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Florida Firecats game notes

May 30, 2007 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Florida Firecats News Release

QUICK FACTS:

Florida Firecats (5-3, 1-3) @

Alabama Steeldogs (5-3, 1-1)

Date: Saturday June 2nd 2007

Kickoff: 7:40 p.m. EST

Site: Germain Arena

National Anthem:

Coin Toss: Referee

Officials:

Referee: Mike Pavese

Umpire: Brent Sowell

Head Linesman: Mitch Geier

Line Judge: Folayan Kindred

Back Judge: Barry Hendon

Internet: www.FloridaFirecats.com, www.ABC-7.com & www.NBC-2.com

TV: NONE

Series Record: 6-3 Florida

Last Meeting: 60-27 Florida 6/24/06

Streaks: FLA - WON 1; ALA - WON 1

Coaches: Kevin Bouis (32-7) 3rd Season

Ron Selesky (31-25) 2nd Season @ AL, 4th overall

THE STAKES: The Firecats need a win to take the head to head advantage over the Steeldogs this season.

THE SERIES: This is the 10th meeting between these divisional opponents. Florida holds a 6-3 advantage in the series

THE IF's:

If Florida defeats Alabama, it would ...

- Give Florida their 6th straight win over Alabama

- Give Florida a 2-2 divisional record

- Give Florida its' 6th Win of the year

- Give Florida a tie breaker advantage over Alabama

- Move Florida to 2nd place in the division

Florida Firecats (5-3, 1-2; Lost 1)

Date Opponent Result Score

3/31 Oklahoma City 7:30 WIN 55-22

4/06 @ Texas 8:00 WIN 54-13

4/13 @ Tennessee 8:30 WIN 61-34

4/21 WB Scranton 7:30 LOST 58-36

4/28 Tennessee 7:30 LOST 39-38

5/05 @ Albany 4:00 WIN 56-51

5/12 @ South Georgia 7:30 LOST 49-38

5/19 Mahoney Valley 7:30 WIN 62-26

6/02 Alabama 7:30

6/09 @ Tennessee 8:30

6/16 Manchester 7:30

6/23 Albany 7:30

6/30 @ Oklahoma City 8:00

7/07 South Georgia 7:30

7/14 @ Alabama 8:00

7/28 @ Manchester 7:00

Alabama Steeldogs (5-3, 1-1; WON 1)

Date Opponent Result Score

3/30 @ Tennessee 7:30 L 27-44

4/12 South Georgia 7:00 W 57-54

4/21 Louisville Fire 7:00 W 63-47

4/28 @ Tulsa Talons 7:30 L 33-57

5/3 Texas Copperheads 7:00 W 58-27

5/12 Quad City 7:00 W 53-51

5/19 @ Louisville Fire 7:00 L 35-53

5/26 @ Cincinnati 8:00 W 65-33

6/2 @ Florida Firecats 7:30

6/8 Bossier-Shreveport 7:00

6/16 @ WB/Scranton 6:00

6/30 Tennessee 7:00

7/7 @ Oklahoma City 7:05

7/14 Florida Firecats 7:00

7/21 @ South Georgia 6:30

7/28 Cincinnati 7:00

HEAD COACH:

Kevin Bouis is set to begin his 3rd year as head coach and 6th year overall with the Florida Firecats. In his 1st 2 seasons at the helm he guided the team to a 27-5 regular season record going 13-3 in 2006 & 14-2 in 2005 (the af2's best record that year). Last year the Firecats captured their 3rd straight South Divisional Championship. 2006 also marked the 2nd straight season that Florida had home field advantage in the playoffs. 2006 also saw the Firecats play in their 3rd straight American Conference Championship game. As the defensive coordinator, Bouis helped coach the Firecats to an Arena Cup Championship in 2004. That year Kevin's Defense was ranked #1 in total defense, #1 in pass defense, #3 in rush defense & #2 in scoring defense(38.2 pts/g).

Stifling defense has been a signature of the Firecats since Bouis arrived in 2002 when the Firecats finished 5th in scoring defense (38.1 pts/g), 5th in rushing defense and 7th in pass def rating on their way to their 1st arena cup appearance and the American Conference Championship. In 2003 his defense to finished 2nd in scoring defense (39.2 pts/g), 7th total defense and 4th in pass def rating.

He is a former player for the National Indoor Football League's Mississippi Firedogs. He helped his team win two League championships, 2000 and 2001, winning All-NIFL honors. In three seasons with the Firedogs (99-01), Bouis totaled 30 defensive turnovers, 23 interceptions and 7 fumble recoveries. In 2000 and 2001 Bouis led the team in tackles and interceptions. He won the honor of being the IPFL defensive player of the week in 2000. In 1999, Bouis helped the Firedogs qualify for the first round of the playoffs in their inaugural season (9-7). During his tenure with the Firedogs he registered 189 tackles including 81 in 2000.

