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Memphis Xplorers game notes

April 28, 2006 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Memphis Xplorers News Release

Macon Knights (1-2)
at Memphis Xplorers (3-1)
Date: Friday, April 28, 2006
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. CDT
Site: DeSoto Civic Center (8,400)
National Anthem: DeSoto Central Middle School Choir
Coin Toss:
Referee: David Smith
Umpire: Tyrone Blanks
Head Linesman: Karl Lane
Line Judge: Larry Neal
Back Judge: Rod Skelton
Radio: 730 ESPN, Jim Erickson
TV: None
Series Record: Xplorers lead 1-0
Last Meeting: 37-12 MEM 7/24/04 @ MEM
Streaks: Xplorers- 1 loss
Knights- 1 win
Coaches: Danton Barto (37-31; 3-1 playoffs, 5th Season)
Derek Stingley (7-6; 0-1 playoffs, 2nd Season)

THE STAKES: The Xplorers try to bounce back after suffering their first loss since 7/9/05 last week at Florida. The Knights, after starting the season 0-2, defeated the Tennessee Valley Vipers 58-55 last Saturday night in Huntsville, AL.

THE SERIES: Despite the fact that both teams have been in af2 for 6 seasons, this will be just the second all-time meeting. The Xplorers won the first and only meeting; 37-12 on July 24, 2004 at the DeSoto Civic Center.

If Memphis defeats Macon, it would ...
- Give Memphis their 10th win in their last 11 games dating back to last season's playoffs and regular season.
- Give Memphis a 2-0 all-time record versus Macon.
- Give Memphis a 4-1 season record and keep them in first place in the South Division.
- Give Memphis their 7th straight home win, including playoffs.

Date Opponent CT W/L Score
Sat, 4/1 @ Tenn Valley 7:30 W 47-25
Sat, 4/8 Florida 7:00 W 78-46
Sat, 4/15 Tenn Valley 7:00 W 56-21
Sat, 4/22 @ Florida 6:30 L 60-55
Fri, 4/28 Macon 7:00
Sat, 5/6 Manchester 7:00
Sat, 5/13 @ South Georgia 6:30
Sat, 5/20 Bossier-Shreveport 7:00
Sun, 5/28 @ Amarillo 3:00
Sat, 6/3 @ Stockton 9:00
Sat, 6/17 Birmingham 7:00
Sat, 6/24 South Georgia 7:00
Fri, 6/30 @ Macon 6:30
Sat, 7/8 @ Louisville 6:00
Sat, 7/15 Amarillo 7:00
Sat, 7/22 @ Birmingham 7:00

MACON (1-2, WON 1)
Date Opponent ET W/L Score
Sat, 4/8 Albany L 54-25
Sat, 4/15 Florida L 53-40
Sat, 4/22 @ Tenn. Valley W 58-55
Fri , 4/28 @ Memphis 8:00
Sat, 5/6 South Georgia 7:30
Sat, 5/13 @ Green Bay 8:30
Sat, 5/20 WB/Scranton 7:30
Sat, 5/27 @ Birmingham 8:00
Sat, 6/3 @ South Georgia 7:30
Sat, 6/10 Arkansas 7:30
Sat, 6/17 @ Florida 7:30
Fri, 6/30 Memphis 7:30
Sat, 7/8 @ Albany 7:00
Sat, 7/15 Birmingham 7:30
Sat, 7/22 Tenn. Valley 7:30
Sat, 7/29 @ Arkansas 8:00

Danton Barto-Memphis
Barto is entering his fifth season as the Head Coach of the Memphis Xplorers. His career regular season record stands at 37-31 and 3-1 in the postseason. He is the winningest coach in af2 over the last two seasons. In each of the four seasons under Barto, the Xplorers have improved on the previous season's win total. Last season, he was named the af2 Coach of the Year as he led the Xplorers to their best season in franchise history; a 13-3 regular season mark, a Midwest Division title and the 2005 ArenaCup Championship. In 2004, Memphis won ten games and earned their first trip to the playoffs, before falling to the eventual champion Florida Firecats on a last second field goal miss. Barto was promoted from defensive coordinater to the head coach position prior to the 2002 season and won his first three games in what turned out to be a 5-11 season. Coach Barto is still considered a University of Memphis legend; he currently is the only player to be named to the All-American team three different years. He is still ranked number one in career tackles for the University of Memphis with 473. Coach Barto also enjoyed a 5-year professional career in the CFL and AFL leagues. Coach Barto currently resides with his wife Rachel and their 7-year-old son Will in Bartlett, Tennessee.

