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Memphis Xplorers game notes

June 22, 2004 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Memphis Xplorers News Release

Tennessee Valley Vipers (8-3)
At Memphis Xplorers (6-5)
Date: Saturday, June 26
Kickoff: 7:05 P.M. CST
Site: DeSoto Civic Center (8,400)
National Anthem: TBA
Coin Toss: TBA
Officials: Drew Myers (Referee), Ben Young (Umpire), Dick Wittenberg (Head Linesman), Chris Jamison (Line Judge), Brad Freeman (Back Judge)
Radio, SportsPlus 790 (Galen Clavio, Russell Copeland)
TV: None
Series Record: Tennessee Valley holds advantage 6-0
Last Meeting: Tennessee Valley won 43-33 on May 1, 2004
Streaks: Xplorers won 2, Vipers won 3
Coaches: Danton Barto (17-26, 3rd Year)

THE STAKES: The Xplorers tied their franchise record in victories this past Friday with a late surge against Manchester in a come from behind one point victory. The Xplorers still hold a playoff spot in the American Conference, but still trail Tennessee Valley by two games in the Mid-South division. A victory over the Vipers would help the Xplorers accomplish the first trip to the playoffs in franchise history.

THE Ifs:
If Memphis defeats Tennessee Valley, it would …
· Place the Xplorers two games above the .500 mark.
· Give the Xplorers their first franchise victory over the Vipers.
· Complete a three game win streak for the first time this season.

HEAD COACH: In his third season behind the Xplorers bench, Head Coach Danton Barto guides a Memphis team in search of its first winning season in franchise history. A former standout for the Memphis Tigers at linebacker, Barto’s professional playing career included stops in Canada, Europe, and the AFL. Barto has set a career mark of 17-26 for the Xplorers, which includes a 6-10 finish during the 2003 season.

Memphis Xplorers (6-5)
Date Opponent Time Score Streak/Rec
4/10 @ Birmingham 7:35 L 27-44 L1 / 0-1
4/17 FLORIDA 7:05 W 54-51 W1 / 1-1
4/23 @ Bossier City 7:05 W 69-29 W2 / 2-1
5/1 @ Tenn. Valley 7:35 L 33-43 L1 / 2-2
5/8 LOUISVILLE 7:05 L 63-70 L2 / 2-3
5/15 ARKANSAS 7:05 W 37-35 W1/3-3
5/22 @ Bakersfield 9:05 W 72-51 W2/4-3
5/29 @ Florida 6:35 L 20-43 L1/4-4
6/5 BOSSIER CITY 7:05 L 28-67 L2/4-5
6/12 BAKERSFIELD 7:05 W 59-31 W1/5-5
6/18 @ Manchester 6:35 W 55-54 W2/6-5
6/26 TENN. VALLEY 7:05 0-0
7/3 CAPE FEAR 7:05 0-0
7/16 @ Arkansas 7:35 0-0
7/24 MACON 7:05 0-0
7/31 @ Columbus 6:35 0-0
Date Opponent Result Score

Tennessee Valley Vipers (8-3)
Date Opponent Result Score
4/17 @ Quad City L 29-47
4/23 @ Laredo W 68-43
5/1 MEMPHISD W 43-33
5/8 @ Arkansas W 53-36
5/15 BOSSIER CITY W 52-14
5/22 FLORIDA L 30-53
5/29 @ Birmingham L 30-36
6/5 ARKANSAS W 36-23
6/12 @ Macon W 54-38
6/19 BIRMINGHAM W 67-64
6/26 @ Memphis 7:05
7/10 QUAD CITY 7:35
7/17 MACON 7:35
7/23 @ Bossier City 7:05
7/31 @ Florida 6:35

LEAGUE TOP 10s: Players from this week’s matchup who rank among af2’s statistical leaders:
Player Rank Category Stat
CARAWAY, Michael T-3 Fumbles Rcvd 3 FR’s
JAMES, Jerrian 7 Scoring 154 pts
MORRILL, Dave T-9 Fumbles Forced 2 FF’s

Player Rank Category Stat
PRENTISS, Kevin 3 Kick Return Avg. 29.1
KARR, Ryan 1 Fumbles Forced 5 FF’s
SINGFIELD, Dahnel 1 Passes Defended 26
PRENTISS, Kevin T-5 Scoring 156 pts

Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 15 47.2 pts 14 47.5 pts
Scoring Defense 11 47.1 pts 2 38.4 pts
Total Offense 21 223.9 yds/gm 20 239.6yds/gm
Total Defense 6 228.8yds/gm 2 211.8yds/gm
Pass Offense 21 205.4yds/gm 18 225.1yds/gm
Pass Defense 5 207.8yds/gm 2 194.1yds/gm
Rushing Offense 12 18.5 yds/gm 19 14.5 yds/gm
Rushing Defense 15 21.0 yds/gm T-11 17.7 yds/gm
Scoring (Non-Kick) 18 442 pts 14 458 pts
Scoring (Kicking) 6 73 pts 14 64 pts
Pass Rating 15 106.0 19 100.2
Pass Def. Rating 16 109.2 1 88.3
Kickoff Returns T-1 23.4 yds/ret 22 17.9 yds/ret
MFG Returns 7 21.3 yds/ret 5 22.0 yds/ret
Turnover Margin 9 +2 1 +20
Field Goals 21 .222 T-9 .333
PAT Kicking 4 .843 25 .656
Sacks By T-7 16 sacks T-12 13 sacks
Sacks Against T-16 16 sacks T-5 8 sacks
First Downs T-18 157 T-11 169
Opp. First Downs 15 169 T-2 141
Penalties 20 65.4 yds/gm 21 67.6 yds/gm
Opp. Penalties 20 63.5 yds/gm 2 40.6 yds/gm
Red Zone Offense 18 69.9% 2 81.2%
Red Zone Defense 25 84.6% 8 56.7%

