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Memphis Xplorers game notes

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

Memphis Xplorers (9-3)
At Macon Knights (4-7)
Date: Friday, June 30, 2006
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CDT
Site: Macon Coliseum (7,182)
National Anthem:
Coin Toss:
Referee: Larry Mallam
Umpire: Mike Cullin
Head Linesman: Jeff Heaser
Line Judge: Harold Mitchell
Back Judge: Ronnie Stewart
Radio: 730 ESPN, Jim Erickson
Series Record: Xplorers lead series 2-0
Last Meeting: 62-26 MEM @ MEM 4/28/06
Streaks: Xplorers- 1 win // Knights- 1 loss
Danton Barto (43-33 reg season; 3-1 playoffs, 5th Season)
Derek Stingley (10-11; 0-1 playoffs, 2nd Season)

THE STAKES: This is the second of two meetings in 2006. The Xplorers won the earlier meeting 62-26 on 4/28 at the DCC. Beginning with this game, 3 of the Xplorers' final 4 games are on the road. The Xplorers will be looking for a season series sweep and for their 10th win of the season. The Knights are coming off the bye week after falling to Florida 66-54 on 6/17.

THE SERIES: Both teams have been in af2 6 seasons, but entering this season, they had played only once. After the 62-26 win earlier this season, the Xplorers are 2-0 all-time versus the Knights. This will be the first game ever between the teams in Macon.

If Memphis defeats Macon, it would ...
- Give Memphis a 2-0 season series sweep of the Knights
- Give Memphis a 4-2 road record this season.
- Give Memphis its third straight 10+ win season
- Keep Memphis tied with most number of wins in af2.
- Give Head Coach Danton Barto his 47th career win, 4th all-time.

MEMPHIS (9-3, 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 BOS-SHREVEPORT 7:00 W 67-32
Sun, 5/28 @ Amarillo 3:00 W 34-27
Sat, 6/3 @ Stockton 9:00 W 73-54
Sat, 6/17 BIRMINGHAM 7:00 L 43-42
Sat, 6/24 SOUTH GEORGIA 7:00 W 81-53
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 (4-7, LOST 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 L 62-26
Sat, 5/6 South Georgia W 60-22
Sat, 5/13 @ Green Bay L 53-19
Sat, 5/20 WB/Scranton L 38-22
Sat, 5/27 @ Birmingham L 71-30
Sat, 6/3 @ South Georgia W 55-42
Sat, 6/10 Arkansas W 62-35
Sat, 6/17 @ Florida L 66-54
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 entering the season stands at 34-30 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 coordinator 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 played for the Tigers from 1990-1993. 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. In the CFL, he played for the Shreveport Pirates, Memphis Mad Dogs, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Ottawa Rough Riders. In the AFL, he played for the Connecticut Coyotes in 1996. Coach Barto currently resides with his wife Rachel and his 7-year-old son Will in Bartlett, Tennessee. He is a native of Niceville, FL.

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).

The Xplorers scored a defensive touchdown and two special teams touchdowns in winning their seventh straight home game. Terrell Adams returned after missing the previous week and had 8 catches for 123 yards and one touchdown. Adams also led the team with 7.5 tackles. The Xplorers' defense set the tone early as DB Remuise Johnson intercepted a Chad Elliott pass and returned it 23 yards for a score 2:30 into the game. The Knights, though, would score the next two touchdowns to make it 13-7 at the end of the first quarter. That would be last time they would hold the lead. Memphis outscored Macon 21-0 in the second quarter to open up a 28-13 advantage at the half. The second quarter included a Phillip Perry blocked field goal that he recovered and ran into the end zone and an Xplorers goal line stand on the last play before halftime. The Xplorers scored on the opening drive of the second half and did not look back as they outscored the Knights 34-13 in the half. Greg Golden scored his first af2 touchdown in his Xplorers debut; Joseph Crear returned an onside kick for a score; Kenny Higgins made an electric diving catch on fourth down for a 30 yard touchdown and back-up quarterback Stan Hill scored his first af2 touchdown on a one yard run to close out the scoring. Memphis QB Brian Jones was 19 of 29 for 265 yards and four touchdowns while the Knights' Chad Elliott was 22 of 41 for 244 yards and three scores.

