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Memphis Xplorers game notes

July 6, 2006 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Memphis Xplorers News Release

QUICK FACTS:
Memphis Xplorers (9-4)
At Louisville Fire (7-5)
Date: Saturday, July 8, 2006
Kickoff: 6:00 p.m. CDT
Site: Freedom Hall (15,646)
National Anthem:
Coin Toss:
Referee: Pat Miles
Umpire: Conrad Carney
Head Linesman: Greg Bradley
Line Judge: Tommy Walsh
Back Judge: Tom Wohlleber
Radio: 730 ESPN, Jim Erickson / Chad Lindsey
Series Record: Xplorers lead reg.season series 4-2
(1-0 in postseason)
Last Meeting: 63-41 MEM @ BOS 8/27/05 (ArenaCup)
Streaks: Xplorers- 1 loss // Fire- 3 wins
Coaches:
Danton Barto (43-34 reg season; 3-1 playoffs, 5th Season)
Tommy Johnson (32-28 reg season; 4-2 playoffs, 4th season)
THE STAKES: This is a rematch of last season's ArenaCup title game in which the Xplorers captured their first league championship with a 63-41 win. The Xplorers are trying to rebound from a loss last week at Macon while the Fire are coming off a bye week and have won their last 3 and 5 of their last 6.

THE SERIES: The Xplorers lead the all-time series 5-2, including last season's ArenaCup win. The Xplorers have never lost at Freedom Hall as they carry a 2-0 record on the Fire's home turf into the game.

THE IFs:
If Memphis defeats Louisville, it would ...
- Give Memphis a 6-2 all-time series record vs the Fire
- Give Memphis a 4-3 road record this season.
- Give Memphis its third straight 10+ win season
- Clinch a playoff spot for the third straight season

MEMPHIS (9-4, LOST 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 L 38-33
Sat, 7/8 @ Louisville 6:00
Sat, 7/15 AMARILLO 7:00
Sat, 7/22 @ Birmingham 7:00

LOUISVILLE (7-5, WON 3)
Date Opponent ET W/L Score
Fri, 3/31 @ WB/Scranton L 45-37
Fri, 4/14 MANCHESTER L 39-34
Fri, 4/21 BIRMINGHAM W 62-40
Sat, 4/29 GREEN BAY W 45-39
Fri, 5/5 @ Birmingham L 63-60
Sat, 5/13 @ Quad City L-OT 68-62
Sat, 5/20 ALBANY W 51-38
Sat, 5/27 @ Tenn. Valley W 62-56
Sat, 6/3 WB/SCRANTON L 51-48
Sat, 6/10 SPOKANE W 79-69
Sat, 6/17 @ Albany W 86-66
Fri, 6/23 @ Manchester W 59-49
Sat, 7/8 MEMPHIS 7:00
Sat, 7/15 QUAD CITY 7:00
Sat, 7/22 @ Florida 7:30
Fri, 7/28 @ Green Bay 8:30


HEAD COACHES:
Danton Barto-Memphis
Barto is entering his fifth season as the Head Coach of the Memphis Xplorers. His career regular season record 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.

Tommy Johnson-Louisville
Louisville Fire head coach Tommy Johnson, was born in Rome, Ga., and raised in Niceville, Fla. He began his football career as a player at DeFuniak Springs (Fla.) High School. He later transferred to Niceville High School. Johnson then attended the University of Alabama, where he played defensive back. His senior class at U of A was known for having the most wins in a four-year time period (45-5-1). In 1992, he played on the Crimson Tide squad that defeated the University of Miami for the National Championship. Johnson then continued his football career with the Jacksonville Jaguars for a year. He also was given the opportunity to compete in NFL Europe. He started his Arena football career with the Albany Firebirds, and moved on to the Carolina Cobras. Johnson presently holds the record for the longest interception return for a touchdown in AFL history. In 2001, Johnson began his coaching career with the Fire as defensive coordinator. After two seasons as defensive coordinator Johnson was named head coach three games into the 2003 season, when the Fire made the late run winning two of those three games. In 2004, Johnson led the Fire to its first winning season (9-7), first af2 play-offs appearance and first play-off victory over Quad City 52-47. Since Johnson was named head coach, the Fire has winning record of 12-9-0.

LAST SERIES MEETING: MEM 63 LOU 41 (ArenaCup)
The Xplorers captured their first ever league title with the win at the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City, LA. Kevin Prentiss caught an ArenaCup record 4 touchdown passes and finished with 9 receptions total for 124 yards. QB Brian Jones was 18 of 31 passing for 232 yards and 5 scores. He also rushed for a TD. Terrance Quattlebaum set an ArenaCup record with 2 INT. The Xplorers defense picked off Fire QB Matt Sauk a record 4 times total; two of which were returned for scores (one by Dahnel Singfield and the other by Scott Cunningham). Sauk was 32 of 46 for 271 yards and 5 TD. Fire OS Rob Mager caught 17 Sauk passes for 155 yards (both ArenaCup records). The 22 point margin of victory for Memphis was the largest in ArenaCup history.

