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Memphis defeats Bossier-Shreveport

May 20, 2006 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Memphis Xplorers News Release

SOUTHAVEN, MS --- The Memphis Xplorers picked up their eighth straight home victory with a 67-32 win over the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings Saturday night at DeSoto Civic Center. In the process, the Xplorers improved to 6-2 while the Battle Wings remained winless at 0-7.

"We needed to bounce back and we did," Xplorers Head Coach Danton Barto said. "We are still making some mistakes, but we really needed this win."

After a close first half, Memphis outscored Bossier-Shreveport 34-9 in the second half, scoring on offense, defense and special teams in the fourth quarter alone.

Brian Jones threw 5 touchdown passes, ran for another and finished 17 of 24 for 209 yards with zero picks. Terrell Adams and Kenny Higgins each caught 2 of Jones' scoring tosses while Terrance Quattlebaum had the other. Kevin Prentiss, making his Xplorers return, caught 5 balls for 71 yards. His greatest impact came on kickoff returns where he averaged 27 yards on 5 returns, including one for 50 yards that set up a score.

The teams exchanged touchdowns in the first half until Memphis Mack Linebacker Dwan Wilson sack Bossier QB JJ Raterink in the endzone for a safety to put Memphis ahead 23-14 at the midway point of the second quarter. After both teams scored touchdowns to move the score to 30-20, the Battle Wings Brian Hazelwood kicked a 56 yard field goal, the seventh longest in af2 history, with :22 remaining in the half.

Not to be outdone, Memphis' Steven Azar kicked a 45 yarder on the final play of the half to put the lead back at 10. The Azar kick was the longest field goal in a regular season game in Xplorers history. Azar holds the franchise mark with a 51 yard kick in last season's playoffs.

Down 40-26, the Battle Wings were still in the game entering the fourth quarter. That is when the scoring started to come fast and furious for Memphis. The Xplorers scored four times in a span of 5:21 to blow the game open. The run started with an acrobatic Kenny Higgins catch from 14 yards out. What followed was a Higgins 25 yard fumble return for a touchdown, a Brian Jones one yard run after a fumble recovery by Kenyun Glover and Terrance Quattlebaum's net recovery of the ensuing kickoff that he returned for a score.

"Our defense finally made some plays," Barto said. "Our guys were hitting, flying around, getting pressure and causing turnovers."

Bossier's JJ Raterink was 17 of 28 passing for 148 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Chambers was the Wings' top receiver with 8 for 93 yards.

On a down note, the teams combined for 167 penalty yards on 25 penalties. Memphis had 16 for 113 yards marked off against them.

The Xplorers will play the first of 2 straight road games next Sunday at Amarillo. The Battle Wings host Oklahoma City next Saturday.

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