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Memphis Xplorers game notes

May 18, 2006 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Memphis Xplorers News Release

Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings (0-6)
at Memphis Xplorers (5-2)
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2006
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CDT
Site: DeSoto Civic Center (8,034)
National Anthem:
Coin Toss:
Referee: Fred Wiedower Umpire: Chad Walker
Head Linesman: Karl Lane Line Judge: Mark Bailey
Back Judge: Dax Hill
Radio: 730 ESPN, Jim Erickson
TV: None
Series Record: Memphis leads 6-3
Last Meeting: 47-27 MEM 7/30/05 @ MEM
Streaks: Xplorers- 1 loss
Battle Wings- 6 losses (11 going back to '05)
Danton Barto (39-32; 3-1 playoffs, 5th Season)
John Fourcade (0-6; 1st Season @ BOS; 19-35; 3-1
playoffs, 4th Season in af2)

THE STAKES: The Xplorers will try to rebound after falling to the previously winless South Georgia Wildcats 48-41 last week in Albany, GA. They face another winless club this week in the 0-6 Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings. The Wings will be looking for their first win since 6/18 of last season and their first road win since 5/2/05. The Wings are coming off a 53-34 home loss to Amarillo last week.

THE SERIES: The Xplorers hold a 6-3 edge in the all-time versus the Battle Wings. This is the first season since the two franchises entered the league in 2001 that they haven't been in the same division. The teams have played twice every season except 2001 and this season.

If Memphis defeats Bossier-Shreveport, it would ...
- Give Memphis its 12th win in their last 14 games.
- Give Memphis its 7th consecutive regular season home victory; 9th if you include last season's playoffs.
- Give Memphis its 7th win over the Battle Wings in 10 all-time meetings.
- Give Head Coach Danton Barto his 40th regular season win.
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 L 48-41
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

Date Opponent CDT Result Score
Sat,4/8 CENTRAL VALLEY 7:00 L 34-63
Sat, 4/15 ARKANSAS 7:00 L 35-55
Sat, 4/22 At Tulsa 7:00 L 3-72
Sat, 4/29 FLORIDA 7:00 L 26-47
Sat, 5/6 At Rio Grande Val. 7:30 L 28-43
Sat, 5/13 AMARILLO 7:00 L 34-53
Sat, 5/20 At Memphis 7:00
Sat, 5/27 OAKLAHOMA CITY 7:00
Sat, 6/3 At Arkansas 7:00
Sat, 6/17 TENN. VALLEY 7:00
Sat, 6/24 At Stockton 9:00
Sat, 7/1 RIO GRANDE VAL. 7:00
Sat, 7/8 At South Georgia 6:30
Sat, 7/15 TULSA 7:00
Sat, 7/22 At Amarillo 7:00
Sat, 7/29 At Oklahoma City 7:00

Danton Barto-Memphis
Barto is entering his fifth season as the Head Coach of the Memphis Xplorers. His career regular season record stands at 39-32 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.

John Fourcade-Bossier-Shreveport
Fourcade is in his first season as the BattleWings head coach. John has played or coached in six different professional football leagues over the past 23 years. John has thrived in the indoor game, having won an Arena Football League (AFL) championship as a player with the Denver Dynamite in 1987 and two Indoor Professional Football League (IPFL) titles as player/coach with the Mississippi Firedogs (1999 & 2000). He then coached the af2 Florida Firecats to the 2002 Arena Cup. John set several school records as an All-American quarterback at Ole Miss (1978 - 1981), breaking several career passing marks held by the football legend Archie Manning. John then went on to play two years in the Canadian Football League (1983 - 84), one year in the USFL (1985) and three seasons in the AFL (1987, 1993 - 1994) before reaching the NFL. He then played four years with the New Orleans Saints, helping lead them to their first ever playoff appearance in 1987. John then returned to the AFL in 1993 (Milwaukee Mustangs) and 1994 as Head Coach of the Miami Hooters. Being an avid golfer, after a brief stint on the celebrity circuit, he returned to football in 1999 with the Mississippi Firedogs. Head coaching stops also included the Mobile Seagulls (IPFL - 2001), Flordia Firecats (af2 - 2002), Columbus Wardogs (af2 - 2003 & 2004), and the Tupelo Fireants (UIF - 2005).

