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Memphis Xplorers game notes

May 25, 2006 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Memphis Xplorers News Release

Memphis Xplorers (6-2)
at Amarillo Dusters (4-3)
Date: Sunday, May 28, 2006
Kickoff: 3 p.m. CDT
Site: Amarillo Civic Center (4,870)
National Anthem:
Coin Toss:
Referee: David Malone
Umpire: Chad Bowers
Head Linesman: Gary Calip Line Judge: Lee Ross
Back Judge: Scott Gasaway
Radio: 730 ESPN, Jim Erickson
TV: None
Series Record: Memphis leads 2-0 (1-0 in playoffs)
Last Meeting: 71-30 MEM 8/12/05 @ MEM (playoffs)
Streaks: Xplorers- 1 win
Dusters- 4 wins
Danton Barto (40-32; 3-1 playoffs, 5th Season)
Steve Perdue (10-10; 2nd Season)

THE STAKES: The Xplorers will be out to snap a two game road losing streak. While the team has won 9 straight games at home, they have dropped their last two away from the DCC; 4/22 at Florida and 5/13 at South Georgia. After starting the season 0-3, the Dusters have won their last four to climb to 4-3.

THE SERIES: The Xplorers went 3-0 versus Amarillo last season, the Dusters' first season in af2. Memphis swept the two regular season meetings and then picked up a 71-30 win at the DCC in the National Conference Semis.

If Memphis defeats Amarillo, it would ...
- Give Memphis its 13th win in their last 15 games.
- Break Memphis' two game road losing streak.
- Improve Memphis' all-time record vs the Dusters to 4-0
- Keep Memphis in first place in the South Division.

MEMPHIS (6-2, WON 1)
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 W 67-32
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 @ Arkansas L 58-20
Sat, 4/15 Oklahoma City L 61-44
Sat, 4/22 Spokane L 66-62
Sat, 4/29 @ Oklahoma City W 58-56
Sat, 5/6 Arkansas W 45-34
Sat, 5/13 @ Bossier-Shreveport W 53-34
Sat, 5/20 Rio Grande Valley W 35-28
Sun, 5/28 Memphis 3:00
Sat, 6/3 @ Bakersfield 9:00
Sat, 6/10 @ Rio Grande Valley 7:30
Sat, 6/17 Central Valley 7:00
Sat, 6/24 Tulsa 7:00
Sat, 7/8 @ Spokane 8:00
Sat, 7/15 @ Memphis 7:00
Sat, 7/22 Bossier-Shrevpeort 7:00
Sat, 7/29 @ Tulsa 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 40-32 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.

Steve Perdue-Amarillo
Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Steve Perdue begins his second full season at the helm of the Amarillo Dusters, and his third season with the team overall. Perdue took over as Head Coach in week four of the 2005 season, leading the Dusters to a 49-31 victory over the San Diego Riptide in his first game. Coach Perdue led the team to 6 regular-season wins as well as an upset road victory over the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz in the opening round of the 2005 playoffs. As a result of the 59-56 victory, the Dusters became the first expansion team in af2 history to win a playoff game. After becoming the first player to sign with the franchise, Perdue decided to retire as a player and focus on coaching. As the team's Defensive Coordinator and Special Teams Assistant in 2004, Perdue helped lead an outstanding defensive unit and special teams unit in the team's IFL championship run. A native of Amarillo, Coach Perdue played locally at Randall High School, and also played four seasons professionally from 2000-2003. He and his wife Kimanda have three children: Christian, Hailie, and Xavier.

The Xplorers outscored the Dusters 48-16 in the second half to run away with the National Conference Semifinal. Terrell Adams scored 5 TD (2 receiving, 2 rushing and 1 fumble recovery) to lead the Xplorers attack. QB Brian Jones threw for 4 TD and ran in another as Memphis won their first ever playoff game. K Steven Azar set the franchise mark for longest FG with a 51 yarder in the second quarter that gave the Xplorers a 23-14 halftime lead. Adams would score three of his touchdowns in the 3rd quarter as his team outscored the Dusters 20-0 in the quarter. Amarillo QB Julian Reese was 31-44 passing for 300 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. The Xplores sacked Reese 3 times.

