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Memphis Xplorers game notes

May 11, 2006 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Memphis Xplorers News Release

QUICK FACTS:
Memphis Xplorers (5-1)
at South Georgia Wildcats (0-5)
Date: Saturday, May 13, 2006
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CDT
Site: Albany Civic Center (8,034)
National Anthem:
Coin Toss:
Referee: Larry Mallam
Umpire: Chris Hughes
Head Linesman: Abdullah, Salaam
Line Judge: Andy Britton
Back Judge: Wayne Gautney
Radio: 730 ESPN, Jim Erickson
TV: None
Series Record: Wildcats lead 2-0
Last Meeting: 46-35 Cape Fear 7/3/04 @ MEM
Streaks: Xplorers- 2 wins
Wildcats- 5 losses (8 going back to '05)
Coaches:
Danton Barto (39-31; 3-1 playoffs, 5th Season)
Donnie Davis (1-10; 2nd Season)


THE STAKES: The Xplorers are looking to improve to 6-1 and win their third straight game after a 58-52 overtime win over Manchester on Saturday. At 0-5, the Wildcats are looking for their first win of the season and are coming off a 60-22 loss to Macon.

THE SERIES: The Xplorers are 0-2 all-time versus the Wildcats. The earlier two meetings were when the Wildcats played in Fayetteville, NC as the Cape Fear Wildcats. The team is in its 2nd season in Albany, GA. The Wildcats won the most recent meeting, 46-35 at the DCC on 7/3/04.

THE IFs:
If Memphis defeats Macon, it would ...
- Give Memphis their 12th win in their last 13 games.
- Give Memphis their first ever win over the Wildcats.
- Give Memphis a 6-1 season record and a 5-1 record within the South Division.
- Give Head Coach Danton Barto his 40th regular season win.
- Give Memphis a 2-1 record on the road this season.
MEMPHIS (5-1, WON 2)
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 W 62-26
Sat, 5/6 Manchester 7:00 W 58-52 OT
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

SOUTH GEORGIA (0-5, LOST 5)
Date Opponent ET W/L Score
Sat, 4/8 Tenn Valley L 58-50
Sat, 4/15 Tulsa L 46-24
Fri, 4/21 @ WB/Scranton L 36-33
Sat, 4/29 Birmingham L 40-34
Sat, 5/6 @ Macon L 60-22
Sat, 5/13 Memphis 7:00
Sat, 5/20 @ Oklahoma City 7:00
Sat, 5/27 @ Florida 7:30
Sat, 6/3 Macon 7:30
Sat, 6/10 @ Birmingham 8:00
Sat, 6/17 Green Bay 7:30
Sat, 6/24 @ Memphis 8:00
Sat, 7/8 Bos-Shreveport 7:30
Sat, 7/15 @ Tenn Valley 8:30
Sat, 7/22 @ Rio Grnde Valley 8:30
Sat, 7/29 Florida 7:30

HEAD COACHES:
Danton Barto-Memphis
Barto is entering his fifth season as the Head Coach of the Memphis Xplorers. His career regular season record stands at 39-31 and 3-1 in the postseason. He is the winningest active coach in af2 since the start of the 2003 season. 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.

Donnie Davis-South Georgia
Davis was named the Wildcats second head coach in the team's five-year history on June 14, 2005. Davis served as the Offensive Coordinator for the Georgia Force (AFL) during the 2004 season. In his first game as Offensive Coordinator, Davis guided the Force to a 72-51 victory snapping a six game losing streak. During the remaining four games the Force averaged 58.3 points per game. Davis began his Arena Football League career with the Arizona Rattlers in 1997 and guided them to an Arena Bowl XI championship and earned MVP honors. After three seasons with the Rattlers, Davis joined the Milwaukee Mustangs for a season and then went on to play two seasons with the Georgia Force before retiring in 2003. He finished his AFL career 701-of-1,108 passes for 8,192 yards and 138 touchdowns. He also rushed for 155 yards on 46 carries and 12 touchdowns. Davis ended his collegiate career in 1995 at Georgia Tech in fifth place on the Yellow Jackets career passing list with 3,261 yards and touchdown passes with 22. He also rushed 96 times for 390 yards and four touchdowns. Donnie and his wife Telsie and have two daughters, Chloe and Charlee.

