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Pirates Overtake Steamwheelers

July 3, 2009 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Peoria Pirates News Release

The Peoria Pirates celebrated the Independence Day holiday a little early this year, with a 49-36 victory over the Quad Cities Steamwheelers in front of 2,541 fans Friday night at Carver Arena. The fireworks started early when Brian Allbrooks took a 16-yard pass from Luke Drone for the opening score and Peoria (4-9) rolled to their second victory at home over Quad Cities (4-10) this season.

Drone threw for 208 yards on 15 of 27 passing with 7 TD's and 1 interception. Brian Zbydniewski went 20 for 45 for 245 yards and four scores for the Steamwheelers. Under pressure all night, Zbydniewski was picked off three times as well as sacked three times.

The Pirates got big games from Dante Ridgeway (5 catches, 67 yards, 3 TD's), Brian Allbrooks (4 catches, 70 yards, 3 TD's), and Darren Paige (6 catches, 71 yards, 1 TD). The Steamwheelers' Brian Jackson led all receivers with 109 yards on eight catches but was kept out of the end zone. Jesse Schmidt continued his hot streak against the Pirates with 8 catches, 78 yards, and another 3 TD's in the Steamwheeler's loss.

Michael Lewis had a huge night for the Pirates with 2 sacks, another 2 tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery. The Pirates Michael Phillips led all tacklers with 7.5 tackles and Brandon Hampton added another 6.5 takedowns. The Steamwheelers' DeMarcus Robinson had 5.5 tackles and Tyus Jackson had 4 tackles. Jesse Schmidt chipped in with an interception for Quad Cities.

The Pirates conclude their regular season home schedule next week, Saturday July 11th, against the Mahoning Valley Thunder at 7 p.m. The Pirates game will be preceded by a "Guns N' Hoses" flag football game between the Peoria Police and Peoria Firefighters to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at 2 p.m. One ticket, two games. Call 309-673-1000 to purchase tickets or visit

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: #4 Dante Ridgeway - Peoria Pirates

Aaron's Defensive Player of the Game: #45 Michael Lewis - Peoria Pirates

JLS Ironman of the Game: #22 Jesse Schmidt - Quad City Steamwheelers

Big Game Catch of the Game: #4 Dante Ridgeway - Peoria Pirates - Made 3 defenders miss on late 3rd quarter TD.

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