The Xplorers picked up their ninth straight home victory and improved to 6-2 while the Battle Wings remained winless at 0-7.
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. Linebacker Dwan Wilson sacked Bossier QB JJ Raterink in the endzone for a safety to put Memphis ahead 23-14 at the midway point of the second quarter. Memphis' Steven Azar kicked a 45 yarder on the final play of the half to put the lead at 33-23. 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. On a down note, the teams combined for 167 penalty yards on 25 penalties. Memphis had 16 for 113 yards marked off against them.

With his 71 yards receiving in his return to the Xplorers last week, Kevin Prentiss surpassed the 4,000 yard mark in receiving for his career. He currently has 4,028 entering this week. Prentiss becomes the tenth player in af2 history to surpass 4,000 yards and sits tenth on the all-time list. Here is how Prentiss ranks in other af2 career categories: Points-6th (642); Overall TD-6th (107); Receptions- 12th (260); TD Receptions- 8th (93); Kickoff Return Yards-3rd (3196); Kickoff Return TD-1st (13).

Prentiss had a career day versus the Dusters in the first meeting last season on 4/8/05. He tied af2 records for points (48) and touchdowns (8) in a game. He had 9 receptions for 186 yards and 6 TD. He added 2 more TD on kickoff returns.

Last Week's win was Danton Barto's 40th regular season victory as Xplorers Head Coach. Including playoffs, the 5th year coach is 43-33 and is 7th on the af2 wins list. His regular season record since the start of the 2003 season (35-21) is the best among active coaches.

Through 8 games this season, the Xplorers defense has 14 sacks, 4 interceptions and is plus 3 in turnover ratio. Last season through 8 games, the team had 18 sacks, 17 INT and had a turnover ratio of plus 18. Despite those discrepancies, the 2006 Xplorers are giving up fewer points per game than last season. So far in 2006, they are giving up a league low 32.8 points per game compared to 34.8 through 8 games last season.

The win over Bossier-Shreveport put the Xporers over the .500 mark all-time at home at 23-22. Overall, the Xplorers have a record of 43-45 since coming into af2 in 2001.

With the assignment of OL/DL DeCorye Hampton and FB/LB Tyus Jackson last week, the Xplorers have 4 former University of Memphis players on their roster. The others are OL/DL Kenyun Glover and OL/DL Gene Frederic. OL/DL Chris Eggleston attended Memphis, but did not play for the football team.
(2-0 / 1-0 Home / 1-0 Away / 1-0 playoffs)

4/8/05 66-41 W @ Amarillo
5/14/05 46-40 W @ Memphis
8/12/05 71-30 W @ Memphis (Conf Semis)

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 1985
Brian Jones 2 Total Off. TDs 48
Steven Azar 3-T Scoring (Kick) 53 pts
Brian Jones 5-t Rushing TDs 8
Brian Jones 5 Rushing Yds 99
Brian Jones 3 Pass Yds 1886
Brian Jones 2 PassYards/Comp 13.6
Brian Jones 6 Completion % 65.3
Brian Jones 5 Passing TDs 40
Brian Jones 1 Passer Rating 127.1
Brian Jones 1 Pass Yds/Att 8.9
Kenny Higgins 10 Pass Rec. 49
Kenny Higgins 4 Yards/Catch 16.5
Kenny Higgins 2 Rec. Yards 808
Kenny Higgins 10 Rec. TDs 14
Steven Azar 2 PAT ATT 56
Steven Azar 4 PAT % 83.9%
Steven Azar 2-t PAT Made 47
Terrell Adams 8-t MFG Ret Yds 55
T. Quattlebaum 1-t MFG Ret TDs 1
Joseph Crear 7-t Sacks 4
Chris Eggleston 4 Sacks 5
Deon Giddens 3 Total Tackles 48.5
Deon Giddens 1 Passes Def. 29
S. Cunningham 7-t Passes Def. 14
Deon Giddens 2-t Fumbles Forced 3