The Xplorers avenged an earlier season loss to South Georgia with the win. The Xplorers' 81 points were the second-most in team history. Quarterback Brian Jones threw just one incomplete pass as he went 22 of 23 for 281 yards to go with a career high and team record tying eight touchdown passes. Both teams' offenses were clicking in the first half. Memphis scored on all six of its possessions while the Wildcats converted on five of seven.
The biggest play of the half, and possibly the game, came on the final play of the first half. With Memphis leading 40-34, South Georgia lined up for a 28 yard field goal attempt with :04 remaining. Dan Burnett's kick went wide left. Memphis' Deon Giddens caught the ball off the net, turned and ran it 57 yards for a touchdown and a 47-34 Xplorers lead at the half. It was a lead that the Xplorers would not give up as they outscored the Wildcats 34-19 in the second half. South Georgia QB Julian Reese was harassed all game long by a stepped-up Memphis pass rush. Reese completed 18 of 36 passes for 202 yards and five touchdowns. Xplorers OS Kevin Prentiss caught nine passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns, including the 100th TD reception of his career. Prentiss also returned his all-time af2 leading 14th kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The 81 points scored by the Xplorers in last week's win over South Georgia was the second most in franchise history and the third game in which the team has surpassed 80 points in a game. The Xplorers scored 83 points in a win over Manchester last season on 7/16. Their other 80-point effort came on 5/4/02 when the Xplorers defeated the Mobile Wizards 80-18.

The 81 points also moved the Xplorers from 5th to 3rd in the league in scoring offense averaging 57.8 points per game.

QB Brian Jones' 8 TD passes in the win over South Georgia was a career high. Jones has thrown 7 scoring tosses three times; twice this season (Florida 4/8 and Manchester 5/6).

Jones' 8 TD passes last week also give him 68 on the season. That is one shy of his career high of 69 that he threw last season.

Deon Giddens' missed field goal return for a touchdown just before halftime last week was the first of his career and second this season for the Xplorers. Terrance Quattlebaum returned a MFG for a score in Week 4 at Florida. Giddens' return was also just the third in Xplorers history. Kevin Prentiss had the other in a 2003 game vs Columbus. The Xplorers are the only team this season with more than one MFG return for a TD.

Prentiss returned a kickoff for a TD for the 14th time in his career last week. He is the all-time af2 leader in that category. Lawrence Pullen, who played for five different af2 teams, is second with 12.
Prentiss' second of his 3 TD receptions last week was the 100th of his career. He now has 101 and is tied with former Quad City Steamwheeler Jeff Hewitt for 6th place on the all-time af2 list.

Prentiss also made a move upward last week in 3 other categories in the all-time af2 record book. His 9 receptions last week moved him all alone into 10th place with 291 career receptions. Prentiss also climbed two spots to 6th on the all-time yards receiving list. His 143 yards last week give him 4462 for his career. He also moved into 2nd place on the kickoff return yards list and is 171 yards from passing former Bossier Battlewing Shadrick McAfee as the all-time leader. Here is where Prentiss ranks in other af2 career categories: Points-5th (696); Overall TD-5th (116).

After picking up 143 yards last week, Prentiss now has had 100 or more yards receiving in 21 of his 44 career games.

OL/DL Chris Eggleston picked up his 6th sack of the season last week. That number is a career high, surpassing the 4 sacks he had last season with Green Bay.

In their 12 games, the Xplorers have led at halftime in 11 of them. The team has also led entering the 4th quarter in all 12 games.

(2-0 / 2-0 Home)
7/24/04 37-12 W @ Memphis
4/28/06 62-26 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 281.5
Brian Jones 2 Total Off. TDs 82
Steven Azar 7 Scoring (Kick) 82
Brian Jones 2-t Rushing TDs 14
Brian Jones 2 Rushing Yds 211
Brian Jones 2 Yards/Rush 4.6
Brian Jones 4 Pass Yds 3167
Brian Jones 5 PassYards/Comp 13.4
Brian Jones 2 Completion % 69.0
Brian Jones 5 Passing TDs 68
Brian Jones 1 Passer Rating 129.2
Brian Jones 1 Pass Yds/Att 9.3
Kenny Higgins 6-t Yards/Catch 15.9
Kenny Higgins 5 Rec. Yards 1179
Kenny Higgins 9 Rec. TDs 22
Steven Azar 3-t PAT ATT 93
Steven Azar 8 PAT % 81.7
Steven Azar 4 PAT Made 76
Kevin Prentiss 10 KO Ret Ave 21.3
T. Quattlebaum 1-t MFG Ret TDs 1
Deon Giddens 1-t MFG Ret TDs 1
Deon Giddens 1 Total Tackles 82.5
S. Cunningham 9 Total Tackles 63.5
Deon Giddens 1 Passes Def. 38
S. Cunningham 5 Passes Def. 24
Joseph Crear 10-t Sacks 5.5
Chris Eggleston 7-t Sacks 6
Joseph Crear 10-t Tackles for Loss 7.5
Chris Eggleston 2 Fumbles Forced 4
Player Rank Category Stat
Derrick Lloyd 9 Rushing 13.1
Derrick Lloyd 10 Rushing TDs 8
Derrick Lloyd 8 Rushing Yards 144
Matt Jackson 5 MFG Ret Yards 95
Matt Jackson 7 Kick Return Avg 22.2
Ed Wangler 6 Sacks 7.0
Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 3 57.8 20 41.0
Touchdowns 1 100 21 66
Total Offense 3 293.1 8 278.4
Off avg./ play 1 8.1 16 5.7
Scoring defense 1 40.6 14 50.1
Points kicking 6 82 23 49
Total defense 18 284.4 T-15 268.4
Total offensive TD's 7 89 20 59
Rushing offense 8 26.7 13 21.5
Yards per rush 1 4.1 18 2.0
Pass efficiency 2 126.6 15 93.3
Rushing defense 23 40.3 15 23.2
Rushing TD's 8-t 21 14-t 16
Pass def. efficiency 6 91.7 11 99.1
Pass offense 4 266.4 5 256.9
Pass Defense 13 244.1 14 245.2
Passing Td's 7 68 18-t 43
Field Goals Made 21-t 2-7 t-18 3-15
PAT Kicking 6 81.7 T-22 67%
Turnover Ratio 11 +2 16 -4
First Downs 5-t 225 19 191
Opp. First Downs 20 240 T-5 192
3rd dn conversions 5 50% 13 43.4%
4th dn conversions 2 66.7% 10 45.5
Sacks 7 23 T-13 13
Sacks against 7 11 15 19
Penalties 19 67.0 6 49.7