On the night that the franchise celebrated its first division crown with a banner unveiling, the Xplorers concluded their best ever regular season at 13-3 with the win while the Battle Wings finished 3-13. Memphis held Bossier scoreless, 13-0, in the second half after claiming a 34-27 halftime lead. The Battle Wings actually out-gained the Xplorers in total offensive yardage for the game; 243-181. WR/LB Sále Key led Memphis with seven catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns. He caught his first touchdown on the Xplorers opening play of the game. Defensively, Dahnel Singfield had four solo tackles, one assisted tackle, an interception, which he nearly returned for a touchdown, and seven passes defensed.

The Wildcats won their first game of the season with a 48-41 upset of the Memphis Xplorers at the Albany Civic Center. The loss dropped the Xplorers to 5-2 while the Wildcats upped their record to 1-5. Behind new starting quarterback Julian Reese, the Wildcats took an early 13-0 lead and led 27-14 at halftime. Reese, the Schutt Offensive Player of the Game, passed for three scores and rushed for another. James Harris added three rushing touchdowns for the victorious Wildcats. The Xplorers came out of the halftime break determined to right their ship and they did; scoring three touchdowns on four plays to start the third and take a 35-27 lead. The first touchdown of that three touchdown run came on the first play of the half. Jones looked right and then ran left for 45 yards, the longest run from scrimmage in Xplorers history to cut the Wildcats lead to six points. Jones accounted for all six of the Xplorers touchdowns with five scoring tosses to go with the long run. Ultimately it was a fourth down stop by the Wildcat defense with under 30 seconds remaining that preserved the upset win; the first home win for South Georgia since May 14 of last year.

The loss last week to the Wildcats kept the Xplorers winless in the all-time series at 0-3. The first two losses came when the Wildcats franchise played in Fayetteville, NC as the Cape Fear Wildcats.

Xplorers QB Brian Jones set a franchise record for the longest run from scrimmage with his 45 yard TD scamper on the first play of the second half last week. The previous record run was by QB Rod Robinson, who scored on a 38 yarder on 5/3/03 versus Tulsa.

The 14 first half points scored by Memphis last week was their lowest output in a half since scoring 10 points in the first half of their 37-12 playoff berth clinching win over Macon on 7/24/04. By trailing 27-13 at half last week, it was the first time that the Xplorers have trailed at halftime this season.

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.

Two members of the Xplorers 2005 ArenaCup Championship team were named to All-AFL Teams this week. OL/DL Khreem Smith of the Chicago Rush was named to the AFL All-Rookie Team and the All-AFL Second Team. DS Dahnel Singfield of the New York Dragons joined Smith on the All-Rookie Team. Smith was the only rookie to be named All-AFL. Smith, the 2005 af2 Lineman of the Year, finished the AFL regular season second in the league with 8 sacks. Smith led af2 with a Memphis franchise record 17 sacks last season. Singfield, the 2005 af2 Defensive Player of the Year, finished this season tied for 8th in the AFL with 7 INT He had a franchise record and af2 leading 12 INT last season. Both the Rush and Dragons have qualified for the AFL postseason.

The Xplorers activated OS Kevin Prentiss from the Other League Exempt List on Tuesday and he will be in the lineup this Saturday. The fourth year Prentiss returns as the career franchise leader in scoring, receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, kickoff return yardage and kickoff return touchdowns. Following last season, Prentiss was signed by Las Vegas for the 2006 AFL season. He made the team out of training camp and played in the first two games; catching three passes for 40 yards and one touchdown. He was placed on recallable waivers by the Gladiators on February 9. Last season, the former Mississippi State Bulldog had a career season that saw him set several single season franchise records and was named to the National Conference All-af2 second team. He had a career high matching and franchise-high matching 103 receptions. He also set career and franchise highs with 1627 receiving yards, 40 touchdown receptions and 264 points. His 40 touchdown receptions were fourth in the league, his 1627 receiving yards were fifth and his 264 points were fourth.
His 13 kickoff return touchdowns are a career af2 record. In his three seasons with the Xplorers, the Vicksburg, MS native has 255 receptions for 3957 yards and 93 touchdowns. Add in his return touchdowns and Prentiss has found the end zone 107 times in the Xplorers' green and black.