WEEK 14 RECAP: MAC 38 MEM 33 @ MAC
The Xplorers rallied from a 19-0 first half deficit to take a fourth quarter lead, but couldn't hold on as the Macon Knights rallied themselves to pick up the win. Memphis, trailing 19-12 at the half, tied it on Greg Golden's 7 yard run at the 4:02 mark of the third quarter. The Xplorers tied it again at 26 early in the fourth quarter and then took a 33-32 lead after Brian Jones ran it in from 11 yards with just over 4 minutes remaining. That would be the last time the Xplorers would see the endzone, though. It would be Macon who would score last, on a leaping over-the-defender catch by OS Chavis McCollister. McCollister finished with 7 catches, 5 for scores as the Knights split the season series with Memphis, improved to 5-7 and kept their playoff hopes alive. The Xplorers fell to 9-4 and 3-3 on the road this season. Brian Jones attempted a career high 42 passes as Macon did a good job of taking away the deep ball and long pass plays that have been the Xplorers' bread and butter. Jones finished 26 of 42 for 260 yards 2 TD and 2 INT. Terrance Quattlebaum had 9 receptions for 101 yards and a score. OS Kenny Higgins had the other touchdown reception.

XPLORERS X-TRA POINTS:
The 33 points scored by the Xplorers in last week's loss was the fewest scored by a Memphis team since the 35-33 loss to Florida in the first round of the 2004 playoffs.

QB Brian Jones' 42 pass attempts in Friday's game at Macon was a career high. His previous career high was 41. He had done that twice, most recently versus Quad City on 6/11/05.

Jones' 2 TD passes in the game give him 70 for the season. That establishes a new career high for Jones; surpassing the 69 he had last season. Jones also passed last season's yardage total to set a new career high. His 260 yards versus Macon give him 3427 on the season, besting last season's 3384.

Terrance Quattlebaum's 9 receptions in the game at Macon give him 50 for the season. That total is a new single season career high for the fourth year player. His previous career high was 45 when he played with the New Haven Ninjas in 2002. Quattlebaum has also set career marks in receiving yards with 629 and touchdowns with 15.

OL/DL Chris Eggleston blocked his 5th kick of the season in Friday's game at Macon. Eggleston leads the league and, in fact, has more blocked kicks than 17 teams. His total ties him for second on the af2 all-time single season list. He is 3 shy of tying the record held by Joe Massey who blocked 8 kicks last season for the Amarillo Dusters. As a team, the Xplorers have blocked 11 kicks, one short of the record of 12 held by the 2002 Richmond Speed. This season, Bakersfield, with 8 blocks, is the next closest team to Memphis.

OS Kevin Prentiss is 171 yards away from becoming the all-time kick return yardage leader. Prentiss, who did not play in last week's game, has 3402 kick off return yards in his career. That total trails only former Bossier Battlewing Shadrick McAfee's 3572.

This week's matchup between last season's ArenaCup teams marks the third time that title game participants have met in the following regular season. Each time, the defending champs came out victorious. The 2000 ArenaCup teams, Tennessee Valley and Quad City, played in 2001 with Quad City winning. Then, in 2004, the 2003 title game teams, Macon and Tulsa played with the Talons also winning the rematch.

In their 13 games, the Xplorers have led at halftime in 11 of them. The team has also led entering the 4th quarter in 12 of the 13 games.

MEMPHIS XPLORERS vs LOUISVILLE FIRE
(4-2 / 2-2 Home / 2-0 Away / 1-0 Playoffs)
5/12/01 48-35 W @ Memphis
4/6/02 60-46 W @ Louisville
6/22/02 51-50 L @ Memphis
5/17/03 68-20 W @ Memphis
6/21/03 52-40 W @ Louisville
5/8/04 70-63 L @ Memphis
8/27/05 63-41 W ArenaCup @ Bossier

