Manchester Wolves weekly
Head coach Ben Bennett has decided to give his wounded warriors this week off to heal and get mentally recharged. Manchester earned the right to some time off after the team's big win against Albany this past Friday (July 29), a result which clinched the franchise its first-ever East Division title. The Wolves will host a second round playoff game at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday, August 12. They'll start their preparation for next week with a film session this Sunday, August 7.
Wolves 2005 Regular Season in Review
The Manchester Wolves (12-4) had a tremendous regular season in 2005 which culminated in the franchise's first-ever East Division title. The Wolves' 12 wins set a new franchise record for most wins in a season. A list of highlights of the year should also include the team's 10-game win streak and five-week run at the top spot of the Weekly League Coaches Poll. The Wolves offense was led by QB Jake Eaton and WR/LB J.J. McKelvey. Eaton was sharp all season, connecting on a league-leading 70.9 percent of his passes. The former Maine signal caller also finished second in the af2 in passer rating (122.1) and was among the leaders in several other QB categories, such as passing yards (6th - 4,066) and passing TDs (T-3rd - 88). McKelvey is Eaton's favorite target. McKelvey also had an outstanding regular season, leading the league with 138 receptions (1,454 receiving yds). He also ranked second in scoring (298 points) and receiving TDs (44). Rookie receiver/kick returner Jamaal Perry led the squad in all-purpose yards with 2,132 (1,004 receiving yds, 1,058 kick return yds, 70 missed fg return yds). As a group, the Wolves offense ranked ninth in the league in scoring, averaging 50.3 ppg. On defense, DS William "Roc" Haith had an all-star season, breaking the league record for most tackles in a season (121.5). The former Liberty product also ranked third in the af2 in passes defended with 33 (3 INTs, 30 pass breakups). Fellow DS Allistair Sebastien finished among the af2 elite in interceptions with six. As a unit, the Wolves defense ranked third in the league in scoring defense, allowing just 42.9 ppg.
"Roc" Sets af2 Single-Season Tackle Mark
Wolves DS William "Roc" Haith set a new af2 record for most tackles in a single season with 121.5 in 2005, eclipsing the old record of 121.0 set in 2002 by San Diego's Rico Curtis. He needed nine total tackles against Albany in Manchester's regular season finale on July 29 to set the mark and registered 9.5.
Game 16 Wrap-up - Wolves Win East Division Crown; Defeat Albany In Regular Season Finale, 45-30
The Manchester Wolves claimed their first East Division championship Friday night with a 45-30 victory over the Albany Conquest in front of 8,765 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. The Wolves completed the regular season at 12-4, while Albany finished at 4-12. Manchester DS William "Roc" Haith broke the af2 record for most total tackles in a season with 121.5 after recording 9.5 stops against the Conquest. He also notched a key interception just before the end of the third quarter with the Wolves leading 31-30. "Roc" earned ADT Defensive Player of the Game honors for his efforts. On Manchester's next possession, QB Jake Eaton found his favorite target J.J. McKelvey for a six-yard score. A successful extra point by new kicker Carter Warley gave Manchester a 38-30 lead. The Wolves defense held true in the next possession as well, stopping Albany on downs. Another Eaton touchdown pass (27-yarder to Jamaal Perry) on the Wolves ensuing possession put the game officially out of reach. Perry earned the US Army Ironman of the Game for his strong play on offense (three catches, 63 yards, 1 TD) and special teams (124 kick return yards). Eaton finished the night completing 20-of-23 passes for 187 yards and five touchdowns with one interception. McKelvey caught 10 passes for 83 yards and three touchdowns. He also had one rushing touchdown. Albany was led in defeat by OS Jeremiah Pope, who was named Offensive Player of the Game with a game-high 12 catches for 132 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Travis Coleman came to play with 9.5 tackles and one interception.
Next Home Game - 2005 ArenaCup Playoffs - 2nd Round - Friday, August 12 vs. TBD
Fans, come join us next Friday, August 12 as the Wolves host their first playoff game in franchise history at the Verizon Wireless Arena against an opponent yet to be determined. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. To get in on the fun, purchase your tickets today at the Verizon Wireless Arena box office or through Ticketmaster at 603-868-7300, at Ticketmaster outlets or online at www.ticketmaster.com . Adult seats start as low as $14.25 in the upper bowl while youth (12-and-under) and senior (65-and-over) tickets start at just $9.75.
This Week's Community Events Calendar
On Thursday, August 4th , Manchester Wolves mascot "Blitz" will be on hand for the Intown Manchester's summer concert series. The event will be held in the evening at Veteran's Park in Manchester. Blitz will be there from 6:30 - 7:30 PM mingling with the crowd and signing autographs.
On Saturday, August 6th, the Manchester Wolves will host their second annual youth football camp from 10 - 2 PM at Rising Stars Sportcenter in Bedford, NH. The camp will be conducted by the Wolves coaching staff and will feature the Manchester Wolves players.
On Saturday, August 6th, members of the Manchester Wolves dance team will be on hand to perform a halftime routine during the championship game of the Women's Professional Football League. The game will be at Manchester Memorial HS and will be hosted by the Manchester Freedom. The dance team members will be on hand from 8 - 9 PM. "Blitz," the team mascot, will also be there mingling with the crowd and signing autographs.
