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Louisville Fire game notes

April 18, 2006 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Louisville Fire News Release

QUICK FACTS:
Louisville Fire (0-2) vs.
Birmingham Steeldogs (1-1)
Date: Friday, April 21, 2006
Kickoff: 7:30 P.M.
Site: Freedom Hall (15,646)
Officials: Referee: Matt Austin; Umpire: Conrad Carney;
Head Linesman: Greg Bradley; Line Judge: Tommy Walsh;
Back Judge: Todd Ransom
Radio: None
TV: None
Series Record: Tied 3-3
Streaks: Fire Lost 2; Steeldogs Lost 1
Coaches: Tommy Johnson - Fire (28-26; 4-2 playoffs, Fourth Season)
Ron Selesky (20-14; 1-1 playoffs, 3rd Season
Overall; 1-1, 1st Season in Birmingham)



THE STAKES: The Fire is looking for their first win of the season and their fourth straight over the Steeldogs.

THE SERIES: The all-time series is tied at three games each. The Steeldogs won the first three meeting between the two; while the Fire is on a three game winning streak against the ‘Dogs.

THE IFs:
If Louisville defeats Birmingham, it would ...
- Give the Fire the Fire a 1-2 record
- Give the Fire a 4 - 3 lead in the series.
- Make the Fire 22 - 20 all-time in Freedom Hall
- Make the Fire 10 - 11 all-time in April
- Make the Fire 13 - 9 on Fridays

LOUISVILLE (0 - 2; Lost 2)
Date Opponent Result Score
3/31 @WB/Scranton L 45-37
4/14 Manchester L 39-34
Date Opponent Time Streak Series
4/21 Birmingham 7:30 W 3 Tied 3 - 3
4/29 Green Bay 7:00 L 2 Tied 3 - 3
5/5 @ Birmingham 8:00 W 3 Tied 3 - 3
5/13 @ Quad City 8:15 W 1 QC 6 - 3
5/20 Albany 7:00 W 2 Fire 3 - 1
5/27 @ Tennessee Valley 8:30 L 2 T.V. 2 - 0
6/3 WB/Scranton 7:00 L 1 Tied 2 - 2
6/10 Spokane 7:00 N/A 1st Meeting
6/17 @ Albany 7:00 W 2 Fire 3 - 1
6/23 @ Manchester 7:30 L 1 MAN 3 - 2
7/8 Memphis 7:00 L 1 MEM 5 - 2
7/15 Quad City 7:00 W 1 QC 6 - 3
7/22 @ Florida 7:30 W 1 Tied 1 - 1
7/28 @ Green Bay 8:30 L 2 Tied 3 - 3

BIRMINGHAM (1 - 1; Lost 1)
Date Opponent Result Score
4/8 EVERETT W 41-36
4/14 RIO GRANDE L 43-44
Date Opponent Time Streak Series
4/21 @ Louisville 7:30 L 3 Tied 3-3
4/29 @ South Georgia 8:00 W 1 SGA 2-1
5/5 LOUISVILLE 8:00 L 3 Tied 3-3
5/13 @ Florida 7:30 L 3 FLA 4-3
5/20 @ Tennessee Valley 8:30 L 1 TV 9-2
5/27 MACON 7:00 L 2 Tied 4-4
6/3 @ Everett 10:30 W 1 BHM 1-0
6/10 SOUTH GEORGIA 8:00 W 1 SGA 2-1
6/17 @ Memphis 8:00 L 2 BHM 3-2
6/24 FLORIDA 8:00 L 3 FLA 4-3
7/8 @ Rio Grande 8:00 L 1 Tied 1-1
7/15 @ Macon 8:00 L 2 Tied 4-4
7/22 MEMPHIS 8:00 L 2 BHM 3-2
7/29 TENNESSEE VALLEY 8:00 L 1 TV 9-2