LAST SERIES MEETING: 46-35 Cape Fear 7/3/04 @ MEM
The Wildcats outscored the Xplorers 14-3 in the 4th quarter to break open a game that was 32-all at the end of the three. The Wildcats defense held Memphis QB Michael Wall to just 8 of 17 passing for 148 yards. The Wildcats had 52 offensive plays while the Xplorers had just 22. The visiting team also dominated the time of possession 31:32 to 16:24 and had 17 first downs while the Xplorers had just 4. After Memphis PK Steven Green kicked his team record third field goal of the game early in the 4th giving his team the lead, Cape Fear scored the final 2 touchdowns for the win. Kevin Prentiss finished with 2 TD receptions and a 58 yard KO return for a score.

LAST WEEK'S RECAP: MEM 58 MAN 52-OT @ MEM
The Xplorers overcame a record performance by Manchester QB D. Bryant and improved to 5-1 with an exciting 58-52 overtime win over the Wolves at the DeSoto Civic Center.

Memphis QB Brian Jones connected with Kenny Higgins on a 13 yard touchdown for the game winner 6 minutes into the overtime session. Jones finished 22 of 40 for 331 yards, 7 TD and 1 INT.
Jones' 331 yards was a career high. Bryant set an af2 record with 42 completions as he went 42 of 57 for 389 yards, 8 TD and 0 INT. The old record was 38 by Tennessee Valley's Matt Sauk in 2000. Higgins led the Xplorers receivers with a season-high matching 10 catches for 135 yards and 3 scores. The Wolves had two receivers in double digits. Steve Gonzalez had 15 for 134 yards and 3 TD while Marc Bacote took in 11 passes for 90 yards and 4 TD. Defensively, Scott Cunningham returned to the Xplorers' lineup and finished with a career high 10.5 total tackles.
Both teams came out of the gate running; scoring 20 points each in a frantic first quarter. At one point in the first half, the Xplorers had 27 points on board, but had run just 7 offensive plays and had three first half scoring drives that consisted of one play.
Memphis led 34-27 at half and 44-34 after three quarters, but Manchester would take the lead twice in the fourth and had a chance to take a third lead with :47 left, but missed a PAT that kept the scored tied at 52; setting up the overtime. The Xplorers' defense held the Wolves scoreless on the first overtime possession, got the ball at midfield and would score on the Jones pass to Higgins 3 plays later.

XPLORERS X-TRA POINTS:
The Xplorers improved to 3-0 all-time versus Manchester with last week's win. The Xplorers also improved to 22-22 all-time in the regular season at home. They are 20-22 all-time on the road.

Xplorers QB Brian Jones set a career high with his 331 yards passing in last Saturday's win. His previous high-water mark was 329 yards last season against Oklahoma City. His 7 TD passes also matched a career high. It was the third time that Jones has had 7 TD passes in a game: this season versus Florida on 4/8 and on 6/11/05 vs Quad City.

Franchise career sack leader Joseph Crear's sack of Manchester QB D. Bryant in the first quarter last week was his team co-leading 4th of the season and was number 18.5 for his Xplorers career. The sack is also the only one given up by the Wolves this season.

DS Scott Cunningham's 10.5 tackles last week were a single-game career high and the third all-time highest single-game total in Xplorers history. Teammate Deon Giddens set he franchise mark with 13 in the season opener at Tennessee Valley and Kenzaki Jones had 11.5 in the 7/3/04 game with Cape Fear.

The Manchester Wolves rearranged the af2 record book with some of the offensive numbers they put up against the Xplorers last week. QB D. Bryant set the league record with 42 completions. His 57 attempts are fourth all-time and his 389 passing yards tied for the 10th highest all-time total. The team's 28 first downs tied for the sixth most all-time and their 416 total offensive net yards was fifth all-time.

