Jerry Turner named U.S. Army Lineman of the Year
August 16, 2006 - arenafootball2 (af2) News Release
CHICAGO - Bakersfield Blitz OL/DL JERRY TURNER has been named the U.S. Army Lineman of the Year, as selected by a vote of af2 head coaches and beat writers.
Turner, in his fourth af2 season and first with Bakersfield, was a difference maker for the Blitz in 2006. The Tennessee Tech alum posted a team-record 16 sacks in just 14 games, a total which also tied him for first overall in the af2. Turner's impressive sack season brought his career total to 37.5 overall, which ties him with former Arkansas and Tulsa lineman Greg Taylor for most sacks in league history.
He came into the year with 21.5 sacks over a three-year stint with Birmingham (2001, 2002, 2004). He is still the Steeldogs' all-time sack leader.
Turner's presence had a direct and profound impact on the Bakersfield defense this season. Last year without Turner, the Blitz registered just 21 sacks. In 2006, that total doubled to 42 sacks. They improved to second overall as a team in that category, up from eighth overall in 2005.
Bakersfield qualified for the playoffs this season after a 9-7 regular season mark. The No. 6 seed Blitz, bolstered by Turner and their defense, advanced to the semifinals thanks to a 45-37 first round win at No. 3-ranked Central Valley. Turner had 4.5 tackles and 3.0 sacks in the victory.
The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder had 10 games with at least one sack and four games in which he racked up two or more. Turner ranked second on the Blitz with three fumble recoveries and sixth in tackles with 27.5. Turner was honored as ADT Defensive Player of the Game four times in 2006. He also earned league recognition as ADT Defensive Player of the Week for his Week 11, three-sack performance in a road win against Tennessee Valley.
The 2006 ArenaCup playoffs continue this weekend with the Conference Championship games. Both games will be played on Saturday. In the American Conference Championship, the South Division Champion Florida Firecats host the East Division Champion Green Bay Blizzard at 7:30 p.m. ET. The National Conference Championship will feature the West Division Champion Spokane Shock hosting the Arkansas Twisters at 10:00 p.m. ET. The winner of each Conference Championship will meet at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the 2006 ArenaCup on Saturday, August 26. Tickets are available by logging on to www.ticketpop.com or by calling (866) 994-0001.
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