LEAGUE TOP 10s: Players from this week's match-up who rank among af2's statistical leaders:
XPLORERS
Player Rank Category Stat
Brian Jones 3 Total Offense 282.5
Brian Jones 1 Total Off. TDs 85
Steven Azar 9 Scoring (Kick) 6.5
Brian Jones 2 Rushing TDs 15
Brian Jones 2 Rushing Yds 245
Brian Jones 1 Yards/Rush 4.8
Brian Jones 3 Pass Yds 3427
Brian Jones 5 PassYards/Comp 13.1
Brian Jones 2 Completion % 68.2
Brian Jones 5 Passing TDs 70
Brian Jones 2 Passer Rating 125.9
Brian Jones 2 Pass Yds/Att 8.9
Kenny Higgins 7 Yards/Catch 15.5
Kenny Higgins 3 Rec. Yards 1269
Kenny Higgins 8-t Rec. TDs 23
Steven Azar 1-t PAT ATT 96
Steven Azar 8 PAT % 82.3
Steven Azar 3 PAT Made 79
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 88.5
S. Cunningham 8 Total Tackles 68
Deon Giddens 1 Passes Def. 38
S. Cunningham 4 Passes Def. 25
Joseph Crear 10-t Sacks 5.5
Chris Eggleston 8-t Sacks 6
Joseph Crear 10-t Tackles for Loss 7.5
Chris Eggleston 2 Fumbles Forced 4
FIRE
Player Rank Category Stat
Brett Dietz 4 Total Offense 276.9
Brett Dietz 2 Total Offensive Td 83
Dave Hendrix 5 Pts Scored (kick) 7.9
Rob Mager 1 Points Scored 264
Brett Dietz 4 Passing Yards 3293
Brett Dietz 1 Completetion % 71.1%
Brett Dietz 2 Passing Tds 77
Brett Dietz 1 Passer Rating 127.6
Brett Dietz 3-t Yds/Pass attempt 8.1
Rob Mager 1 Pass Receptions 117
Rob Mager 1 Receiving Yards 1558
Rob Mager 1 Receiving TDs 44
Dave Hendrix 1-t PAT kick attempts 96
Dave Hendrix 10 PAT Kick % 80.2
Dave Hendrix 4 PAT made 77
Dave Hendrix 7-t FG Made 6
Lance Taylor 5 Kick Return Ave 22.4
Lance Taylor 9 Kick Return Yards 785
Jeremy Chandler 4-t Interceptions 6
Lance Taylor 2 Kick Return TDs 3
TALE OF THE TAPE:
Statistical XPLORERS FIRE
Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 6 55.9 3 57.1
Touchdowns 2 105 4 98
Total Offense 3 293.2 5 284.8
Off avg./ play 1 7.9 4 6.9
Scoring defense 1 40.4 18 51.9
Points kicking 5-t 85 4 95
Total defense 18 282.7 21 291.2
Total offensive TDs 3-t 93 6 91
Rushing offense 7 27.8 21 13.8
Yards per rush 1 4.2 20 1.9
Pass efficiency 2 123.4 1 127.0
Rushing defense 23 39.2 15 23.7
Rushing TD's 6-t 23 20-t 13
Pass def. efficiency 6 93.2 11 99.7
Pass offense 4 265.4 3 270.9
Pass Defense 13 243.5 21 267.6
Passing Td's 6-t 70 2-t 78
Field Goals Made 21-t 2-8 8-t 6-9
PAT Kicking 6 82.3% 8 80.2%
Turnover Ratio 11 +2 7-t +6
First Downs 3-t 243 6 225
Opp. First Downs 22 255 19 239
3rd dn conversions 5 49.1% 1 60%
4th dn conversions 3-t 56.2% 3-t 56.2%
Sacks 7 24 18 11
Sacks against 7-t 13 6 10
Penalties 19 66.1 6 48.9

MEMPHIS INJURY REPORT:
Pos. Name Injury Status
OL/DL Phillip Perry Achilles On LTIR
DS Jonathan Lyles Ankle On LTIR
WR/DB Terrell Adams Knee 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 4-0
30-39 Points 1-1 1-1
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 2-3
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 4-2
After a win 5-4
After a loss 3-0
Before a bye week 1-0
After a bye week 0-1
In Overtime 1-0
Out pass opponent 5-3
Out rush opponent 2-2
Opponent out pass 4-1
Opponent out rush 7-2
Even rush 0-0
More total offense 6-2
Less total offense 3-2
Lead after 1st qtr 4-2
Trail after 1st qtr 2-2
Tied after 1st qtr 3-0
Lead at Half 9-2
Trail at Half 0-2
Tied at Half 0-0
Lead after 3rd qtr 9-3
Trail after 3rd qtr 0-1
Tied after 3rd qtr 0-0

RECORD BY MONTH
April 4-1
May 3-1
June 2-2
July

RECORD HOME/AWAY
Home 6-1
Away 3-3

XPLORERS ALL-TIME RECORD (Reg. Season)
Overall 46-47
Home 24-23
Away 22-24
April 14-11
May 12-12
June 13-13
July 7-11

THIS WEEK'S QUOTES
Xplorers Head Coach Danton Barto

On last week's loss at Macon..

"We just struggled. From the first kickoff to the last, nothing was easy and I have to give Macon credit for taking us out of our game."

On the mindset entering this week's game...

"We have to stop worrying about divisions, playoffs and what other teams are doing. We have to worry only about us and this week's game."

On facing Louisville this week...

"We a running into a buzz saw. Louisville has been getting better every week the past month or so. This is always a special game for me, coaching against (former high school teammate) Tommy Johnson."



FORWARD MOTION: The Xplorers host their final home game of the regular season when the Amarillo Dusters visit the DCC on Saturday at 7pm. The Xplorers won the earlier season meeting 34-27 at Amarillo and have never lost to the Dusters, owning a 4-0 all-time series record.

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
8 vs Bossier QB Brian Jones
9 @ Amarillo WR Kenny Higgins
10 @ Stockton QB Brian Jones
12 vs S. Georgia QB Brian Jones

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
8 vs Bossier WR/DB Terrell Adams
12 vs S. Georgia WR/DB Deon Giddens


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
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


6/29 Assigned OL/DL Robert MacKey
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

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