Player Rank Category Stat
Jacob Felton 5 Scoring (kick) 57
M. Broussard 8-7 Rushing TD 7
M. Broussard 4 Yards/rush 4.5
M. Broussard 9 Rushing Yards 77
Jacob Felton 2 FG Made 6
Jacob Felton 2 FG Attempts 16
Jacob Felton 1 PAT % 95.1
Jahmal Fenner 4 MFG Ret Yards 80
Terrell Mingo 8-t Interceptions 4
Jared Williams 3 Sacks 5.5
Kent Turner 7-t Sacks 4
Terrell Mingo 9 Passes Def. 14
Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 7 52.9 15 45.3
Touchdowns 2-t 60 17 43
Total Offense 11 261.0 20 214.6
Off avg./ play 1 7.6 19 4.9
Scoring defense 1 32.8 14-t 48.1
Points kicking 3-t 53 2 57
Total defense 2 241.2 8 242
Total offensive TD's 6-t 51 18 39
Rushing offense 14 19.4 8 23.1
Yards per rush 5 3.2 17 2.1
Rush yards 11 155 8 162
Pass efficiency 2 123.4 13 95.2
Rushing defense 19 26.5 1 9.9
Rushing TD's 12 11 5-t 15
Pass def. efficiency 6 92.1 16 102.4
Pass offense 13 241.6 20 191.4
Passing yards 3 1933 20 1340
Passing Td's 6 40 20 24
Field Goals Made 12-t 2 2 6
First Downs 5 136 20 113
Opp. First Downs 16 134 10-t 121
Penalties 14 62.6 11 53.7
Sacks 5 14 3 18
Sacks against 5-t 5 18-t 13
3rd dn conversions 9 46.7 23 30.9
4th dn conversions 3-t 66.7 17 31.2

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
30-39 Points 0-0 1-0
40-49 Points 1-1 1-1
50-59 Points 2-1 1-0
60-69 Points 2-0 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 4-0
Score First 4-1
Opponent Scores First 2-1
After a win 3-2
After a loss 2-0
Before a bye week 0-0
After a bye week 0-0
In Overtime 1-0
Out pass opponent* 4-0
Out rush opponent* 1-1
Opponent out pass* 2-1
Opponent out rush* 5-0
Even rush* 0-0
More total 0ffense* 5-0
Less total offense* 1-1
Lead after 1st qtr 2-1
Trail after 1st qtr 2-1
Tied after 1st qtr 2-0
Lead at Half 6-1
Trail at Half 0-1
Tied at Half 0-0
Lead after 3rd qtr 6-2
Trail after 3rd qtr 0-0
Tied after 3rd qtr 0-0

April 4-1
May 2-1

Home 5-0
Away 1-2

Overall 43-45
Home 23-22
Away 20-23
April 14-11
May 11-12
June 11-11
July 7-11

Xplorers Head Coach Danton Barto

On getting back in the win column last week...

"We need that win to get our confidence back after the loss at South Georgia."

On the return of Kevin Prentiss...

"He is not in perfect game shape or up to full speed yet, but you could tell the defense knew he was out there. He makes our offense better by just stepping on the field."

On the defense stepping up to make plays in the second half....

"We were able to get after the quarterback, run around, hit guys and cause turnovers. That is what we have been wanting from our defense on a consistent basis."

On this week's opponent, the Amarillo Dusters...

"They are one of the hottest teams in league right now with four wins in a row. Their building is a tough place to play and we will need to have all parts of our game clicking."

(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
8 vs Bossier 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
8 vs Bossier WR/DB Terrell Adams

(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
8 vs Bossier FB/LB Dwan Wilson

RECENT ROSTER MOVES (most recent first):
Date Action Player
5/19 Assigned OL/DL Decorye Hampton
5/19 Placed on Susp. List WR/DB Remuise Johnson
5/18 Assigned OL/DL Brian Smith
5/18 Assigned FB/LB Tyus Jackson
5/18 Assigned WR/DB Jonathan Lyles
5/18 Activated from STIR OL/DL Maurice Troutman
5/18 Re-assigned FB/LB Jermaine Beale
5/18 Re-assigned WR/DB Daryon Brutley
5/18 Re-assigned WR/DB D. Dunbar
5/18 Re-assigned WR/LB Tommy Manus
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

FORWARD MOTION: Next week, the Xplorers travel to Stockton, California to play the expansion lightning for the first time. Kickoff is 9 p.m. CDT. Through 7 games, the Lightning are 3-4. The Lightning are coached by former Richmond and Albany coach Richard Davis. Davis is one of the winningest coaches in af2 with 44 victories. The last time the Xplorers played an expansion team for the first time was in Week Two last season at Amarillo.

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