Margin 23 -6 26 -13
Field Goals 4 .444 10 .357
PAT Kicking 8 .773 14 .757
Sacks By 15 10 25 4
Sacks Against 4 4 11 7
First Downs 7 129 9 128
Opp. First Downs 7 111 10 113
Penalties 25 76.5 13 55.9
Opp. Penalties 11 461 3 330
Red Zone Offense 15 73.5 13 75.0
Red Zone Defense 4 65.2 18 77.3


Gorrie and Lamb Rip Pages Out of Firecats Record Book

Estero, FL- Firecats fullback Steve Gorrie and receiver Cainon Lamb shattered two more Firecats records on Saturday night, paving the way for a 43-20 win over the Memphis Xplorers.

Prior to the game, it was unknown if Steve Gorrie would even suit up for the game. Gorrie had banged up his knee, and it was not until two hours before the game that he decided to play through the pain. After limited play, Gorrie broke a 16-yard run virtually untouched to find the end zone at the end of the first half. It was clear that the fire that Gorrie was infamous for had returned. Midway through the fourth quarter, Gorrie again found himself in the end zone, only five yards short of the Firecats’ single season rushing record of 220 yards, held by former Firecat Johnny Frost. After Memphis turned the ball over on downs, Gorrie got the call on first down. Gorrie broke it for eleven yards to become the team single season record holder, and the season is only at the midpoint. Gorrie finished the night running for 61 yards and two touchdowns on only 11 carries. He also reset the 2004 af2 season high that he set four weeks ago. His season total is now at 229 yards, best in the entire league. Gorrie also caught a two-point conversion and a pass for seven yards. He is well into a superb “run” at af2 rookie of the year.

Only one quarter into the game, quarterback Ken Mastrole hit up Cainon Lamb for 15 yards and six points, bringing his career total to 306 points. On the play, he broke former Firecat Anthony Dixon’s team career record of 302 points. In his typical fashion, Lamb quickly returned the ball to the official and prepared himself to hold for kicker Matt Groff’s extra point attempt. The Firecats faked the extra point, but they came up short. Lamb is also the Firecats’ career leader in touchdown receptions. He finished the night with three receptions for 51 yards and two touchdowns. He also added two tackles and a pass deflection on defense, and he had 86 yards in kick returns.

Quarterback Ken Mastrole was about as perfect as a quarterback can be. Mastrole completed 15 of his 19 pass attempts for 198 yards and four touchdowns. Along with Lamb and Gorrie, he found four other targets. Magic Benton caught seven passes for 71 yards and the first score of the game. Brent Burnside caught an incredible 39-yard touchdown, and Anthony Snead pulled in two tosses for 14 yards. Tight end Dunstan Anderson also snagged his first catch of the season, and he dragged defenders to turn it into a 16- yard gain.

The Firecats defense put together an incredible effort to hold last week’s offensive player of the week, Memphis quarterback Brian Jones, to only three total touchdowns. The defensive backfield of Roy Stabler, Quincy Sorrell, Desmond Washington, and Brent Burnside made many incredible plays to hold the Xplorers to only 20 points. The linebacker corps of Lamb, Gorrie, and Chris Morant repeatedly made plays all night. The defensive front of Comone Fisher, Keith Drayton, Victor Hall, Dunstan Anderson, T.J. Gholston, and Brian Devine created problems for the Xplorer offense all night as well. Sorrell led the team with eight tackles, and Washington knocked four of Jones’ passes out of the air. Morant had five tackles (1.5 for a loss), a forced fumble, a sack, and two quarterback hurries. Drayton and Fisher also had sacks, and Anderson (1.0) and Stabler (0.5) had tackles for a loss.

Kicker Matt Groff added two extra points and a field goal to the cause.

Steve Gorrie, Roy Stabler, and Cainon Lamb won the Baby Ruth Real Deal Offensive Player of the Game, ADT Defensive Player of the Game, and U.S. Army Ironman of the Game awards, respectively. The win improves the Firecats’ record to 5-3, and the loss dropped the Memphis Xplorers to 4-4.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
QB Ken Mastrole- Mastrole has an extensive professional resume. He began his career with the Chicago Bears, and he played a season with the Amsterdam Admirals of the NFL Europe. He threw for 2,284 yards and 55 touchdowns in only 11 games last season.

WR/LB Cainon Lamb- Lamb returns to the Firecats after a stellar 2003 season. He caught 110 passes for 1,297 yards and 32 touchdowns. Lamb is on pace to own all Firecat receiving and scoring records by the end of the season.

WR/LB Anthony Snead- Snead comes to the Firecats after spending the 2003 season with the Macon Knights. He caught 90 passes for 1,140 yards and 17 touchdowns.

OS Magic Benton- Benton caught 77 passes for 821 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2003. Benton has been with the Firecats since the team was established.

FB/LB Chris Morant- Morant has been getting it done on all phases of the ball this season, whether it be on offense, defense, or special teams.

DS Quincy Sorrell- Sorrell returns to the Firecats after a solid 2003 season. Sorrell had 54 tackles, 2 interceptions, and two forced fumbles last year.

FB/LB Steve Gorrie- Gorrie came into the NFL draft as one of the top ranked fullbacks in the draft. He is also a former Division II Player of the Year. Gorrie currently leads the league in rushing.

DS Roy Stabler- Stabler led the team last year with 79.5 tackles. He also has four interceptions, 19 pass breakups, and four fumble recoveries.

OL/DL Victor Hall- Hall is number ten on the AFL all-time sack list. He was the line coach last year for the Firecats. He recently came out of retirement to return to the game.

OL/DL Comone Fisher- Fisher had 23 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 fumble recoveries in 2003 for the Firecats.

FIRECATS RECORD WATCH
Player Record Stat To Break
C.Lamb Rec. 61 +34
C.Lamb Rec Yds 1787 +542
K.Mastrole Pass Yds 1727 +702



BABY RUTH REAL DEAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME (selected by media)
Week Opp. Player
10 MEMPHIS

ADT DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME AWARD
(selected by media)
Week Opp. Player
10 MEMPHIS

U.S. ARMY IRONMAN OF THE GAME
(selected by media)
Week Opp. Player
10 MEMPHIS

LAST SERIES MEETING: The Firecats went into the Macon Coliseum on May 1, 2004, and they knocked off the Knights by a score of 58-23. Fullback Steve Gorrie ran nine times for 57 yards, and he ultimately won the af2 U.S. Army Ironman of the Week award.

FORWARD MOTION: The Firecats return home to host the Columbus Knights. The last time that Columbus came into Estero, they were nearly shut out. The final score was 40-7 with Columbus scoring in the final minutes of the game.

GORRIE RUNS FOR af2 RUSHING RECORD: After running for 61 yards Saturday to break the Firecats season record in only eight games, Gorrie now has 229 yards rushing. He needs 211 yards to break the af2 season record, which is an average of 26.3 yards a game. He currently averages 28.3 yards a game.

SORRELL FIGHTS FOR TOP SPOT: Defensive specialist Quincy Sorrell has moved up to the number two spot in tackles for the league. Sorrell had eight solo stops last week against the Memphis Xplorers to bring his season total to 44.5 tackles. Sorrell was second on the team last year with 55 tackles.

NEW NAME FOR FIRECATS HOME : The name of the Firecats’ arena will now be known as Germain Arena, effective June 1, 2004. The arena was formerly known as Teco Arena.

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