As a player at the University of Texas El Paso/University of Kentucky, Bouis was furnished with a full scholarship and was a two-year varsity letterman in Football at UTEP, who started as a true freshman and sophomore. He then transferred and completed his college football career at the University of Kentucky.

Bouis holds a B.A. in Education from UK and has an M.B.A. from William Carey College.

Assistant Head Coach OL/DL & FB/LB: Victor Hall "Sack Man" coached with the Firecats in 2003 before returning to the field as a player in 2004. Hall returned to the sideline in 2005 as the Assistant Head Coach. The Auburn grad who was in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings from 1991-1993 and the Indianapolis Colts for the 93-94 season has an Orlando Predators Arena Bowl ring to go along with the hardware he received last year and has the distinction as being the 1st player to win both an AFL and af2 championship.

Hall is also an ex-police officer and became the youngest Chief of Police in Alabama at the age of 23. Vic can be seen as an extra through out the Adam Sandler film "The Waterboy".

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Ken Mastrole is in his 3rd year as coordinator after leading the Firecats to the championship as QB in 2004. in 2006 Mastrole's offense ranked #1 in the af2 scoring nearly 60 points per game. He played his college ball at Maryland & Rhode Island also had stints with the Chicago Bears in the NFL, The Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe & the Detroit Fury in the AFL.

LAST SERIES MEETING: The af2's top ranked offense was firing on all cylinders scoring on their 1st nine drives as the Firecats easily defeated the Birmingham Steeldogs 60-27 in the Magic City. With the win, Florida secured their hold on the South Division, improving their record to a league best 9-2. Birmingham fell back to .500 with the loss, at 6-6.

Chris Wallace finished 20 of 32 for 255 yards and seven touchdowns and was named the Schutt Offensive Player of the Game.

The Firecats scored the games 1st two touchdowns as Wallace found the U.S. Army Ironman of the Game Ethenic Sands for 2 of his 4 TD receptions, jumping out to a 14-0 advantage.

Lawrence Story led the Steeldogs' receiving corps, catching five passes for 84 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Hawk to cut it to 14-7 but the Steeldogs never got any closer as Florida scored the next 20 points to take a 34-7 halftime lead.

Florida's Brittney Tellis caught nine passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns while Sands caught six passes for 48 yards and four scores. Magic Benton caught a pair of TD's as well, his 128th and 129th career scores as he moved into the af2's all-time #1 spot in terms of touchdowns scored. Magic has now scored 784 career points tying him for 1st all-time. Benton finished the night with 6 catches for 105 yards.

Florida's smothering defense was led by the ADT Defensive Player of the Game Levy Brown who finished the game with 5 tackles and a pair of interceptions. His 1st earned him the Cutters catch of the game honors as well.

The defense accounted for 4 turnovers, 3 sacks and surrendered only 190 total yards while giving up the 2nd lowest point total of the season.

Birmingham QB Ryan Hawk struggled under center, completing six of 11 passes for 76 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was pulled at half-time and replaced by Robert Kent in the second half, who completed nine of 19 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown and ran for another. He also threw an interception on the last play of the game, picked off by Brent Burnside.

LEAGUE TOP 20s: Players from this week's match up who ranked among af2's statistical leaders:

Firecats

Player Rank Category Stat

Chris Wallace 7 Passing Yards 264.6 yd/g

Chris Wallace 7 Total Offense 264.1 yd/g

Levy Brown 3 Passes Defended 21

Levy Brown T1 Interceptions 7

Chris Wallace 5 Pass Rating 116.9

Levy Brown 1 Tackles 66.5

Quincy Sorrell T18 Tackles 43

Steeldogs

Player Rank Category Stat

Mitch Tanney 6 Pass Comp. Perc. 64.4

Mitch Tanney 8 Pass Efficiency 115.0

Eric Scott 5 Sacks 6.5

TALE OF THE TAPE: Here's how the Firecats and Wildcats stack up:

Statistical Steeldogs Firecats

Category Rank Stat Rank Stat

Scoring Offense 18 48.9 ppg 15 50.0 ppg

Scoring Defense 12 45.8 ppg 4 36.5 ppg

Total Offense 23 247.6yds/g 5 285.8yds/g

Total Defense 22 266.9yds/g 2 219.4yds/g

Pass Offense 21 226yds/g 7 260.5yds/g

Pass Defense 20 240.6yds/g 2 202.9yds/g

Rushing Offense 13 21.6yds/g 12 25.2yds/g

Rushing Defense 24 26.2yds/g 9 16.5yds/g

Pass Rating 14 100.9 4 116.4

Pass Def. Rating 21 107.8 4 77.1

Kickoff returns 19 15.5yds/ret 23 14.9 yd/ret

MFG Returns 26 11.2yds/ret 27 11yds/ret

Turnover Margin T9 .38 5 1.5

Field Goals T14 5-15 30 0-3

PAT Kicking 10 .815 19 .745

Sacks By T15 12 T3 18

Sacks Against 24 18 T3 5

First Downs 11 147 12 145

Opp. First Downs T13 138 19 145

Penalties 12 54.4yds/g 6 47yds/g

Opp. Penalties 7 65.8yds/g T18 55.8yds/g

NATIONAL CONFERENCE

SOUTH DIVISION

South Georgia 6-2 (2-1)