On Sunday, August 7th, the Manchester Wolves football team, dance team, and "Blitz" will be on hand for the first annual KC's Rib Shack "Rib-Off" competition. Fans will be able to compete against their favorite players in a rib-eating extravaganza. The event starts at 2 PM. KC's in located on Second Street in Manchester.
2005 ArenaCup Playoffs Set
In 2005, six teams from each the American and National Conference qualify for the playoffs. The six qualifying teams in each conference consist of the two division champions and four Wild Cards, determined by best overall record. Seeding in each conference is based on overall record, with the top two seeds in each conference reserved for the division champions, regardless of record. In the First Round (August 5-7), the two division winners in each conference receive a bye. The top-seeded Wild Card team hosts the lowest-seeded Wild Card team, while the No. 2 seeded Wild Card team hosts the No. 3 seeded Wild Card team. In the Second Round (August 12-14), the division winners who had byes in the First Round host the winners from the First Round. The top seeded division champion plays the lowest seeded team advancing from the First Round, while the second-seeded division winner plays the other winner from the First Round. The winners of the Second Round will meet for the Conference Championships on the weekend of August 19-21. For this round, the team with the better overall record hosts the Conference Championship game. The winners of the Conference Championships face off in the 2005 ArenaCup on August 27 at the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City, Louisiana televised on FOX Sports Net.
1. Florida (14-2)
2. Manchester (12-4)
3. Louisville (11-5)
4. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (9-7)
5. Green Bay (9-7)
6. Macon (8-8)
1. Memphis (13-3)
2. Tulsa (11-5)
3. Oklahoma City (10-6)
4. Rio Grande Valley (10-6)
5. Quad City (9-7)
6. Amarillo (8-8)
***2005 ARENACUP PLAYOFFS FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE***
Saturday, August 6
No. 3 Louisville at No. 6 Macon 7:30 p.m. (Macon hosts because Louisville's arena not available)
No. 5 Green Bay at No. 4 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 7:30 p.m.
BYE: Florida, Manchester
Saturday, August 6
Amarillo (8-8) at Oklahoma City (10-6) 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 7
Quad City (9-7) at Rio Grande Valley (10-6) 7:00 p.m.
BYE: Memphis, Tulsa
J.J.'s Dyno-mite Regular Season
After a solid rookie campaign last season in which he played just six games, Wolves WR/LB J.J. McKelvey has blossomed into a big-time Arena Football player in 2005. This season the former Clemson standout has broken nine Wolves franchise records. Below is a detailed look at where J.J. stands tall in the team's record book:
Wolves All-Time Record Holders
Scoring: 318 points - J.J. McKelvey, 2004-2005 (210, Mel Long, 2003-2004)
Receiving TDs: 47 - J.J. McKelvey, 2004-2005 (34, Mel Long, 2003-2004)
Receptions: 162 - J.J. McKelvey, 2004-2005 (106, Brandon Burnside, 2002)
Receiving Yards: 1,720 - J.J. McKelvey, 2004-05 (1,567 - Brandon Burnside, 2002; 1,558 - Mel Long, 2003-2004)
Scoring: 298 points - J.J. McKelvey, 2005 (202 - Brandon Burnside, 2002)
Receiving TDs: 44 - J.J. McKelvey, 2005 (30 - Brandon Burnside, 2002)
Receptions: 138 - J.J. McKelvey, 2005 (106 - Brandon Burnside, 2002)
Receiving Yards: 1,567 - Brandon Burnside, 2002 (1,454 - J.J. McKelvey, 2005; 1,277 - Mel Long, 2003)
Scoring: 38 points - J.J. McKelvey, 6/11/05 @ GBB (30 points - Brandon Burnside, 5/17/02 vs. ROC)
Receiving TDs: 6 - J.J. McKelvey, 6/4/05 vs. MAC (5 - Brandon Burnside, 5/17/02 vs. ROC)
The Wolves win against Albany in their regular season finale was a blessing for the team as they now have a week off to rest before they prepare to host a second round playoff game on Friday, August 12. Players such as OL/DL Jojo Oliphant (knee) and OL/DL Mike Wells (foot) should benefit from the extra rest and be ready to play next week.
Wolves players currently on the injured list are as follows:
Short Term: Heyward Skipper (WR/DB) - Ankle; Chris DiSanto (OL/DL) - Ankle
Wolves Among League Leaders
As a Team: Individually:
3rd in scoring defense - 42.9 pts per game 1st in pass completion pct - 70.9 - Jake Eaton
1st in pass rating - 122.0 2nd in pass rating - 122.1 - Jake Eaton
3rd in pass completions - 382 1st in tackles - 121.5 - William Haith
1st in pass completion percentage - 70.7 1st in receptions - 138 - J.J. McKelvey
2nd in turnover margin - +12 2nd in scoring - 298 pts - J.J. McKelvey
4th in first downs - 315 2nd in touchdown receptions - 44 - J.J. McKelvey
T-5th in first downs passing - 225 3rd in passes defended - 33 - William Haith
2nd in third down conversions - 53.2 pct T-5th in forced fumbles - 4 - Kelvin Fuller
4th in red zone defense - 72.6 pct T-3rd in passing TDs - 88 - Jake Eaton
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