Through 6 weeks of play, the Xplorers are second in the league in points scored and points given up per game. The offense is scoring 59.3 pts/game while the defense is allowing 38.3 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 725 receiving yards.

QB Brian Jones is #1 in af2 in total offense (1754); passing yards (1677); and total offensive TDs (42)

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

The Xplorers 4-1 record in April marked the second straight season that the team went 4-1 in April. The team's all-time record in the month is now 14-11. It is the only month that the Xplorers have an all-time regular season record above .500. They are 9-11 all-time in May; 11-11 in June and 7-11 in July.

Coach Barto is the winningest active coach in af2 since the start of the 2003 season. His regular season record over that time is 34-20. Manchester coach Ben Bennett fell to 33-20 since the start of the 2003 season with the loss to the Xplorers last week. Barto and Bennett are the two winningest active af2 head coaches since the beginning of the 2003 season.

XPLORERS VS SOUTH GEORGIA WILDCATS
(**Were Cape Fear Wildcats 2002-2004)
(0-2 / 0-1 Home / 0-1 Away)
7/26/03 55-33 L @ Cape Fear
7/3/04 46-35 L @ Memphis

LEAGUE TOP 10s: Players from this week's match-up who rank among af2's statistical leaders:
XPLORERS
Player Rank Category Stat
Brian Jones 1 Total Offense 1754
Brian Jones 1 Total Off. TDs 42
Steven Azar 3 Scoring (Kick) 42 pts
Terrell Adams 9 All Purpose Yd 147/gm
Brian Jones 3-t Rushing TDs 7
Brian Jones 3 Rushing Yds 77
Brian Jones 1 Pass Yds 1677
Brian Jones 3 PassYards/Comp 13.7
Brian Jones 7 Completion % 64.6
Brian Jones 3 Passing TDs 35
Brian Jones 2 Passer Rating 125.8
Brian Jones 2 Pass Yds/Att 8.9
Kenny Higgins 4 Pass Rec. 44
Kenny Higgins 5 Yards/Catch 16.5
Kenny Higgins 1 Rec. Yards 725
Kenny Higgins 7-t Rec. TDs 12
Steven Azar 1 PAT ATT 47
Steven Azar 5 PAT % 83%
Steven Azar 1-t PAT Made 39
Terrell Adams 5 MFG Ret Yds 55
T. Quattlebaum 7 MFG Ret Yds 48
T. Quattlebaum 1-t MFG Ret TDs 1
T. Quattlebaum 5 KO Ret Ave 21.6
Joseph Crear 4-t Sacks 4
Chris Eggleston 4-t Sacks 4
Deon Giddens 1 Total Tackles 44.5
Deon Giddens 1 Passes Def. 25
S. Cunningham 5-t Passes Def. 13

WILDCATS
Player Rank Category Stat
Dondrial Pinkins 6 Rushing yards 65
Dondrial Pinkins 10 Yards/rush 3.8
Rod Woodham 7 Yards/catch 14.8
Chris McKinney 6-t Receptions 40
Dan Burnett 3-t Field Goals 4
Chris McKinney 10 KO Ret Ave 19.9
Chris McKinney 3-t KO Ret TDs 1
James McCoy 2-t Total Tackles 39
James McCoy 1 Fumble Recov. 4





