Peoria Pirates game notes
QUICK FACTS: Milwaukee Iron (1-5) @ Peoria Pirates (1-4) Date: Saturday May 9, 2009 Kickoff: 7:05 PM Site: Carver Arena (9,542) - Peoria, IL National Anthem: Josh Parrott Coin Toss: TBA Officials: Referee: Bob McElwee (head referee), Bryan Neale (umpire), Rick Fahnestock (head linesman), Shane DeWitt (line judge), Greg Bradley (back judge) Radio: 99.9 FM in Peoria (Brendan Burke, John Venturi) TV: None Series Record: Peoria leads 1-0 Last Meeting: PEO def. MIL 50-34 (4/17/09) Coach: Bruce Cowdrey (36-39 Career Record) Milwaukee - Gary Compton
MEDIA CONTACTS: Horsemen: Joe LaBarbera - (262) 523-9206 firstname.lastname@example.org Pirates: Jerry McBurney - 309-287-3314 email@example.com
THE STAKES: The Pirates return to the Peoria Civic Center for the second home game in as many weeks. Saturday's opponent, the Milwaukee Iron, enter the contest with a 1-5 record, having lost to the Green Bay Blizzard last Saturday in Milwaukee, WI. The Pirates are coming off a 72-93 home loss to Kentucky. Kickoff is at 7:05 p.m. CST and will be carried live on 99.9 FM The Buzz with Brendan Burke and John Venturi. The game was originally scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. start, but was moved to a 7:00 kickoff to better accommodate Pirates fans.
The Pirates (1-4) are looking to pick up their first home victory of the 2009 season (0-2 home; 1-2 road)
Pirates Quarterback Kent Smith had another strong showing in his third start of the season against Kentucky, throwing for 227 yards and 6 touchdowns. Brian Allbrooks returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and had 230 return yards on 7 attempts.
THE SERIES: Milwaukee and Peoria meet for the second time in the history of the two franchises, with the Pirates holding a 1-0 advantage following their 50-34 victory on April 17th in Milwaukee.
THE IFs: If Peoria defeats Milwaukee, it would Give Peoria its first home win of the 2009 season Keep Peoria out of the Midwest Division cellar Give Peoria a 2-0 all-time record vs. the Iron
PEORIA (1-4, Lost Last One)
Date Opponent Time/Result 3/29 @ Quad City L, 56-72 4/10 Iowa L, 38-53 4/17 @ Milwaukee W, 50-34 4/25 @ South Georgia L, 54-83 5/2 Kentucky L, 72-93 5/9 Milwaukee 7 p.m. 5/15 @ Green Bay 7:30 p.m. 5/23 Quad City 7 p.m. 5/30 @ Iowa 7 p.m. 6/6 Green Bay 7 p.m. 6/20 Albany 7 p.m. 6/26 @ Albany 6 p.m. 7/3 Quad City 6 p.m. 7/11 Mahoning Valley 7 p.m. 7/18 @ Kentucky 6 p.m. 7/24 @ Stockton 9:30 p.m.
Milwaukee (1-5, Lost Last One)
Date Opponent Time Result 3/27 Iowa 7 p.m. L, 38-60 4/4 @ Mahoning Valley 6 p.m. W, 59-39 4/11 @ Quad City 7 p.m. L, 48-69 4/17 Peoria 7 p.m. L, 34-50 4/25 @ Kentucky 6 p.m. L, 38-56 5/1 Green Bay 7 p.m. L, 28-56 5/9 @ Peoria 7 p.m. 5/15 Tulsa 7 p.m. 5/30 @ Albany 6 p.m. 6/5 Mahoning Valley 7 p.m. 6/13 @ Oklahoma City 7 p.m. 6/19 Quad City 7 p.m. 6/26 Green Bay 7 p.m. 7/11 @ Iowa 7 p.m. 7/17 @ Green Bay 7:30 p.m. 7/24 Albany 7 p.m.