“This weekend is the biggest game in our franchise history.”
-Danton Barto

“From here on out all games are playoff games.”
-Danton Barto

MILESTONES: Ryan Karr passed Marcus Evers 2001 franchise record of 4 forced fumbles in a season on May 29th as Karr had two. With five games left to play, Karr has a chance to solidify his franchise record, and to chase the all-time af2 mark, set by E.J Burt of the Cape Fear Wildcats in 2002 with 9 forced fumbles. Second place all time is Wes Stephens, who had 8 with Tennessee Valley in 2003. Dahnel Singfield is rapidly climbing toward a franchise mark of passes defended in a season. The highest total was in 2003 when Kevin Cobb defended 39 passes. Second place was also in 2003, when Kenzaki Jones had 27. Singfield tied Keith Spann for third place all time this past Friday, as Singfield defended his 26th. Kevin Prentiss currently has 930 kick return yards through ten games played. The all time af2 record is 1601, set by Travis Burns with Norwich last season. While it may be a stretch to reach this af2 record mark, the franchise record is still a possibility. Johnny Loper returned 1396 yards back in 2001. Through ten games Prentiss is averaging 29.1 yards per return.


MEMPHIS – The Xplorers returned above the .500 mark after a road win at Manchester. The Xplorers were facing defeat late in the game and scored 14 points in the contest’s final three minutes. Steven Green kicked the onside kick that Memphis recovered with just over a minute left in the game. The Xplorers offensive surge was too much for the Wolves defense, as Memphis stole the game. Memphis QB Michael Wall completed 19 pass attempts for 317 yards and 6 touchdowns. Kevin Prentiss had seven receptions for 137 yards and four touchdowns.

TENNESSEE VALLEY – The Vipers also had a come from behind win at home against the Birmingham Steeldogs. They won on the last play of the game as Tennessee Valley QB Josh Kellett found OS Jerrian James right in front of the goal line as time expired. James fell on the other side of the goal line to give the Vipers an amazing finish to a hard fought contest. With the win, the Vipers improved to 8-3 on the season, and won their third straight game.

FORWARD MOTION: Memphis stays home for one more game against the Cape Fear Wildcats. As the playoff picture becomes more and more clear, the Xplorers would like to capitalize on all home games. The Vipers return to the Von Braun Center for the first of a two game home stand against the Quad City Steamwheelers.

Dead (Red) Zone Defense: Tennessee Valley ranks second in the league at converting scores in the red zone, with a 81.2% conversion rate. The Xplorers have been at the bottom tier of red zone defense nearly all season long, and after this week’s standings are pulling up the rear, allowing 84.6% of all opponents red zone scoring opportunities to result in a score.

Turnovers, Turnovers, Turnovers: The Vipers come into this contest with by far the best turnover margin in the af2. They hold a +20 advantage over all opponents this season. The Xplorers are also in the top ten with a +2 turnover margin. If Memphis can hold onto the ball, then they will take away one of Tennessee Valley biggest weapons.

None and counting: Coming into this game, the Vipers and Xplorers have met six times in the history of the af2. Every game has ended with a Tennessee Valley win. The two teams had one of their closest battles earlier this season on May 1st, as the Xplorers left the Von Braun Center losing be only ten points. With the playoffs looming, and the DeSoto crowds growing larger, watch out for Memphis to finally to beat the Vipers.

GAME MVP AWARD (selected by media)
Week Opp. Player
2 Birmingham
3 Florida QB Brian Jones
4 Bossier City QB Brian Jones
5 Tenn. Valley
6 Louisville OS Kevin Prentiss
7 Arkansas
8 Bakersfield OS Kevin Prentiss
9 Florida
10 Bossier City
11 Bakersfield OS Kevin Prentiss
12 Manchester
13 Tenn. Valley
14 Cape Fear
16 Arkansas
17 Macon
18 Columbus

GAME IRONMAN AWARD (selected by media)
Week Opp. Player
2 Birmingham
3 Florida FB/LB Lavante Epson
4 Bossier City FB/LB Lavante Epson
5 Tenn. Valley
6 Louisville
7 Arkansas
8 Bakersfield WR/DB Lejuan Edwards
9 Florida
10 Bossier City
11 Bakersfield WR/DB LeJuan Edwards
12 Manchester
13 Tenn. Valley
14 Cape Fear
16 Arkansas
17 Macon
18 MColumbus

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