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Miami Morays vs. Daytona Beach Hawgs game preview

June 1, 2005 - National Indoor Football League (NIFL) - Miami Morays News Release

The Game: The first-place Miami Morays (7-3) will take to the field against the second-place Daytona Beach Hawgs (7-4) on Ford Allen Field at the Miami Arena…Saturday, June 4th at 7:05 p.m. ET. This game will be considered a non-divisional game in the Atlantic South standings. The Morays have a half-game lead in the Atlantic South.

Three’s Company: This will be the third and final meeting between the Morays and Hawgs in the regular season with the series tied 1-1. The Hawgs have the advantage in the tie-breaking scenario due to the total number of points scored in the two divisional matchups.

May 1st Wrap-Up: After a game that saw both teams match touchdowns all game, Derrick Vickers’ 8-yd touchdown run with eight seconds left was all that was needed to seal the Morays 58-53 victory over the visiting Daytona Beach Hawgs.

Despite the Hawgs having the top-rated defense in the NIFL, the Morays were able to put together 265 total yards of offense, including 208 through the air and 57 on the ground. The Morays defense was able to hold the Hawgs powerful running game, led by Brad Lee, to only 23 rushing yards total for the entire game.

Overall, Vickers ran for three touchdowns and was 24-35 for 242 yards, throwing three touchdown strikes of four, eight, and 20 yards to Patrick Rouzard and six yards to Ethenic Sands. Vickers was intercepted once in the game late in the 2nd quarter.

Vickers’ second rushing touchdown tied the game up at 46-46 with 1:15 left in the fourth quarter, and defensive back Kevin Jackson ran back an interception for a touchdown on Daytona’s next possession to seemingly clinch the victory, but with the missed extra-point, the Morays lead was only six points with :57 left on the clock.

Daytona quarterback Oscar Davenport connected on his fifth touchdown pass of the game, throwing a 20-yd strike to Robert Bailey that put the Hawgs up by one point with :40 left in the game. Davenport went 15-26 and 151 yards in the game, while Bailey led all Hawg receivers with seven catches for 79 yards.

But it was the final possession that mattered in this game, and the Morays took over on their 13-yd line. Vickers found Leroy McFadden with a short pass that turned into a 20-yd rumble to the Daytona 17-yd line, followed up by a 9-yd pass to Rouzard that got the Morays to the Daytona eight-yard line. After a quick timeout, Vickers ran the ball in on a keeper play to seal the victory.

“It was a big game and we came out slow but the big thing is that we came out in the second half and did what we had to do,” Vickers said. “They are a big team and fought till the end.”

May 7th Wrap-Up: After defeating the Daytona Beach Hawgs last week in Miami, the Morays traveled to Daytona Beach and dropped a 53-37 decision to the Hawgs and lost possession of first place in the Atlantic South by a half-game.

The Morays never trailed in the first half of the game, getting strong play from the special teams, keeping the Hawgs pinned on the five-yard line on two kickoffs in the first quarter. Running back Ben Labelle got the Morays to a 22-20 lead as the half expired by scoring three touchdowns, including a 14-yd touchdown catch to start the scoring off.

But the Hawgs answered right back on their first possession in the third quarter behind a Brad Lee 2-yd touchdown run. Lee finished the game with four touchdowns, including a 7-yard run with 9:16 left in the fourth quarter that put the Hawgs up 40-29.

The Hawgs soon after extended to their lead to 17 and 24 points on another Lee touchdown and a 16-yd interception return by Micah Simmons.

Travis Wilson’s 1-yd pass to Ethenic Sands with :31 seconds left in the game was able to keep Sand’s scoring streak alive, and Vickers finished the game 13-28 for 140 yards and one interception. Labelle had 4 rushes for 22 yards and four catches 44 yards, and led the Morays in rushing, catches and receiving yards.

Into the Numbers: Miami Daytona Beach

Head-to-Head Player Leaders

Passing Yards: Vickers (36-62-384,5 TD) Davenport (31-54-342, 9 TD)

Rushing: LaBelle (8-23, 3 TD) Lee (22-49, 4 TD)

Receiving: McFadden (8-111, 0 TD) Bailey (11-155, 4 TD)

Sacks: Mack (1-2) Bowman (2-11)

Tackles: Sorrell (10.5) Xynidis (9.5)

Interceptions: Jackson (2-24) Allison (1-24), Simmons (1-20)

Head-to-Head Stats Miami Daytona Beach

First Downs: 32 28

Rushing Yds: 24-99 25-62

Passing Yds: 358 340

Passes Att-Comp-Int 64-38-2 54-31-2

Total Offense: 457 402

Sacks: 3-31 1-2

Interceptions: 2-24 2-44

Fumbles: 0-0 1-44

Penalties: 24-171 17-177

Kickoff Returns: 16-248 14-212

Head-to-Head: Number is the ranking in the 22 Team NIFL and/or yards per game.