American Midwest Division Overall Divsion W L T W L T Green Bay 3 2 0 2 0 0
Quad City 3 2 0 3 1 0
Iowa 3 3 0 2 1 0
Peoria 1 4 0 1 2 0
Milwaukee 1 5 0 0 4 0
HEAD COACH: Bruce Cowdrey Bruce Cowdrey returns for his 6th season as Head Coach of the Peoria Pirates. In 2000, Coach Cowdrey's Pirates tied an all-time professional football record by completing a perfect 17-0 record en route to the IFL Gold Cup Championship. Cowdrey, a familiar and popular fixture in Peoria, lead the Pirates to the af2 Arena Cup Championship in 2002. During his coaching stint in Peoria, Cowdrey has established an incredible 62-26 record. The Pirates have also reached league championships in four out of its five seasons under the Pirate flag prior to 2008. Known for his on field intensity, discipline and ability to recruit talented players, Cowdrey brings over 30 years coaching and recruiting experience to the Peoria Pirates organization. Cowdrey's indoor experience, other than with the Pirates, includes the af2 Pensacola Barracudas and the Madison Mad Dogs of the Professional Indoor Football League. He was the Offensive Line Coach for the Grey Cup Champion Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League in 1991. Prior to coaching in the CFL, Cowdrey was an assistant coach at Indiana State, Fort Hays State, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Northwestern, South Carolina, and Missouri. In 2006 Cowdrey was special teams coordinator and fullback linebacker coach of the Chicago Rush (and they scored a League high 14 touchdowns for the season). In 2007 Cowdrey was line coach of the Austin Wranglers in the AFL. Bruce is very active in community events in the Peoria area and is involved with local fundraising and charity events. A Missouri native, Coach Cowdrey and his wife Melody reside in Dunlap.
THIS WEEK'S QUOTES: Pirates Head Coach Bruce Cowdrey: "We have a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball. We have to get better. Offensively, we need to avoid turnovers, but overall, we are playing well enough to win on offense."
Dream Team: On Monday, April 6, arenafootball2 league and one of its new partners, Aaron's, announced an exciting new addition to this years ArenaCup 10 festivities - the Aaron's af2 Dream Team. The tam will be a special 12-member group comprised of dance team standouts from around the af2. The Peoria Pirates would like to congratulate their own, Nicole Steward, for being named one of the 24 finalists!
Nicole is originally of McHenry, IL. She is the Director of the Black Pearls and the Creative Communications Director at Redeemer Lutheran Church as well as a freelance designer. Nicole is a former NBA an AFL dancer; her experiences include the Luvabulls (Chicago Bulls) and Adrenaline Rush (Chicago Rush). Nicole also founded and directed her own dance team for the Schaumburg Flyers baseball organization. Nicole attended Concordia University Chicago where she majored in Communications and Graphic Design.
When she isn't dancing or designing, Nicole can be found spending time with her husband and family.
With so many stellar participants in the league, narrowing the field down to a dozen is a tough task. Therefore, the af2 and Aaron's are enlisting the help of the fans. Beginning in May, a national online promotion called "Vote for your Favorite af2 Dancer" will be conducted where fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite dancer. The top 12 dancers with the most fan votes will comprise the 2009 Aaron's af2 Dream Team at ArenaCup10 in August.
GAME NOTES Pirates leading receiver Dante Ridgeway is expected to miss 3 -4 games after separating his shoulder in Saturday's loss to Kentucky. He has been placed on injured reserve. Ridgeway had 3 receptions for 64 yards and 2 touchdowns in the game prior to being injured. On the season, Ridgeway has 31 receptions for 438 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Pirates FB/LB Jason Null has also been placed on injured reserve with a hip injury.
The Pirates acquired FB/LB Robert May in a trade with Tulsa. May, who played collegiately at Florida State, is 6'0", 255 lbs. He is a 3 year af2 veteran.
The Pirates newly-signed K Shane Longest averaged 54.2 yards on 8 kickoffs in his first game action of the season. Three of his eight kickoffs resulted on touchbacks.
OL/DL Michael Lewis will remain out of action at least one more week with the injured knee he sustained in the first game of the season against Quad City. He is eligible to come off injured reserve as soon as he is healthy.
Pirates WR/DB Brian Allbrooks is in the top 10 in a number of af2 statistical categories. He ranks 3rd in Kick Return Average at 27.0 yards per return, 3rd in All-Purpose Yards at 190.2 per game, 4th in scoring at 20.8 points per game and 4th in Touchdowns with 17 in five games.
Until his injury against Kentucky, Pirates WR/DB Dante Ridgeway had established himself as one of the top WR's in af2. Despite the fact he has played in only 4 games (he missed game 1 due to injury), he ranks 16th in the league in Receptions Per Game at 7.75/game and 9th in Receiving Yards Per Game at 109.5/game.
The Pirates rank 2nd in the league in 4th down conversions with a 64.3% conversion rate.
The Pirates rank 4th in the league in Time of Possession, averaging 32:32 minutes of possession per game.
The Pirates rank 3rd in the league in opponents first downs allowed with 87.
The Pirates rank 5th in the league in Kickoff Return average at 22.1 yards per return.
Following Saturday's second consecutive home game against Milwaukee, the Pirates return to the road for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Green Bay on Friday, May 15th.
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