Memphis Xplorers game notes
Memphis Xplorers (12-5) at
Green Bay Blizzard (10-6)
Date: Friday, August 11, 2006
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Site: Resch Center (7,995)
Referee: Tony Canella
Umpire: Pat Bayers
Head Linesman: Greg Bradley
Line Judge: Matt Kukar
Back Judge: Larry Orrico
Radio: 730 ESPN, Jim Erickson
Series Record: Xplorers lead series 1-0
Last Meeting: 48-14 MEM @ GB 7/19/03
Streaks: Xplorers- 3 wins // Blizzard- 2 wins
Danton Barto (45-35 reg season; 4-1 playoffs, 5th Season)
Bob Landsee (19-13 reg season; 0-1 playoffs, 2nd season)
THE STAKES: The Xplores and Blizzard play for the second time ever and for the first time in the playoffs with a trip to the American Conference Finals on the line. After their first round win over Louisville last week, the Xplorers are 4-1 all-time in the post-season. This will be the Blizzard's second ever postseason game after losing in last season's first round to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
THE SERIES: In the teams' only meeting, the Xplorers defeated the then first year Blizzard 48-14 on July 19, 2003.
If Memphis defeats Louisville, it would ...
- Advance Memphis to the Conference Finals for the second straight season.
- Give Memphis its 5th straight post-season win and a 5-1 overall post season record.
- Give Memphis a 1-1 road record in post-season games.
- Give Memphis a 2-0 all-time record vs the Blizzard.
- Give Memphis coach Danton Barto his 50th career win.
MEMPHIS (11-5 Reg Season, 1-0 Playoffs , WON 3)
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 L 63-55
Sat, 7/15 AMARILLO 7:00 W 75-15
Sat, 7/22 @ Birmingham 7:00 W 56-52
Sat, 8/5 LOUISVILLE 7:00 W 83-61
GREEN BAY (10-6, LOST 2)
Date Opponent ET W/L Score
3/31 ALBANY 7:30 L 48-40
4/7 @ Manchester 6:30 W 48-34
4/15 @ Quad City 7:15 W 57-34
4/21 OKLAHOMA CITY 7:30 L 44-32
4/29 @ Louisville 6:00 L 45-39
5/6 @ WB/Scranton 6:00 L 27-42
5/13 MACON 7:30 W 53-19
5/19 QUAD City 7:30 W 40-35
5/27 @ Albany 6:00 W 56-51
6/10 STOCKTON 6:30 L 68-62 OT
6/17 @ South Georgia 6:30 W 52-50
6/24 WB/SCRANTON 7:30 W 65-35
7/1 @ Florida 6:30 W 48-47
7/7 MANCHESTER 7:30 L 62-58
715 @ Everett 9:30 W 55-52
7/28 LOUISVILLE 7:30 W 54-53
Barto is in his fifth season as the Head Coach of the Memphis Xplorers. The Xplorers are in the post-season for the third straight season after a third straight double-digit win season. Following the 2006 regular season, Barto's career regular season record stands at 45-35 and 3-1 in the post-season. He is the winningest coach in af2 over the last three seasons with a regular season record of 34-14. His 48 overall wins (regular and post-season) rank 4th all-time in af2 entering the playoffs. Prior to this season, the Xplorers improved on the previous season's win total in '02, '03, '04 and '05. 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 was a two-time Butkus Award finalist. 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. Barto will be leaving the Xplorers organization after 6 seasons on the sidelines to be the head coach of the Las Vegas Gladiators of the AFL next season. He is a native of Niceville, FL.
Bob Landsee-Green Bay
Bob Landsee has led the Green Bay Blizzard to 19-13 regular season record in his two seasons as head coach. This season's 10-6 was a franchise best while last season's 9-7 record was their first-ever winning record and helped them to their first trip to the postseason. He originally took the helm of the Blizzard in 2005 after serving for one season as the line coach of the Indiana Firebirds of the Arena Football League. Previously, he was with the Toronto Phantoms (2002), after spending the two previous years with the Milwaukee Mustangs (2000-01). Landsee entered the coaching ranks following a very successful playing career as an offensive lineman. As a player, Landsee earned All-American and All-Big Ten honors as a guard while playing at University of Wisconsin. Drafted by the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles in 1986, he spent four seasons on the line battling DE Reggie White every day in practice. He began his coaching career in 1989, working with the line at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh before being promoted to offensive coordinator, a position he held from 1990-92.
Landsee makes his home in Middleton, Wisconsin with his wife Sharon and two daughters, Sara and Melissa.