(6-3 / 3-2 Home / 3-1 Away)
5/19/01 44-25 L @ Memphis
4/20/02 61-51 W @ Memphis
5/25/02 67-61 L @ Bossier
5/30/03 62-35 W @ Memphis
6/27/03 56-35 W @ Bossier
4/23/04 62-29 W @ Bossier
6/5/04 67-28 L @ Memphis
4/3/05 63-24 W @ Bossier
7/30/05 47-27 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 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

Player Rank Category Stat
JJ Raterink 5 Total off. plays 226
JJ Raterink T5 Pass attempts 213
JJ Raterink T1 Interceptions 6
Brian Hazelwood 2 Field Goals 5
Brian Hazelwood 1 FG Attempts 15
Brian Hazelwood 2 FG percentage 33.3
Brian Hazelwood T8 PAT % 77.8%
Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 23 26.7
Touchdowns 23 21
Total Offense 22 176.7
Off avg./ play 23 4.0
Scoring defense 2 55.5
Points kicking T13 31
Total defense 19 278.5
Total offensive TD's 22 19
Rushing offense 20 12.8 ypg
Yards per rush 17 12.8
Rush yards 20 77
Pass efficiency 22 56.5
Rushing defense 23 29.7
Rushing TD's T21 4
Pass def. efficiency 21 119.4
Pass offense 22 163.8
Passing yards 22 983
Passing Td's 22 15
Field Goals T8 5 of 15
First Downs 21 85
Opp. First Downs T10 105
Penalties 3 43.2 ypg
Sacks T14 6
Sacks against 23 23
3rd dn conversions 21 34.5%
Pos. Name Injury Status
OL/DL Phillip Perry Achilles On LTIR

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 1-1 1-1
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 1-2
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 2-1
After a win 3-2
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 0ffense* 4-0
Less total offense* 1-1
Lead after 1st qtr 1-1
Trail after 1st qtr 2-1
Tied after 1st qtr 2-0
Lead at Half 5-1
Trail at Half 0-1
Tied at Half 0-0
Lead after 3rd qtr 5-2
Trail after 3rd qtr 0-0
Tied after 3rd qtr 0-0
April 4-1
May 1-1
Home 4-0
Away 1-2
Overall 42-45
Home 22-22
Away 20-23
April 14-11
May 10-12
June 11-11
July 7-11
Xplorers Head Coach Danton Barto

On the first half in last week's loss to South Georgia...

"Their first touchdown where we had five guys hit the runningback and he still ran it in kind of set the tempo for that first half. It was kind of 'Oh boy! We are in for a long night."

On the state of the team's defense...

"We are having a hard time making plays to get the ball back to our offense. I think our defense is atrocious right now and we have to find someone to step up and make some plays."

On Brian Jones' franchise record 45 yard TD run on the first play of 2nd half last week....

"My hat's off to him. The defense read the original play and Brian had to improvise. He gave one of those pump fakes and ran the opposite direction and out ran all of their DB's."

On playing another winless team this week in the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings...

"We need to get ourselves back on track. Last week proved that you can't under estimate anyone. I expect them to play hard. "

On the return of OS Kevin Prentiss...

"He is undoubtedly the most exciting player to put on a uniform in af2. We are excited to have him back to help us win another championship."

(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

(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
5 vs Macon OL/DL Phillip Perry
6 vs Manchstr DS Scott Cunningham
7 @ S Georgia OL/DL Chris Eggleston

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 play their lone Sunday game of the season when they travel to Amarillo to face the Dusters for a 3pm kickoff. The Dusters are 3-3 through the first 6 weeks of 2006 after making the postseason in their first season in af2 last season. The Xplorers and Dusters met three times last season (twice in the regular season and once in the postseason) with the Xplorers winning all three games by a combined score of 183-111. Despite the fact that these teams don't reside in the same division this season, they will play each other twice this season. They play again at the DCC on 7/15.

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