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Florida Firecats game notes

July 12, 2007 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Florida Firecats News Release

QUICK FACTS:

Florida Firecats (10-4, 3-3) vs.

Alabama Steeldogs (5-8, 1-3)

Date: Saturday July 14th 2007

Kickoff: 8 p.m. EST

Site: BJCC

National Anthem:

Coin Toss: Referee

Officials:

Referee: Marc Curles

Umpire: Mark Baynes Head Linesman: Gerry Austin Line Judge: Larry Neal

Back Judge: Tony Ross

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

TV: NONE

Series Record: 8-3 FLA

Last Meeting: 29-21 FLA 6/2/07

Streaks: FLA Lost 1; ALA Lost 5

Coaches: Kevin Bouis (37-9) 3rd Season

Ron Selesky (31-30) 2nd Season @ Alabama

THE STAKES: The Firecats will be looking to rebound with a win against the Steeldogs. Florida will need to win out to have a chance to win the South Division. A win over Alabama would improve Florida to 4-3 in the division.

THE SERIES: The Firecats have an 8-3 series advantage over the Steelsdogs and have won the last 6 match-ups.

THE IF's:

If Florida defeats Alabama, it would ...

- Give Florida its' 11th win of the year

- Give Florida a 7-3 record against National Conf. teams

- Give Florida a 9-3 series lead over Alabama

- Give Florida a 4-3 division record

- Keep Florida in 1st place in the South Division

Florida Firecats (10-4, 3-3; 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 WIN 29-21

6/09 @ Tennessee 8:30 WIN 53-37

6/16 Manchester 7:30 WIN 49-27

6/23 Albany 7:30 WIN 64-41

6/30 @ Oklahoma City 8:00 WIN 69-38

7/07 South Georgia 7:30 LOST 47-40

7/14 @ Alabama 8:00

7/28 @ Manchester 7:00

ALABAMA STEELDOGS (5-8, 1-3; LOST 5)

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 L 29-21

6/8 Bossier-Shreveport 7:00 L 32-49

6/16 @ WB/Scranton 6:00 L 62-77

6/30 Tennessee 7:00 L 33-35

7/7 @ Oklahoma City 7:05 L 45-56

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.

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.

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".

LAST SERIES MEETING: Florida 29 - Alabama 21

The Florida Firecats defense came up with their biggest play of the night on the Alabama Steeldogs final drive as Kris Thomas intercepted an errant Mitch Tannney pass to preserve a 29-21 victory with 20 seconds left to play in the game.

The Firecats scored the games only points in the 1st quarter as Will Nicoloso booted a 29 yard field goal to give Florida the 3-0 lead. Alabama would answer quickly and take a 7-3 lead when Tanney threw his 1st of 3 TD passes connecting with Markeith Cooper. The teams traded scores into the half with Florida trailing at the break 14-10. John Olinger, who led all receivers with 11 receptions for 101 yards, caught his 1st of 2 scores with just 7 seconds left in the 2nd quarter.

Offensive Player of the Game FB Wallace House gave Florida a lead they would not relinquish running for a score at the 9:42 mark in the 3rd. The Firecats scored again as US Army Iron man of the Game WR Chris McKinney caught his 2nd TD pass putting the Firecats up 22-14. McKinney also earned the Cutters Catch of the Game with his 1st TD grab as he went up and over the boards in the endzone in the 2nd quarter.

Tony Stubbs wan named the ADT Defensive Player of the Game and led all defenders with 6 tackles and 1 forced fumble. The Firecats defense also got 4 sacks in the game.

LEAGUE TOP 10s: Players from this week's match up who ranked among af2's statistical leaders:

Firecats

Player Rank Category Stat

Chris Wallace 10 Total Offense 260.2yds/g

Chris Wallace 5 Total Offensive TDs 79

Chris Wallace 9 Passing 259.6 yds/g

Chris Wallace 4 Completion Perc 65%

Chris Wallace 5 Passing Attempts 466

Chris Wallace T5 Passing TDs 74

Chris Wallace 3 Passing Efficiency 122.1

Magic Benton 9 Receiving 104.1 yds/g

Magic Benton 6 Receptions 106

Wallace House 2 Rushing 25.9yds/g

Wallace House 8 Rushing Attempts 56

Wallace House T6 Rushing TDs 12

Wallace House 4 Yds Per Rush 4.2yds/rush

Levy Brown 1 Interceptions 13

Levy Brown 1 Tackles 116.0

Levy Brown 2 Passes Defended 37

Quincy Sorrell 10 Tackles 75.5

Alfred Peterson 6 Tackles For Loss 12.0

Antonio Dingle 6 Fumbles Forced 4

Steeldogs

Player Rank Category Stat

Mitch Tanney 9 Passing Efficiency 110.0

Nick Hayes 7 Field Goals 62%

Nick Hayes 9 PAT Kicking 83.5%

Eric Scott 10 Tackles for Loss 11.0

Willie Smith T8 Fumble Recover 4

Player Match-ups to Watch:

Firecats FB Wallace House vs. Steeldogs Defense: The 6'1" 290lb House ranks 2nd in the af2 rushing for 25.9 yards per game. He averages 4.2 yards per carry. The Steeldogs rank 28th in the league surrendering 26.4 yards per game on the ground.