LAST SERIES MEETING:
MEM 48 GBB 14 @ Green Bay 7/19/03
The Xplorers held the Blizzard defense to just 114 yards total offense in the win. Terrell Adams caught 11 passes for 140 yards and one TD. Memphis had 6 rushing TD with George Williams scoring a franchise record 4 (a record that still stands). Joe Gunn, Ron Simone added the other scoring runs.
LAST WEEK'S RECAP
Sat, 8/5 MEM 83 LOU 61 @ MEM
OS Kevin Prentiss caught 7 touchdown passes and added a kickoff return for a score in the Xplorers' First Round Playoff win. The team's 83 points broke the af2 record for most points in a post season game and the combined total of 144 points for both teams was also an af2 post season record. Prentiss' 7 touchdown receptions, 8 total touchdowns and 48 points scored were also all new af2 post-season records. He wound up with 12 catches for 192 yards. His yardage total was 8 yards shy of the post season record. Brian Jones threw for 273 yards and 9 touchdowns as Memphis won the rematch of last season's ArenaCup title game. The Xplorers outscored the Fire 34-8 in the decisive fourth quarter.
The first half was a see-saw of offensive momentum as Prentiss got the ball rolling, returning the opening kickoff 58 yards for a score. The Fire scored the next two touchdowns, the second of which came on a leaping interception by LB Laurence Matthews followed by a 7 yard scamper into the endzone. Memphis came back with two scores in a row on a Jones 8 yard toss to Prentiss and a 1 yard run by Greg Golden. Golden's score was set up by a Louisville fumble on the ensuing kickoff return following the Prentiss TD. The game was tied at 21 after the first quarter and at 41 at half. The Xplorers grabbed the advantage with a defensive stop on the Fire's opening possession of the second half. Four plays later, they took the lead for good on Jones' 7 yard pass to Deon Giddens. The Xplorers defense rose to the occasion in the fourth quarter, forcing 3 turnovers and getting a stop on fourth and short early in the quarter when the lead was just 2. Louisville Quarterback Brett Dietz passed for 318 yards and 4 touchdowns. OS Rob Mager led the Fire receivers with 9 grabs for 137 yards and a touchdown.
XPLORERS X-TRA POINTS:
The Xplorers 83 points in the win on Saturday over the Louisville Fire broke the post season af2 record of 80 by Quad City in 2001.
The 144 combined points in the game was also a new record, surpassing the 140 scored by the Augusta Stallions and the Carolina Rhinos. Memphis' 12 touchdowns also tied Quad City's record from 2001.
Single-game Af2 post season records set in the win over Louisville:
Most overall touchdowns- Kevin Prentiss (8) Old Record (5)
Most points scored- Kevin Prentiss (48) Old Record (30)
Most touchdown receptions- Kevin Prentiss (7) Old Record (5)
Most points scored by a team-Memphis (83) Old Record (80)
Most combined points by both teams-144 Old Record (140)
Prentiss' 192 receiving yards were the second most in an af2 playoff game. The record is held by RGV's Dwight Counter, who had 200 yards receiving versus the Xplorers in last season's National Conference Finals.
In 5 career post season games, Prentiss has 38 receptions for 587 yards and 21 TD.
Brian Jones' 9 TD passes versus Louisville give him 23 in his 4 game post season career.
With his sack on Saturday, Joseph Crear has a franchise leading 3 career post season sacks.
The Xplorers are averaging 70.2 points per game in the postseason the last two years.
The Xplorers regular season record the past three seasons is 34-14. Only Florida (37-11) and Tulsa (35-13) have better records over that span.
Head Coach Danton Barto is one win away from becoming the fourth af2 coach to reach the 50 win mark. Barto's overall (regular and post season) record as Xplorers coach is 49-36. Chris Siegfried (54), Kevin Guy (52) and Bobby Humphrey (51) are the other members of the 50-win club.
QB Brian Jones rewrote the Xplorers passing record book this season. He became the all-time single season and career passing yards leader as well as the all-time single season and career TD passes leader. His 3937 yards passing on the season broke Tim Lester's 2002 total of 3817. Jones passed Lester's career mark of 5778 in Week 3 and now has 8899 passing yards for his career. He broke his own single season TD passes record of 69 from '05 in Week 14 and finished with 81. He broke Lester's career TD passes record of 102 in Week 2 and now has 172. Jones' 8 TD passes in Week 13 win over South Georgia tied the team record held by Lester ('02). Jones also became the franchise career rushing leader in Week 4 game at Florida, passing Quentin Cradle's 402 yards. Jones' career rushing total is now 573 (6th all-time in af2).
