Manchester Wolves Look To Go 2-0 Vs. Green Bay Blizzard
MANCHESTER, NH-The Manchester Wolves, who opened the season on the road with a thrilling win last week, will try to notch their second consecutive victory on Friday night in Green Bay when they take on the Blizzard.
Should the Wolves (1-0) beat the Blizzard (1-1), it will be the first time the arenafootball2 league team has advanced to a 2-0 start since the franchise moved to Manchester from Connecticut four years ago. Moreover, a win would continue to give new Head Coach Danton Barto, who came into this season as the sixth winningest active head coach in the af2, a perfect record with the Wolves.
Not only is Barto handling the head coaching duties for the first time for Manchester this season, but the overwhelming majority of players on the roster are new to the team. Moreover, eight players who started in the 45-39 win over the Mahoning Valley Thunder are rookies who were also making their arena football debut.
Still, they fared well enough and made significant contributions so that going in to the third week of the season, the Wolves rank first in total defense and fifth in overall offense in the 29-team league. By contrast, the Blizzard rank 19th in total offense and sixth in total defense under head coach Bob Landsee, who is in his third season with Green Bay.
The rankings certainly don't guarantee that the Wolves will have an easy time when they line up in enemy territory against the Blizzard, who won on the road last week against the Tennessee Valley Vipers but dropped their home opener to the Spokane Shock.
"They are a well coached team," said Barto. "Bob Landsee always does a good job. They're physical and it's a tough, tough environment. They are 13-1 in their last 14 home games."
Key match-ups include the impressive Wolves receiving corps of Steve Savoy, Emery Sammons, and Bradly Chavez against the Blizzard's top defensive back Rusty Midlam. The trifecta of Manchester's starting receivers combined for 22 catches from quarterback Justin Rummell for 305 yards and five touchdowns against Mahoning Valley, but Midlam ranks among the league's best with two interceptions and four passes deflected.
On the defensive side of the ball, Wolves rookie defensive back Roger Brown turned in a big effort in his first outing, recording 8.5 tackles, forcing a fumble, recovering another fumble, and breaking up a pass. He'll be asked for another outstanding game against the Blizzard, who used both starting quarterback Matt Bohnet and back-up Shane Adler in their first two efforts. Bohnet gained valuable experience in the now-defunct NFL Europe in 2007, and Adler started three games for the Louisville Fire last season.
Wolves fans can listen to all of the action on WFEA Radio 1370 AM or watch it free of charge via computer by logging on to www.NIFTY-tv.com. Kickoff from Green Bay is slated for 8:30 p.m. (EDT).
On Friday, April 18th the Wolves return home to play in front of their fans for the first time this season. They will line up against East Division rival the Albany Conquest on Brady Sullivan Field at the Verizon Wireless Arena at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the home opener are still available and may be purchased through firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 603-627-9653. In this, the Year of the Fan, specially priced season tickets for only $25 are being offered for children 12 and under.
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