Alabama 5-3 (1-1)

Florida 5-3 (1-2)

Tenn Valley 4-4 (2-2)

SOUTHWEST DIVISION

Rio Grande Valley 7-1 (4-1)

Bossier-Shreveport 6-2 (4-0)

Texas 2-6 (2-2)

Corpus Christi 1-6 (1-4)

Laredo 0-8 (0-4)

CENTRAL DIVISION

Tulsa 7-1 (4-1)

Arkansas 6-2 (3-0)

Oklahoma City 4-3 (2-1)

Lubbock 3-5 (1-4)

Amarillo 1-7 (1-5)

SCHUTT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME AWARD

(selected by media)

Week Opp. Player

1 OKC Ethenic Sands - FLA

3 TV Chris Wallace - FLA

5 TV Chris Wallace - FLA

8 MHV Chris McKinney - FLA

U.S. ARMY IRONMAN OF THE GAME AWARD

(selected by media)

Week Opp. Player

1 OKC Brent Burnside - FLA

3 TV Brent Burnside - FLA

6 ALB Brent Burnside - FLA

8 MHV Levy Brown - FLA

ADT DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME AWARD

(selected by media)

Week Opp. Player

1 OKC Levy Brown - FLA

3 TV Levy Brown - FLA

5 TV Levy Brown - FLA

6 ALB Alfred Peterson - FLA

8 MHV Levy Brown - FLA

CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME AWARD

(selected by media)

Week Opp. Player

1 OKC Magic Benton - FLA

5 TV Chris McKinney - FLA

8 MHV Magic Benton - FLA

Player Match-ups to Watch:

DB Levy Brown vs QB Mitch Taney: As a rookie Taney has been impressive completing 64.4% of his passes and throwing just 5 Interceptions. Brown on the other hand is averaging close to 1 pick per game and leads the leage in tackles.

WR Jon Olinger vs. Firecats DB's: Olinger leads the Steeldogs with 11 TD receptions, his 6'5" allows the quarterback to toss it up high and let him use his height to shield the ball from the defenders. The Firecats secondary averages 6ft per man.

QB Chris Wallace vs. Steeldogs Defense: Wallace ranks among the af2's top 10 in 9 different passing categories. Alabama surrenders 240 yards passing per game and owns the 3rd worst 3rd down defense allowing their opponents to pickup 1st downs 46.8% of the time. The Steeldogs will have to be on top of their game to shut down the veteran QB and his potent receivers.

Drop Back: Florida 62, Mahoning Valley 26

The Florida Firecats scored a season high 62 points behind QB Chris Wallace's 213 yard 5 touchdown pass performance to earn a 36 point win over the Mahoning Valley Thunder at Germain Arena. Florida also got 3 rushing TD's from FB Wallace House in the victory in front of a crowd of 5,038 fans. The win improved Florida to 5-3 on the year while Mahining Valley dropped it's 4th straight running their record to 3-4.

The Mahoning Valley Thunder took their only lead of the game on a 11 TD pass from Glen Gauntt to DeMarcus Mathes with 11:17 to go in the 2nd which put them up 7-6. Florida would score 3 more times in the half to take a 27-13 lead into the break. Florida scored on the opening possession of the 3rd quarter to stretch their lead to 34-13 on a scoring run by WR Chris McKinney.

With Florida up 41-13 the Thunder scored back to back TD's to pull within 15 at 41-26 early in the 4th quarter, but Florida responded with authority as Wallace House ran for the games final 3 scores.

The game was stopped briefly during the 4th quarter when Thunder receiver Chris Johnson went down with a broken arm and was taken to a local hospital.

The Firecats went 8 for 8 in the redzone while the Thunder converted just 3 of 6 trips near the goal line into points. The Firecats have a bye week before hosting the Alabama Steeldogs June 2nd. The Thunder will look to snap their 4 game loosing streak next week when they host the Manchester Wolves.

Look Ahead: The Firecats travel to Hunstville, Alabama to battle the Tennessee Valley Vipers for the 3rd time this season. Florida won the 1st match-up 61-34 in Huntsville. Tennessee evened the series with a 39-38 win in Ft. Myers in week 5. A win by the Firecats will not only improve their divisional record, but give the Firecats the head-to-head advantage over the Vipers.

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