Jones finsished the season with the top quarterback rating in the league with a 126.7. He finished tied with Louisville signal caller Brett Dietz. Jones also led the af2 with a 4.8 yards per carry average.
OS Kevin Prentiss, despite joining the team late and missing 8 games, made progress up the af2 record books. Prentiss finished the season 5th in all-time in points scored (738); 4th in overall TDs scored (123); 8th in all-time receptions (321); 3rd in receiving yards (4848); 5th in TD receptions (108); 1st in kickoff return yards (3681) and he remained 1st in kickoff return TDs (14).
Prentiss finished the regular season with 4 straight 100 yard receiving games, averaging 132.3 per game. For the season in his 8 games, KP averaged 111.4 receiving yards per game (3rd in the league).
The 2006 Xplorers broke the franchise record for points scored with 911 (56.9/game). The previous season high was last season's 892 points (55.8/game). The team also broke their record for first downs in a season with 300 (251 in 2005) and total offense with 4688 (4126 in 2002).
WR/DB Deon Giddens broke all three major tackle records for the Xplorers franchise in 2006. He broke the single game, single season and career tackles marks. His 13 total tackles in the season opening win at Tennessee Valley broke the previous record of 11.5 by Kenzaki Jones in 2004. His 97.5 tackles for the season shattered Kevin Cobb's total of 75 in 2003 and his 150 career tackles broke Keith Spann's previous record of 143.5.
The Xplorers tied an af2 single season record with 12 blocked kicks this season. The Richmond Speed had 12 blocked kicks in the 2002 season. OL/DL Chris Eggleston's 5 blocked kicks tied him for second on the af2 all-time single season list and is the most by an Xplorers player in a season. Joe Massey who blocked 8 kicks last season for the Amarillo Dusters is the af2 record holder.
The playoff matchup between the Xplorers and Fire pits long-time friends against each other in Memphis Coach Danton Barto and Louisville Coach Tommy Johnson. The two were high school teammates and won a state championship in Niceville, FL; faced each other in college when Barto was at Memphis State and Johnson was at Alabama and coached against each other in last season's ArenaCup. In 5 head-to-head meetings between the two coaches, Barto leads 3-2.
Kevin Prentiss, Joseph Crear and Nate Grace are the only Xplorers to play in all of the franchise's 5 playoff games.
XPLORERS IN THE POST-SEASON
ALL-TIME POST SEASON RECORD: 4-1
POST-SEASON RECORD AT HOME: 3-0
POST-SEASON RECORD ON THE ROAD: 0-1
POST-SEASON RECORD AT NUETRAL SITE: 1-0
2004 Am. Conference First Round Florida 35 Memphis 33
2005 National Conference Semifinals Memphis 71 Amarillo 30
2005 National Conference Finals Memphis 64 RGV 49
2005 ArenaCup Memphis 63 Louisville 41
2006 American Conference First Round Memphis 83 Louisville 61
Points Scored Per Game 62.8
Points Allowed Per Game 43.2
MEMPHIS XPLORERS vs GREEN BAY BLIZZARD
(1-0 / 0-0 Home / 1-0 Away / 0-0 Playoffs)
7/17/03 48-14 W @ Green Bay
REGULAR SEASON LEAGUE TOP 10s: Players from this week's match-up who rank among af2's statistical leaders:
Player Rank Category Stat
Brian Jones 4 Total Offense 278.8
Brian Jones 6 Total Off. TDs 96
Steven Azar 7-t Scoring (Kick) 6.7
Kevin Prentiss 2 All Purpose/game 190.4
Brian Jones 4 Rushing TDs 15
Brian Jones 5 Rushing Yds 245
Brian Jones 1-t Yards/Rush 4.8
Brian Jones 8 Pass Yds 3937
Brian Jones 3 PassYards/Comp 13.3
Brian Jones 2 Completion % 68.2
Brian Jones 6-t Passing TDs 81
Brian Jones 1-t Passer Rating 126.7
Brian Jones 2 Pass Yds/Att 9.1
Kenny Higgins 5 Yards/Catch 15.4
Kevin Prentiss 10 Yards/Catch 14.6
Kenny Higgins 8 Rec. Yards 1428
