Kansas City Brigade weekly
KANSAS CITY BRIGADE CONTINUES TO SOAR
The Brigade is flying high, playing its best football of the season as the home finale approaches. Already rabid fans have been even more supportive of the team, reflected by ticket sales and TV ratings that continue to surpass all expectations. Tickets sold for the May 6 final home game against the Orlando Predators is already over 13,000 for Fan Appreciation Night.
BRIGADE ORGANIZATIONAL MOVES
It was announced today that as of May 1 Reggie Harris will no longer hold the General Manager position with the Kansas City Brigade. The position has been eliminated within the organization. Robert Smith, the Director of Player Personnel, will continue to handle all of the matters on the team side, while other members of the front office staff, including President Tyler Prochnow and Vice President Neil Smith, will take on additional duties. Harris will continue to have other opportunities with organizations in which he is currently involved.
Kansas City Brigade at Tampa Bay Storm
Date: Saturday, April 29, 6:30 p.m. CST
Location: St. Pete Times Forum
TV: Broadcast live on the WB Kansas City and Metro Sports (Frye, Pearson, Boatwright)
Radio: 97.3 MAX-FM (Gervino, Weber)
Webcast: www.kcbrigade.com (game notes on the web site - the new team web site will launch in 35 days, so check out www.kcbrigade.com)
Coming off its first road win in franchise history, the Brigade starts to wrap up the Southern Division schedule in a rematch with the Storm. While the Brigade has won two of its last three, Tampa Bay is in the throes of a three-game losing streak. The Storm was 4-2 after its win in Kansas City but has since gone 2-5. The Brigade is playing its best football of the season and has consecutive wins, both on the road, in its sights.
Tampa Bay still has a potent offense, but it was limited to only 13 points last week in a loss at Orlando. The Brigade defensive line has the ability to force an ineffective performance by Storm quarterback Shane Stafford, but limiting him might not be enough. The real key will be whether the entire defense can stop Tampa Bay drives. The Brigade was successful in stopping two Nashville drives, once on downs and again as the game ended. The ability to prevent Storm scores and give the ball back to the offense could very well be the missing ingredient to the Brigade putting together a flawless game.
The Brigade offense proved last week against the league's top defense that it can score in a myriad of ways. Sanders and his teammates also protected the ball and got into the end zone every time the Brigade needed a score. The Storm defense will be vulnerable to long plays as both of its starting defensive specialists are out with injuries. That will work in Sanders' favor as Aaron Boone, James Jordan and Jerel Myers are capable of beating a defense on any given play.
These teams last met in Week 6 at Kemper Arena as the Brigade erupted for its first 50-point game of the season. Andy Kelly and Steve Smith were the offensive duo at the time and nearly brought the team back in the final minute before falling 69-59.
NEWS, NOTES, AND LEAGUE RANKINGS
- Chris Sanders has proven to be a prolific rushing quarterback and his stats back up that fact. He is now in a three-way tie for the most rushing touchdowns in the league with 11. Sanders has rushed for at least one touchdown in each of his six starts this season.
- Sanders is also producing with his arm, averaging five passing touchdowns per start. The last four games have been particularly productive as he has completed over 67 percent of his passes, including twice over 80 percent. His 108.1 passer rating is 12th in the league, but ninth among current starters.
- Aaron Boone continues to tear up the AFL, averaging 10.5 receptions, 125 yards and three touchdowns per game.
- Jerel Myers remains seventh in the league with 97 receptions. With a long touchdown reception against Nashville, he has scored at least one TD in 11 of the Brigade's 13 games.
- James Jordan tied a career-high last week with three touchdown catches, including two over 30 yards. It was his third multi-touchdown game of the season and the first since Week 8 at Austin. Jordan also received his third Ironman of the Game honor this season.
- Schlagle High School grad and Kansas City, Kan., resident Sam Simmons caught his first career touchdown-the game winner-against Nashville.
- The offense used the one-hitter quitter to its advantage last week, scoring twice over 30 yards on the first play from scrimmage. In all, four scoring plays totaled at least 30 yards. The unit also set a franchise record with 7.8 yards per play.
- The defense set a franchise record last week with seven pass breakups.
- In true Arena Football fashion, the last game between the Brigade and the Nashville Kats saw 14 lead changes.
- In winning its first road game of the season at Nashville, the Brigade moved to 3-1 when scoring first and 3-0 when leading at halftime. More impressively, the team made its first fourth-quarter comeback of the season. Down two, the offense scored the go-ahead touchdown with 00:39 left and the defense knocked down the Kats final pass attempt as the clock expired.
NOTE: For a comprehensive look at all AFL stats, go to www.aflmedia.com.
BRIGADE ROOKIES TAKE FLIGHT
The Brigade has played as many as seven rookies in a game this season but they have performed with exceptional confidence on a weekly basis. As these difference-makers continue to climb the statistical charts, the talk of all-rookie honors will only grow louder.
Among rookies (includes all rookies, not just their specific position)...
OS Aaron Boone (four games)
▪ Fourth in touchdown receptions
▪ Fifth in scoring for non-kickers
▪ Sixth in receptions
▪ Sixth in first downs
▪ Sixth in third down receptions
WR/LB Jerel Myers (13 games)
▪ Tied for first in receptions
▪ Third in touchdown receptions
▪ Third in receiving yards
▪ Third in first downs
▪ Third in yards from scrimmage
▪ Third in scoring for non-kickers
▪ Fifth in all-purpose yards
▪ Seventh in third down receptions
FB/LB Byron Douzart (12 games)
▪ Top five in rushing touchdowns
▪ Top 10 in rushing yards
▪ Second in special teams tackles (First among rookie FB/LB)
▪ Sixth in forced fumbles
▪ Top 10 in solo tackles
▪ Top 10 combined tackles
▪ Top 10 combined tackles for loss
DS Travis Coleman (10 games)
▪ Fourth in solo tackles
▪ Fourth in combined tackles
▪ Fifth in forced fumbles
- In conjunction with the Brigade, the American Red Cross sponsored a blood drive on Monday, April 24 at the Greater Kansas City Chapter headquarters. Donors included four Brigade players, vice president and co-owner Neil Smith and fan club members. Thirteen of the donors were giving blood for the first time. All donors were entered in a raffle to win tickets to the May 6 game and players were on hand to sign autographs.
As part of the Charles Drew Community Blood Donation Campaign, all of the blood collected at the drive will be typed to see if it matches any of the sickle cell patients at Children's Mercy Hospital.
- The Kansas City Brigade's first "Reading for the Future" program is about to conclude. The reading program requires students to read for 15 minutes four nights a week, and a parent or guardian must sign off each day's entry. If 14 nights of reading is completed, each student will receive a single ticket to the Kansas City Brigade's last regular season home game on Saturday, May 6. If 20 nights of reading is accomplished, the student and a parent or guardian will each receive a ticket.
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