TALE OF THE TAPE:
Statistical XPLORERS WILDCATS
Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 2 59.3 22 32.6
Scoring Defense 2 38.3 T-12 48.0
Total Offense 4 306.2 23 170.4
Total Defense 21 290 15 264.4
Pass Offense 3 285 23 136.6
Pass Defense 18 259.7 12 238.8
Rushing Offense 11 21.2 1 33.8
Rushing Defense 21 30.3 17 25.6
Offensive TDs 1-t 44 22 17
Scoring (Kicking) 3 42 21 21
Pass Rating 2 123.1 23 52.5
Pass Def. Rating 6 92.3 16 100.9
Kickoff Return Ave 9 19.3 5 19.9
MFG Return Ave 5 26.8 19 5.7
Turnover Margin 10-t +1 23 -2.00
Field Goals Made 14-t 1 4 4
PAT Kicking 5 .830 13 .692
Sacks By 4-t 10 T-18 4
Sacks Against 7 5 T-22 20
First Downs 2 118 23 64
Opp. First Downs 21 114 6 87
Most Penalties 8 64.7 19 47.8

MEMPHIS INJURY REPORT:
Pos. Name Injury Status
OL/DL Phillip Perry Achilles On LTIR




XPLORERS RECORD WHEN...
Score Allow
0-9 Points 0-0 0-0
10-19 Points 0-0 0-0
20-29 Points 0-0 3-0
40-49 Points 1-0 1-0
50-59 Points 2-1 1-0
60-69 Points 1-0 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 1-1
8-13 Point Games 0-0
14-20 Point Games 1-0
21-27 Point Games 0-0
28+ Point Games 3-0
Score First 3-1
Opponent Scores First 2-0
After a win 3-1
After a loss 1-0
Before a bye week 0-0
After a bye week 0-0
In Overtime 1-0
Out pass opponent 3-0
Out rush opponent 1-1
Opponent out pass 2-1
Opponent out rush 4-0
Even rush 0-0
More total offense 4-0
Less total offense 1-1
Lead after 1st qtr 1-1
Trail after 1st qtr 2-0
Tied after 1st qtr 2-0
Lead at Half 5-1
Trail at Half 0-0
Tied at Half 0-0
Lead after 3rd qtr 5-1
Trail after 3rd qtr 0-0
Tied after 3rd qtr 0-0
RECORD BY MONTH
April 4-1
May 1-0
June
July
RECORD HOME/AWAY
Home 4-0
Away 1-1
XPLORERS ALL-TIME RECORD (Reg. Season)
Overall 42-44
Home 22-22
Away 20-22
April 14-11
May 10-11
June 11-11
July 7-11
THIS WEEK'S QUOTES
Danton Barto on "The Danton Barto Show"

On winning last week's game in overtime...

"Overtime may be fun for the fans, but not for me or the coaching staff. I told the guys that I am getting a little too old to have these close games. But, as a fan, you had to go away from that game enjoying arena football."

Evaluating the win over Manchester...

"The one good thing is that we got a win in a game that we probably should've lost. The game also showed us where our weaknesses still are and where we need to get better."

On the play of his pass defense in last week's win over Manchester...

"We've got to make some changes back there. It is to the point that we are definitely going make some changes. Our current defensive backs aren't getting it done."

On this week's opponent, the 0-5 South Georgia Wildcats...

"It looks like they haven't been able to get over the hump in their games. They played Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tough on the road and have made some good plays. They also just acquired a very good quarterback in Julian Reese and that should make them better."

SCHUTT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME AWARD
(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
5 vs Macon WR/DB Terrell Adams
6 vs Manchstr OS Kenny Higgins




US ARMY IRONMAN OF THE GAME AWARD
(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




ADT DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME AWARD
(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
5 vs Macon OL/DL Phillip Perry
6 vs Manchstr DS Scott Cunningham

RECENT ROSTER MOVES (most recent first):
Date Action Player
5/4 Activated from OLE OL/DL Maurice Troutman
5/4 Assigned OL/DL Blake Lobel
5/4 Placed on LTIR OL/DL Phillip Perry
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 return home to face former division rival Bossier-Shreveport at 7pm at the DCC. For the first time in their histories, the Xplorers and Battle Wings are not in the same division. The only team the Xplorers have played more than the Battle Wings is Arkansas. Memphis is 6-3 all-time versus Bossier and has won the last two games and 5 of the last 6. The Xplorers swept last year's season series 63-24 and 47-27.

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