Steven Azar 4 PAT ATT 121
Steven Azar 7 PAT % 83.5
Steven Azar 4 PAT Made 101
T. Quattlebaum 1-t MFG Ret TDs 1
Deon Giddens 1-t MFG Ret TDs 1
Deon Giddens 4 Total Tackles 97.5
S. Cunningham 9-t Total Tackles 86.5
Deon Giddens 3 Passes Def. 41
S. Cunningham 5 Passes Def. 31
Joseph Crear 10-t Sacks 7.5
T. Quattlebaum 1-t Fumble Rec. 4
Joseph Crear 10-t Tackles for Loss 9.5
Chris Eggleston 1-t Fumbles Forced 6
Deon Giddens 4-t Fumbles Forced 3
Player Rank Category Stat
TALE OF THE TAPE: Regular Season Team Rankings
Statistical XPLORERS BLIZZARD
Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 4 56.9 3 57.8
Scoring defense 1 40.9 17 53.4
Pass offense 4 266.7 5 264.4
Pass Defense 6 230.8 17 253.8
Kickoff Return Ave 12 18.0 4 19.2
Turnover Ratio 9 +5 7 +7
Rushing offense 8 26.3 T-16 18.7
Rushing defense 23 42.6 18 25.4
Total Offense 3 293 5 283.1
Total defense 14 273.4 19 279.1
Pass efficiency 2 123.2 1 125.6
Pass def. efficiency 5 91.2 14 102.0
First Downs 5-t 300 3 317
Opp. First Downs 19 306 21 317
Sacks 4 29 T-17 16
Penalties 17 63.6 13 57.2
Opp. Penalties 15 53.7 3 64.6
4th dn conversions 1 68.2% 4 57.9%
Opp 4th dn convers. 2 27.5% 22 65.8%
3rd dn conversions 7 47.1% 7 47.1%
Opp 3rd dn convers. 14 46.6% 19 48.3%
Sacks against 7 16 6 14
Field goal kicking 22 22.2%(2-9) 2 50% (6-12)
PAT kicking 6 83.5% 8 .803
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 IN 2006 REGULAR SEASON WHEN...
0-9 Points 0-0 0-0
10-19 Points 0-0 1-0
20-29 Points 0-0 4-0
30-39 Points 1-1 1-1
40-49 Points 1-2 1-2
50-59 Points 3-2 4-0
60-69 Points 2-0 0-2
70-79 Points 3-0 0-0
80-89 Points 1-0 0-0
90+ Points 0-0 0-0
One Point Games 0-1
2-7 Points Games 3-3
8-13 Point Games 0-1
14-20 Point Games 2-0
21-27 Point Games 0-0
28+ Point Games 6-0
Score First 7-3
Opponent Scores First 4-2
After a win 6-4
After a loss 4-1
Before a bye week 2-0
After a bye week 0-1
In Overtime 1-0
Out pass opponent 7-4
Out rush opponent 2-2
Opponent out pass 4-1
Opponent out rush 8-4
Even rush 0-0
More total offense 7-3
Less total offense 4-2
Lead after 1st qtr 6-2
Trail after 1st qtr 2-2
Tied after 1st qtr 3-1
Lead at Half 11-2
Trail at Half 0-2
Tied at Half 0-1
Lead after 3rd qtr 11-3
Trail after 3rd qtr 0-1
Tied after 3rd qtr 0-1
RECORD BY MONTH
XPLORERS ALL-TIME RECORD (Reg. Season)
THIS WEEK'S QUOTES
Xplorers Head Coach Danton Barto on the "Danton Barto Show"
On the record setting performance of Kevin Prentiss...
"Kevin Prentiss does so many amazing things. He can just completely dominate a game."
On his team's hard hitting defense...
"I thought we were much more physical and that wore Louisville down."
On getting to the semifinal meeting with Green Bay this Friday...
"This is what it is all about. It's the playoffs, we're still in it and we play in Green Bay in the shadows of Lambeau Field."
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
16 vs Amarillo OS Kevin Prentiss
17 @ B'ham OS Kevin Prentiss
US ARMY IRONMAN OF THE GAME AWARD
(selected by media)
Week Opp. Player
2 vs Florida WR/LB Terrance Quattlebaum
3 vs Ten Val WR/DB Terrell Adams
4 @ Florida WR/LB Terrance Quattlebaum
8 vs Bossier WR/DB Terrell Adams
12 vs S. Georgia WR/DB Deon Giddens
15 @ Louisville WR/LB Terrance Quattlebaum
16 vs Amarillo WR/DB Deon Giddens
17 @ B'ham 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
15 @ Louisville OL/DL Joseph Crear
16 vs Amarillo DS Scott Cunningham
RECENT ROSTER MOVES (most recent first):
Date Action Player
7/13 Waived OL/DL Blake Lobel
7/13 Assigned OL/DL Nate Grace
7/13 Assigned WR/DB Adrian Burnette
7/13 Waived OL/DL Earnest Jones
7/13 Waived OL/DL Robert Mackey
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
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