Miami Daytona Beach

Scoring Offense: 8th (48.5) 16th (41.9)

Scoring Defense: 9th (41.6) 2nd (34.6)

Total Offense: 5th (255.1) 11th (217.8)

Total Defense: 1st (176.2) 3rd (182.4)

Pass Offense: 3rd (198.9) 14th (146.7)

Pass Defense: 2nd (134.8) 1st (134.4)

Rushing Offense: 15th (56.2) 11th (71.1)

Rushing Defense: 4th (41.4) 5th (48.0)

Turnover Margin: 12th (+1) 5th (+5)

Sacks By: 1st (28) 3rd (20)

Sacks Against: 21st (24) 5th (6)

First Downs: 5th (174) 2nd (189)

Penalties: 22nd (96.8) 20th (66.0)

Red-Zone Offense: 5th (79.2%) 18th (60.9%)

Red-Zone Defense: 9th (66.0%) 11th (70.6%)

Moray League Leaders: Running back Leroy McFadden is tied for sixth in scoring with 18 touchdowns and tied for sixth with 112 points.

Receiver Ethenic Sands is tops in the league with 70.0 yards receiving per game, and is fourth in receptions per game with 5.30 catches per game.

Derrick Vickers remains among the league leaders in several categories. Vickers is eighth with a 107.1 passing rating, fourth in passing yards with 191.2 yards per game, and 2nd in total offense with 203.5 yards per game.

Lashawn Pugh is tied for fourth with two forced fumbles and eighth with four sacks.

Jimmy Williams continues to make his impact felt on the Morays defense, tied for fourth with two forced fumbles, third in recovered fumbles with three, seventh in tackles for a loss with 8.5, and tied for sixth in sacks with a total of six.

Despite missing two games, Arpedge Rolle remains near the top in several key defensive categories as well. He is tied for fourth in the league in tackles for a loss with 11.5, and is currently embroiled in a race for the sack leader with Daytona’s John Bowman. Rolle is one sack behind the league lead with 10 sacks.

Hawg League Leaders: Ultra-back Brad Lee remains a potent force for the Hawgs, sitting tied for third in the league in scoring with 140 points, and second in the league in rushing with 590 yards on 173 carries.

Receiver Robert Bailey is also a potent force for the Hawgs, as he is among the leaders in every receiving category in the NIFL. He is seventh in the league with 4.80 catches a game, eighth with 59.4 receiving yards per game, and third in all-purpose yards with 139.9 per game.

Quarterback Oscar Davenport is tenth in the league in passing yards with 154.9 a game, and seventh in total offense with 158.9 yards per game.

On the defensive side of the ball, John Bowman is tied for second with four forced fumbles, and tied for third with three recovered fumbles. He also leads the league with 16 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks.

One of the strong points of the Hawgs is the strong defensive backfield. Micah Simmons is second in passes defended with 17, while third is Nick Allison with 16. Tied for seventh with 12 passes defended is Bobby Bass.

Nick Allison is the league’s top ball-hawk with 13 interceptions and Simmons is tied for second with eight interceptions and one touchdown.

New Moray: With the loss of Steven Bell, the Morays saw the debut of Patrick Howard. Howard is a graduate of Texas A&M Commerce and made his professional football debut last week in the Morays loss against the Rome Renegades.

Back on the Bench: Coach Little returns to the Morays bench after serving a league mandated one-game suspension due to a game-tape violation. This will be the second game Coach Little was not behind the bench this season, having missed the March 19th game in New Jersey due to the passing away of his brother David.

Getting Healthy: After missing three games with an arm injury, receiver Patrick Rouzard made his return to the Morays lineup last week against Rome. Rouzard caught three passes for 32 yards in the loss.

Just like Hockey!: With the recent release of the NIFL playoff format, the Morays have all but assured themselves a playoff spot in their inaugural season.

16 of the 22 NIFL teams will qualify for post season play, and qualifying for the playoffs will be the 3 division champions from each conference along with the next best five records from each. Teams will be seeded from 1-8 in each conference.

After three weeks of inter-conference play, the remaining two from each division will square off to decide the conference champion to play in Indoor Bowl 5.

Hawg News and Notes: Despite having a 7-3 record, the Hawgs relieved Head Coach Ervin Bryson of his head-coaching duties and named former Ohio State running back Pepe Pearson head coach on May 24th.

Pearson played with the Buckeyes from 1994 through 1998 and helped them to four bowl games including the 1996 Rose Bowl win. He is the Buckeyes 5th-all-time leading rusher and was an all-Big Ten performer. He played for the Chicago Bears and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL and also with the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe, winning the NFLE 2001 World Bowl championship. Pearson and his wife, Mary, have two sons and a daughter.

Past and Future: The schedule and standings so far:

MIAMI MORAYS (7-3)

Date: Opponent: Result:

March 19 @ New Jersey W 54-18

March 26 @ Lakeland W 58-45

April 2 LUBBOCK W 53-13

April 9 @ Lakeland W 35-31

April 16 @ Kissimmee L 48-51

May 1 DAYTONA BEACH W 58-53

May 7 @ Daytona Beach L 37-53

May 15 NEW JERSEY W 72-39

May 21 KISSIMMEE W 48-43

May 28 @ Rome L 32-70

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