Derek Stingley-Macon
Derek Stingley enters his first full season as head coach of the Macon Knights after being promoted to the position following the sixth game of the 2005 season. Stingley joined the Knights for the 2005 season as the defensive coordinator, which was his first Arena Football coaching position. Under Stingley's guidance, the team turned their 2-4 record around and finished with a mark of 8-8. Stingley brought the Knights Organization back to the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2004 for the first time in team history. The Knights lost in the first round of the playoffs in the last seconds to the eventual American Conference Champions, Louisville Fire. Stingley, in his eight years as a player in the AFL, enjoyed a very impressive career and also received many accolades. In 1999, he played with the Albany Firebirds as they captured the ArenaBowl Championship and he garnered All-AFL honors that same year. Stingley also ranks ninth among the AFL's All-Time leading tacklers (443.5) and is fifth on the All-Time list for pass breakups (110). In addition to his professional football career, Stingley also played collegiate baseball at Purdue University. In 1993, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies Organization as a center fielder and remained with the organization until 1995. Stingley originally from Chicago, Illinois, now resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with his wife Natasha and children Isis, Nahja, Derek Jr. and Sanaa.

The Xplorers outscored the Kights 20-0 in the 4th quarter to break open a game that was 17-12 after the third. Memphis scored 27 unanswered to grab their ninth win of the season. Current WR/DB coach Deumaine Reeder scored on two rushing TDs in the 4th quarter. QB Michael Wall passed for 164 yards and 3 scores; 2 to Kevin Prentiss and 1 to Ryan Carr. The win clinched a first ever playoff spot for the Xplorers and was played in front of a franchise record 6286 fans at the DCC.

The Firecats came back from a 26-0 first half deficit to hand the Memphis Xplorers their first loss since July 9 of last season. Firecats QB Chris Wallace hit WR Brent Burnside on a 23 yard pass with 18 seconds remaining for the game winner. After falling behind, the Firecats came back to close to within 33-21 at the half. The Xplorers, playing without WR/DB Terrell Adams, received a sizable contribution from WR/DB Terrance Quattlebaum. Quattlebaum caught 10 balls for 107 yards and 4 TD. He also added a touchdown on a 48 yard missed field goal return in the first quarter. OL/DL Chris Eggleston's 24 yard interception return made the score 26-0 with 9:11 remaining in the first half, but Florida would score 6 of the next 8 touchdowns to take the lead, 41-39, with 7:05 left in the third. Memphis regained the lead and was up 55-54 when they recovered a Florida on-side kick attempt. The Firecats defense held, setting up the game winning drive. The Xplorers did get the ball back with :12 seconds left and advanced as far as mid-field, but Brian Jones' pass on the final play fell incomplete. Jones finished 19 for 31 passing for 221 yards, 5 touchdowns and 1 interception. He also added a rushing touchdown.

The Xplorers' loss to Florida last week was their first loss since a 44-41 loss to Tulsa on 7/9/05 at the DCC. The 9 game winning streak (including playoff games) that was snapped was the longest in team history. The 6 game regular season winning streak was also a franchise high.

Before the loss at Florida, the last time the Xplorers yielded 60 points in a game was 7/31/04 in a 65-62 win at Columbus. The last time they gave up 60 points in a loss was a 67-28 loss to Bossier-Shreveport on 6/5/04.

The last and only time the Knights and Xplorers played, 7/24/04, the announced crowd at the DeSoto Civic Center was 6286. That total ranks as the highest attendance for an Xplorers home game.

OL/DL Chris Eggleston's INT return for a TD in last week's game at Florida was his first career defensive TD. He has scored a TD as a tight end on offense in his career.

Following this week's game versus Macon, a string of 5 straight games against South Division opponents will end. Next week the Xplorers host the East Division's Manchester Wolves. The game with Macon also marks the end of playing the same 2 teams (Florida & Tennessee Valley) in the first 4 weeks of the season.