Firecats DL Alfred Peterson vs. Steeldogs O-Line: Peterson has set a new single season team record with 8 sacks on the year. The Steeldogs line has given up 28 QB sacks on the year.

Firecats QB Chris Wallace vs Alabama's Secondary: Wallace has completed 65% of his passes this season and has the af2's 3rd highest efficiency rating at 122.1. The Steeldogs give up an average of 245.5 yards per game and have the 29th ranked pass defense rating at 115.1. The Steeldogs defense did play well against the Firecats earlier this year however holding their offense to just 29 points.

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

Statistical Steeldogs Firecats

Category Rank Stat Rank Stat

Scoring Offense 21 44.9 ppg 14 50.3

Scoring Defense 13 47.1 ppg 2 35.9 ppg

Total Offense 18 250.2yds/g 6 287.7yds/g

Total Defense 20 271.9yds/g 2 221.1yds/g

Pass Offense 18 231.5yds/g 10 256.8yds/g

Pass Defense 20 245.5yds/g 3 206.8yds/g

Rushing Offense T15 18.7yds/g 4 30.9yds/g

Rushing Defense 28 26.4yds/g 4 14.4yds/g

Pass Rating 15 100.9 2 121.7

Pass Def. Rating 29 115.1 4 77.7

Kickoff returns 24 15.7yds/ret 28 14.7yds/ret

MFG Returns 23 14.2yds/ret 29 11.9yds/ret

Turnover Margin T17 -.31 4 1.36

Field Goals 14 8-23 26 1-6

PAT Kicking 9 .835 24 .713

Sacks By T16 18 5 29

Sacks Against 24 28 3 9

First Downs T10 249 8 252

Opp. First Downs T18 237 T21 242

Penalties 11 55.5yds/g 7 52.4yds/g

Opp. Penalties 7 67.0yds/g 23 52.4yds/g

NATIONAL CONFERENCE

SOUTH DIVISION

Florida 10-4 (3-3)

South Georgia 9-4(4-1)

Tenn Valley 5-8 (3-4)

Alabama 5-8 (1-3)

SOUTHWEST DIVISION

Rio Grande Valley 12-1 (7-1)

Bossier-Shreveport 10-3 (6-0)

Corpus Christi 3-10 (3-6)

Texas 2-11 (2-6)

Laredo 1-12 (1-6)

CENTRAL DIVISION

Tulsa 11-2 (5-2)

Arkansas 9-4 (5-1)

Oklahoma City 7-6 (3-2)

Lubbock 6-6 (3-5)

Amarillo 3-10 (1-7)

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

10 ALA Wallace House - FLA

11 TVV Wallace House - FLA

12 MAN Magic Benton - FLA

13 ALB Chris Wallace - FLA

14 OKC Chris Wallace - FLA

15 SGW Magic Benton - 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

10 ALA Chris McKinney - FLA

12 MAN Brent Burnside - FLA

13 ALB Comone Fisher - FLA

15 SGW Brent Burnside - 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

10 ALA Tony Stubbs - FLA

11 TVV Levy Brown - FLA

12 MAN Tony Stubbs - FLA

13 ALB Alfred Peterson - FLA

14 OKC Levy Brown - FLA

15 SGW 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

10 ALA Chris McKinney - FLA

11 TVV Ethenic Sands - F:A

13 ALB Magic Benton - FLA

15 SGW Magic Benton - FLA

Drop Back: South Georgia 47 - Florida 40

The South Georgia Wildcats exploded to a 34 -13 lead at halftime and hung on for a 47-40 win over the Florida Firecats at Germain Arena. Florida had it's largest crowd of the season with 6,683 fans on hand for the Firecats final home game of the regular season.

South Georgia scored the games 1st 20 points with a pair of touchdown receptions by James Robinson and an interception return for a score by Greg Golden. The Wildcats would score with 5 seconds left in the half to take a 20 point lead into the break, 34-13.

Magic Benton caught his 1st of 3, 3rd quarter touchdowns on Florida's 1st possession of the 2nd half. Benton now has 996 career points and needs just 4 more to become the 1st player to score 1000 career points.

South Georgia finished the night 7 of 11 on 3rd downs and converted on 6 of 9 trips inside the redzone. The Wildcats also forced 3 turnovers and stopped Florida on 4th down 3 times. Florida would twice pull within a score of South Georgia but couldn't complete the comeback.

DB Levy Brown led all defenders with 11 tackles, giving him 116.5 on the year. He also collected his 13th interception leaving him 2 shy of the af2 single season record.

Look Ahead: The Firecats have a bye week before closing out the regular season on the road against the Manchester Wolves. The Firecats have a 4-1 all-time record against the Wolves including the playoffs. The Firecats defeated the Wolves 49-27 earlier this year.

Florida will need to win it's final 2 games and get some help from one of South Georgia's opponent's to win the South Division for the 4th straight year and ensure themselves of atleast one home playoff game.

Firecats Milestones:

WR Magic Benton has 996 career points and needs just 4 more to become the 1st player in af2 history to score 1000 career points.

DB Levy Brown has 116.5 tackles this season and needs just 5.5 tackles to break the single season record of 121.5 currently held by William Haith (2005). Brown also has 13 interceptions, 2 shy of the single season record currently held by Kelley Snell (2002).

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