Four Dawgz Selected to First Team All-af2
The arenafootball2 league office announced the American and National Conference All-af2 squads on Tuesday. Heading the first-team were four Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz, which was the most of any team in the af2.
After leading the Dawgz to a 10-7 overall record and a playoff bid in their inaugural season, QB Craig Strickland earned first-team honors along with WR/LB Al Hunt, OL/DL James Landers and Kicker Peter Martinez. The Yard Dawgz and the Southwest Division were represented well with seven players on the National Conference first team.
Its tremendous for the team to have four players represented on the All-af2 first team, Head Coach Gary Reasons said. All four guys are very deserving of these accolades and each of them have a bright future ahead.
Strickland gets the nod as the top quarterback in the National Conference after posting a leagues best 84 touchdown passes for 3,906 yards. This is Stricklands second time on the All-af2 squad, being awarded to the second team in 2003. During his miraculous season with the Yard Dawgz, Strickland overtook Sherard Poteete as the all-time af2 passer and ended the 2004 season with 14,415 career passing yards. He was awarded Baby Ruth Real Deal Player of the Game five times throughout the season.
Hunt was as good as advertised after a second team All-af2 bid in 2003. In only 14 games, Hunt hauled in 63 receptions for 1,112 yards for a team high 28 touchdowns. Hunt, along with Timon Marshall and rookie Kris Peters, made history being only the second trio in Arena Football and af2 history to each bring in over 1,000 yards receiving. On the defensive side of the ball, Hunt led the team with 53 tackles (41 UA, 24 AT), and was second in interceptions with two. In week two, Hunt was awarded US Ironman of the Week after bringing in five catches for 121 yards with an interception.
Landers came to Oklahoma City as a skilled and experienced offensive lineman. After four years with the Arkansas Twisters, Landers only had a total of 2.5 sacks for his career. With his hard work and great coaching, Landers soared to be one of the best defensive players in the entire league. Landers led the best defensive line core in the af2 with 8.5 sacks along side Drew Mitchell (8.0), Daryl Richardson (6.0), Ryan Bell (5.5) and Johnell Jones (5.0). He also led the league with five forced fumbles and fifth with three fumble recoveries. Landers was awarded ADT Defensive Player of the Game two times this season.
Martinez was one of the premier kickers in the af2 this season. Leading the league in Scoring (126) and PAT scoring (107-122), Martinez was almost automatic after a score. He took pride in kickoffs by trying to stop the opposing team from returning a kick for a touchdown. He ended up posting 11.5 tackles and even booted three balls over the net on kickoffs.
All 25 teams in the af2 vote on the awards. Each coach and the local sports writer vote for the honors and cannot vote for their own players. The league office then tallies the votes and then the list is composed.
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