HEAD COACHES:
TOMMY JOHNSON, FIRE
Louisville Fire head coach Tommy Johnson, was born in Rome, Ga., and raised in Niceville, Fla. He began his football career as a player at DeFuniak Springs (Fla.) High School. He later transferred to Niceville High School. Johnson then attended the University of Alabama, where he played defensive back. His senior class at U of A was known for having the most wins in a four-year time period (45-5-1). In 1992, he played on the Crimson Tide squad that defeated the University of Miami for the National Championship. Johnson then continued his football career with the Jacksonville Jaguars for a year. He also was given the opportunity to compete in NFL Europe. He started his Arena football career with the Albany Firebirds, and moved on to the Carolina Cobras. Johnson presently holds the record for the longest interception return for a touchdown in AFL history. In 2001, Johnson began his coaching career with the Fire as defensive coordinator. After two seasons as defensive coordinator Johnson was named head coach three games into the 2003 season, when the Fire made the late run winning two of those three games. In 2004, Johnson led the Fire to its first winning season (9-7), first af2 play-offs appearance and first play-off victory over Quad City 52-47. Last season Johnson led the Fire to three straight road play-offs wins and an American Conference Championship. The Fire fell short in the ArenaCup. Johnson is also the Fire's all-time leader in wins with 28.

RON SELESKY, BIRMINGHAM STEELDOGS
Head Coach Ron Selesky is an Arena Football League and af2 coaching veteran. He served as the defensive coordinator for the Columbus Destroyers in 2005 under Head Coach Chris Spielman. Prior to that, Selesky spent the 2004 season on the sidelines for the Carolina Cobras, beginning the year as the team's defensive coordinator before finishing the season as the head coach.

Selesky earned af2 Coach of the Year honors in 2002, guiding the expansion Albany Conquest to a regular-season mark of 13-3 and a Northeast Division title. He spent the 2001 season as the head coach of the Louisville Fire, leading the team to a 6-10 mark.

Selesky spent the 2003 season as head coach and director of football operations for the Buffalo Destroyers, prior to the team relocating to Columbus, Ohio. He also served as the director of player personnel and assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Storm from 1997 to 1999. With the Storm, his teams compiled a 31-11 regular season record and earned a berth in the 1998 ArenaBowl.

LAST SERIES MEETING: June 11, 2005: Louisville defeated Birmingham, 69-61, in Birmingham.

SERIES BY THE NUMBERS:
Record vs. Birmingham: 3 - 3
Last regular season game: Fire 69 Birmingham 61, June 11, 2005 in Birmingham
Current streak: Fire won three.
Fire longest win streak vs. Steeldogs: 3 (5/10/03 to present)
Steeldogs longest win streak vs. Fire: 3 (4/14/01 to 5/10/03)
Most points, Fire: 69 (LOU 69 - 61 at BIR, 6/11/05)
Most points, Steeldogs: 77 (BIR 77 - 34 at LOU, 7/27/02)
Most points, both teams: 130 (LOU 69 - 61 at BIR, 6/11/05)
Fewest points, Fire: 21 (BIR 39-21 at LOU 4/14/02)
Fewest points, Steeldogs: 37 (LOU 40 - 37 at BIR 5/10/02)
Fewest points, both teams: 60 (BIR 39-21 at BIR (4/14/02)

SCHUTT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME AWARD
(Selected by media)
Week Opp. Player Team
1 WB/S Rob Mager LOU
3 MAN Marc Bacote MAN

US ARMY IRONMAN OF THE GAME
(Selected by media)
Week Opp. Player Team
1 WBS Yaacov Yisreal WBS
3 MAN Mark Kimener MAN

ADT DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME AWARD
(Selected by media)
Week Opp. Player Team
1 WBS Joe Hollister WBS
3 MAN Allistar Sebastian MAN

CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME
(Selected by media)
Week Opp. Player Team
3 MAN Rob Mager LOU

MATCH-UPS:
TEACHER VS. MENTOR: Tommy Johnson will square off against Ron Selesky. Selesky was the Fire's first head coach in 2001 and hired Johnson as his defensive coordinator.