Pos. Name Injury Status
OL/DL Phillip Perry Achilles On LTIR
DS Jonathan Lyles Ankle On LTIR
WR/DB Terrell Adams Knee On LTIR

Score Allow
0-9 Points 0-0 0-0
10-19 Points 0-0 0-0
20-29 Points 0-0 4-0
30-39 Points 1-0 1-0
40-49 Points 1-2 1-2
50-59 Points 2-1 3-0
60-69 Points 2-0 0-1
70-79 Points 2-0 0-0
80-89 Points 1-0 0-0
90+ Points 0-0 0-0
One Point Games 0-1
2-7 Points Games 2-2
8-13 Point Games 0-0
14-20 Point Games 2-0
21-27 Point Games 0-0
28+ Point Games 5-0
Score First 5-2
Opponent Scores First 4-1
After a win 5-3
After a loss 3-0
Before a bye week 1-0
After a bye week 0-1
In Overtime 1-0
Out pass opponent 5-2
Out rush opponent 2-1
Opponent out pass 4-1
Opponent out rush 7-2
Even rush 0-0
More total 0ffense 6-1
Less total offense 3-2
Lead after 1st qtr 4-2
Trail after 1st qtr 2-1
Tied after 1st qtr 3-0
Lead at Half 9-2
Trail at Half 0-1
Tied at Half 0-0
Lead after 3rd qtr 9-3
Trail after 3rd qtr 0-0
Tied after 3rd qtr 0-0

April 4-1
May 3-1
June 2-1

Home 6-1
Away 3-2

Overall 46-46
Home 24-23
Away 22-23
April 14-11
May 12-12
June 13-12
July 7-11

Xplorers Head Coach Danton Barto

On the play of Brian Jones and Kevin Prentiss on Saturday...

"That was the old Brian Jones and Kevin Prentiss. What a 1-2 punch. When they play like that, we are very hard to beat."

On Deon Giddens' missed field goal return for a touchdown at the end of the 1st half...

"It was a phenomenal play. I saw him break out of there after he caught it off the net and I thought he had a chance to go all the way and he did. It was a big play giving us momentum going into halftime."

On the game at Macon this week...

"Macon is playing better. They have picked up some players and it will be a tough place for us to play."

FORWARD MOTION: The Xplorers head to Louisville for a rematch of last season's ArenaCup in which the Xplorers won 63-41. It will also be a match-up of former high school football teammates in Xplorers Head Coach Danton Barto and Fire Head Coach Tommy Johnson. The Xplorers are 5-2 all-time versus the Fire; 2-0 at Freedom Hall.

(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
9 @ Amarillo WR Kenny Higgins
10 @ Stockton QB Brian Jones
12 vs S. Georgia 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
12 vs S. Georgia WR/DB Deon Giddens

(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
9 @ Amarillo OL/DL Chris Eggleston
10 @ Stockton DS Deon Giddens
12 vs S. Georgia OL/DL Joseph Crear

RECENT ROSTER MOVES (most recent first):
Date Action Player
6/22 Assigned WR/DB Sidney Haugabrook
6/22 Waived OL/DL Brian Smith
6/21 Assigned OL/DL Alex Bell
6/21 Placed on LTIR WR/DB Terrell Adams
6/12 Waived OL/DL Decorye Hampton
5/31 Placed on LTIR WR/DB Jonathan Lyles
5/31 Assigned OL/DL Ernest Jones
5/26 Assigned QB Daniel Forrest
5/25 Traded to BOS QB Stan Hill
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

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