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April 30, 2009 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Peoria Pirates News Release

QUICK FACTS: Kentucky Horsemen (2-2) @ Peoria Pirates (1-3) Date: Saturday May 2, 2009 Kickoff: 7:05 PM Site: Carver Arena (9,542) - Peoria, IL National Anthem: John Cowell, Jr. (Guitar) Coin Toss: TBD Officials: Referee: Todd Ransom (head referee), Bryan Neale (umpire), Roger Youngblutt (head linesman), Justin Larrew (line judge), Greg Bradley (back judge) Radio: 99.9 FM in Peoria (Brendan Burke, John Venturi) TV: None Series Record: Kentucky leads 4-1 Last Meeting: KY def. PEO 61-33 (6/28/08) Coach: Bruce Cowdrey (36-38 Career Record) Kentucky - Mike Harmon (11-9; 0-1 playoffs) (Second Season)

MEDIA CONTACTS: Horsemen: Sean Cartell - (352) 281-7947 Susan Harris - (859) 422-PASS Pirates: Jerry McBurney - 309-287-3314 THE STAKES: The Pirates return to the Peoria Civic Center for two consecutive home games following a two game road swing. Saturday's opponent, the Kentucky Horsemen, enter the contest with a 2-2 record, having defeated Milwaukee 56-38 last Saturday in Lexington, KY. The Pirates are coming off a 83-54 road loss in South Georgia. 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 Pirates (1-3) are looking to pick up their first home victory of the 2009 season (0-1 home; 1-2 road)

Pirates Quarterback Kent Smith made his first start of the season against South Georgia, throwing for 256 yards and 5 touchdowns. Dante Ridgeway had 10 receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns

THE SERIES: Kentucky and Peoria meet for the sixth time in the history of the two franchises, with the Horsemen holding a 4-1 advantage, including a 1-1 mark in af2.

THE IFs: If Peoria defeats Kentucky, it would Give Peoria its first home win of the 2009 season Give Peoria a win in two of its last three games Give Peoria a 2-4 all-time record vs. the Horsemen

PEORIA (1-3, Lost Last One)

Date Opponent Time/Result 3/29 at Quad City L, 56-72 4/10 Iowa L, 38-53 4/17 at Milwaukee W, 50-34 4/25 at South Georgia L, 54-83 5/2 Kentucky 7 p.m. 5/9 Milwaukee 3 p.m. 5/15 at Green Bay 7:30 p.m. 5/23 Quad City 7 p.m. 5/30 at Iowa 7 p.m. 6/6 Green Bay 7 p.m. 6/20 Albany 7 p.m. 6/26 at Albany 6 p.m. 7/3 Quad City 6 p.m. 7/11 Mahoning Valley 7 p.m. 7/18 at Kentucky 6 p.m. 7/24 at Stockton 9:30 p.m.

KENTUCKY (2-2, Won Last One)

Date Opponent Time Streak Series/Res. 3/28 at Tulsa 7 p.m. Lost 1 L, 48-51 4/11 WB-Scranton 6 p.m. Won 1 W, 63-56 4/18 at Florida 6:30 p.m. Lost 1 L, 62-68 4/25 Milwaukee 6 p.m. Won 1 W, 56-38 5/2 at Peoria 7 p.m. Won 1 1-1 5/9 at South Georgia 6 p.m. - Never Met 5/16 Bossier-Shreveport 6 p.m. - Never Met 5/23 Florida 6 p.m. Lost 1 0-1 5/30 at Mahoning Valley 6 p.m. Won 2 2-0 6/6 at Tenn. Valley 7 p.m. Lost 1 0-1 6/13 Quad City 7 p.m. Lost 1 1-1 6/20 South Georgia 6 p.m. - Never Met 6/27 at Corpus Christi 8 p.m. - Never Met 7/11 Tenn. Valley 6 p.m. Lost 1 0-1 7/18 Peoria 6 p.m. Won 1 1-0 7/25 at Florida 6 p.m. Lost 1 0-1

American Midwest Division Overall Divsion W L T W L T Iowa 3 2 0 2 1 0

Quad City 3 2 0 3 1 0

Green Bay 2 2 0 1 0 0

Peoria 1 3 0 1 2 0

Milwaukee 1 4 0 0 3 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 are happy to get the chance to play in front of our fans at the Peoria Civic Center after two consecutive road games. We hope to give them plenty to cheer about!"

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

Quarterback Kent Smith will start his second consecutive game for the Pirates. Smith threw for 256 yards and 5 touchdowns in his starting debut against South Georgia last Saturday.

The Pirates signed K Shane Longest on Monday. The former St. Xavier Kicker was in training camp with the Chicago Bears in 2008. He replaces Nathan Palkovic on the roster.

OL/DL Michael Lewis is eligible to come of the Injured Reserve list following Saturday's game against Kentucky.

The Pirates signed 6'3", 330 lb. OL/DL Marvin Campbell this week. Campbell, out of Harper College, was with the Pirates during training camp.

Pirates WR/DB Brian Allbrooks is in the top 10 in a number of af2 statistical categories. He ranks 5th in Kick Return Average at 23.9 yards per return, 6th in All-Purpose Yards at 168.5 per game, 2nd in scoring at 22.5 points per game and 2nd in Touchdowns with 15 in four games.

Pirates WR/DB Dante Ridgeway has established himself as one of the top WR's in af2. Despite the fact he has played in only 3 games (he missed game 1 due to injury), he ranks 8th in the league in Receptions Per Game at 9.33 and 5th in Receiving Yards Per Game at 124.7/game.

The Pirates rank 2nd in the league in 4th down conversions with a 63.6% conversion rate. The Pirates rank 3rd in the league in preventing opponents 4th down conversions, allowing opponents to convert on only 20% of 4th down attempts.

The Pirates rank 3rd in the league in Time of Possession, averaging 34:13 minutes of possession per game.

The Pirates rank 2nd in the league in opponents first downs allowed with 66.

The Pirates rank 4th in the league in Kickoff Return average at 20.8 yards per return.

NEXT UP

Saturday's game against Kentucky is the start of a two game home stand. The Pirates return to the Peoria Civic Center for a 3:00 p.m. CST game versus the Milwaukee Iron on Saturday, May 9th.

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