DEFENSIVE STRUGGLE?: Both the Fire and Steeldogs rank in the top 10 in scoring defense this season. The Fire is giving up just 42 points a game while the Steeldogs are surrendering only 40 points a game.
QUOTES: Fire head coach Tommy Johnson on the 0-2 start: "You don't like to start the season 0-2. But the things we saw that were wrong on film can be corrected with a good week of practice."

On facing Coach Selesky: "Coach Selesky gave me my first shot as a coach and it will be fun going out coaching against him."

FORWARD MOTION: The Fire will wind up a three game home stand next Saturday, April 29, against Green Bay at 7:00 in Freedom Hall.

FAMILIAR FACES: Coach Selesky returns to Freedom Hall for the first time since the end of the 2001 season when he was the Fire's head coach.

TEAM TRENDS: PICKED OFF: Fire defensive specialists Kabote Sikyala and Jeremy Chandler have each pulled down two interceptions in the Fire's first two games this season.

LEAGUE TOP 10s: Players from the Fire and Steeldogs who rank among af2's statistical leaders:

FIRE
Player Rank Category Stat
BROCKINGTON, Nick 8 Tackles For Loss 2.5
CHANDLER, Jeremy T-3 Interceptions 2
CHANDLER, Jeremy T-2 Fumbles Rec. 1
GREEN, Nate 10 MFG Return Yds. 17
GREEN, Nate 5 Kick Return Avg. 23.0
GREEN, Nate 4 Kick Return Yds. 207
GREEN, Nate T-1 Kick Return TD 1
HENDRIX, Dave T-1 Scoring Kick 8.5
HENDRIX, Dave 1 Field Goal Per 75
HENDRIX, Dave T-2 PAT Kicking PCT. 88.9%
HENDRIX, Dave 1 Field Goals Made 3
MAGER, Rob T-8 Rec./Game 7.5
MANNING, Cesare 9 Rec./Game 16.3
SIKYALA, Kabote T-3 Interceptions 2
SIKYALA, Kabote T - 1 Pass Defended 10

BIRMINGHAM
Player Rank Category Stat
BROWDEN, Terrell 3 Rushing 20.0
BROWDEN, Terrell 6 Yards/Rush 5.0
HAWK, Ryan 9 Yards/Comp. 12.0
KEYES, Bobby T-3 Interceptions 2
SANDERS, Theo T-5 Yards/Rush 11.0
WALLS, Alex 3 Field Goal Per. 25.0
WRIGHT, Kerry 1 Points Scored 21.0
WRIGHT, Kerry 1 All Purpose 192.0
WRIGHT, Kerry T-5 Rec. TD's 6
WRIGHT, Kerry T-1 Kick Return TD 1

TALE OF THE TAPE: Here's how the Fire and Steeldogs stack up:
Statistical Louisville Birmingham
Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 19 35.5 16 42.0
Scoring Defense T-8 42.0 T-5 40.0
Total Offense 21 211.5 15 248.0
Total Defense 4 217.0 14 266.5
Pass Offense 19 205.5 18 208.0
Pass Defense 6 201.5 15 255.5
Rushing Offense 21 6.0 2 40.0
Rushing Defense T-10 15.5 6 11.0
Pass Rating 16 84.9 17 84.0
Pass Def. Rating 7 82.0 5 76.5
Turnover Margin T-8 +1 T-3 +2
Field Goals 1 .750 T-10 .250
PAT Kicking T-2 .889 15 .625
Sacks By T-15 1 T-9 3
Sacks Against T-6 2 T-3 1
First Downs T-17 34 21 30
Opp. First Downs 8 38 7 37
Penalties 18 69.0 10 49.5
Opp. Penalties 19 48.0 13 55.5

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