The win over Tennessee Valley on 4/15 was Head Coach Danton Barto's 40th overall (including playoffs) since becoming the Xplorers head man in 2002. His regular season record is 37-31 and his playoff record is 3-1. Only six other coaches in league history have reached the 40 win mark in their careers. The only active members are Spokane's Chris Siegfried (43) and Stockton's Richard Davis (41). Former Rio Grande Valley and Tennessee Valley head coach Kevin Guy is the af2 career leader in overall coaching victories with 52 (52-19).

Through 4 weeks of play, the Xplorers are tied with Arkansas for the top scoring offense (59 pts/game). The team has the 4th ranked scoring defense (giving up 37 pts/game). Last season, Memphis had the top scoring defense (37.6 pts/gm) and was tied with Amarillo for the top scoring offense (55.8 pts/gm).

OS Kenny Higgins leads all af2 receivers with 482 receiving yards.

QB Brian Jones ranks first in af2 with 75 rushing yards and is third with 6 rushing TD's. Passing-wise, Jones is 2nd in passing TD's (24); 2nd in passer rating (128.5); 2nd in yards per attempt (9.0); 4th in passing yards (1081) and 4th in yards per completion (13.3).

The Xplorers play 5 of their first 8 games at home and 5 of their last eight, including 3 of the last 4, on the road.

Coach Barto is the winningest coach in af2 over the last two-plus seasons at 26-10.

WR/DB Brett Fischer, who was with the Xplorers in training camp, was signed to a one year free agent contract by the Detroit Lions (NFL) last week. The six-foot, 195 pound Fischer was assigned to Memphis in late February after attending the Kansas City Chiefs' training camp in 2005. The Chiefs signed him as an undrafted free-agent. In college at Division II Missouri-Rolla, he finished with 155 receptions, 1,976 yards and 14 touchdowns. During his senior season in 2004, he set school marks for receptions for a season (72), single season receiving yards (1,040) and career receiving yards.

(1-0 / 1-0 Home)
7/24/04 37-12 W @ Memphis

LEAGUE TOP 10s: Players from this week's match-up who rank among af2's statistical leaders:
Player Rank Category Stat
Brian Jones 3 Total Offense 289/gm
Brian Jones 2 Total Off. TDs 30
T. Quattlebaum 3 Scoring 18.7 pts/gm
Steven Azar 5-t Scoring (Kick) 6.5 pts/gm
T. Quattlebaum 6-t All Purpose Yd 148/gm
Brian Jones 3 Rushing TDs 6
Brian Jones 1 Rushing Yds 75
Brian Jones 4 Pass Yds 1081
Brian Jones 4 PassYards/Comp 13.3
Brian Jones 6 Completion % 67.5
Brian Jones 2 Passing TDs 24
Brian Jones 2 Passer Rating 128.5
Brian Jones 2 Pass Yds/Att 9.0
Kenny Higgins 4 Pass Rec. 28
Kenny Higgins 6 Yards/Catch 17.2
Kenny Higgins 1 Rec. Yards 482
Kenny Higgins 10 Rec. TDs 7
Steven Azar 1 PAT ATT 32
Steven Azar 5 PAT % 81.2
Steven Azar 1 PAT Made 26
Terrell Adams 2 MFG Ret Yds 55
T. Quattlebaum 5 MFG Ret Yds 40
T. Quattlebaum 1 MFG Ret TDs 1
T. Quattlebaum 9 KO Ret Ave 21.6
T. Quattlebaum 2-t KO Ret TDs 1
Joseph Crear 5-t Sacks 3
Chris Eggleston 5-t Sacks 3
Deon Giddens 1 Passes Def. 14
S. Cunningham 5 Passes Def. 10
Deon Giddens 1 Tackles 32

Player Rank Category Stat
Chad Elliott 8 Total Offense 273.0
Derrick Lloyd 4 Rushing TDs 4
Derrick Lloyd T-3 Rushing Yards 54
Chad Elliott 4 Passing AVG/Game 280.3
Chad Elliott 7 Passing Yards 841
James Hickenbotham 9 Reception Yards 337

Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 1-t 59.0 19 41.0
Scoring Defense 4 38.0 20 54
Total Offense 5 295 5 291.7
Total Defense 13 256.8 18 287
Pass Offense 7 266.8 4 276.3
Pass Defense 13 236.8 18 272.3
Rushing Offense 2 28.5 T-12 15.3
Rushing Defense 15 20.0 T-9 14.7
Offensive TDs 2-t 30 TD 17 18
Scoring (Kicking) 2 26 17 13
Pass Rating 2 128.0 20 80.9
Pass Def. Rating 8 86.7 14 101.0
Kickoff Returns 10 18.8 2 20.8
MFG Returns 2 23.8 T-7 16.0
Turnover Margin 11 +1 T-20 -1
Field Goals Made 17-t 0 T-6 1-3
PAT Kicking 8 .812 19 .625
Sacks By 4 7 T-18 1
Sacks Against 13-t 5 T-16 6
First Downs 3 77 11 57
Opp. First Downs 19 68 T-10 54
Penalties 21 76.0 10 53.0

Pos. Name Injury Status

Score Allow
0-9 Points 0-0 0-0
10-19 Points 0-0 0-0
20-29 Points 0-0 0-0
40-49 Points 1-0 0-0
50-59 Points 1-1 0-0
60-69 Points 0-0 0-1
70-79 Points 1-0 0-0
80-89 Points 0-0 0-0
90+ Points 0-0 0-0
One Point Games 0-0
2-7 Points Games 0-1
8-13 Point Games 0-0
14-20 Point Games 1-0
21-27 Point Games 0-0
28+ Point Games 2-0
Score First 2-1
Opponent Scores First 1-0
After a win 2-1
After a loss 0-0
Before a bye week 0-0
After a bye week 0-0
In Overtime 0-0
Out pass opponent 2-0
Out rush opponent 1-1
Opponent out pass 1-1
Opponent out rush 2-0
Even rush 0-0
More total offense 3-0
Less total offense 0-1
Lead after 1st qtr 1-1
Trail after 1st qtr 1-0
Tied after 1st qtr 1-0
Lead at Half 3-1
Trail at Half 0-0
Tied at Half 0-0
Lead after 3rd qtr 3-1
Trail after 3rd qtr 0-0
Tied after 3rd qtr 0-0
April 3-1
Home 2-0
Away 1-1
Overall 40-44
Home 20-22
Away 20-22
April 13-11
May 9-11
June 11-11
July 7-11
Danton Barto
On losing for the first time since 7/9/05...

"It had been so long since the last one that I think I forgot how to react after a loss. It's a loss and we need to regroup."

On losing a 26-0 first half lead versus Florida...

"The bottom fell out. You probably can point to a lot of things...the fumble on the kickoff return, (OL/DL) Adrian Gonzalez getting ejected, the kickoff that bounced off the net that they recovered and, don't forget, that Florida is a very good football team."

On his team's pass coverage...

"It's brutal right now. We are going to try some different guys out there and my thought process with that is can it get any worse?"

On this week's opponent, the Macon Knights...

"I think they are a very good football team. I know they have struggled a little, but they have a lot of good skilled players. I thought going into the season that they could be the surprise team of the year and they still could be. It should be a hard fought game."

(selected by media)
Week Opp. Player
1 @ Tenn Val QB Brian Jones
2 vs Florida QB Brian Jones
3 vs Tenn Val QB Brian Jones

(selected by media)
Week Opp. Player
2 vs Florida WR/DB Terrance Quattlebaum
3 vs Ten Val WR/DB Terrell Adams
4 @ Florida WR/DB Terrance Quattlebaum

(selected by media)
Week Opp. Player
1 @ Tenn Val DS Deon Giddens
2 vs Florida OL/DL Chris Eggleston
3 vs Tenn Val OL/DL Joseph Crear
4 @ Florida OL/DL Chris Eggleston

RECENT ROSTER MOVES (most recent first):
Date Action Player
4/13 Assigned FB/LB Jermaine Beale
4/11 Re-assigned DL David Bamiro
4/4 Re-assigned FB/LB Chris Peavy
3/29 Assigned WR/DB Terrell Adams
3/29 Activated from OLE OS Kenny Higgins

FORWARD MOTION: Next week, the Xplorers host the Manchester Wolves on Saturday 5/6 in the Xplorers' first game against a team outside of the South Division. Kickoff is at 7 pm at the DeSoto Civic Center. The Xplorers are 2-0 all-time versus the Wolves, including an 83-26 win last season at the DCC. The 83 points is a franchise record.

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