Preds midweek update
Orlando Predators Quarterback Joe Hamilton, who left last week's 52-13 victory over Tampa Bay in the third quarter with a left shoulder injury, has been listed as probable for this week's game. Hamilton has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in the Arena Football League - completing nearly 73% of his passes for 1215 yards, 21 touchdowns and no interceptions - in winning his last five starts. Defensive Specialist Jeroid Johnson, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, remains doubtful for Sunday's game against the Crush.
PREDS SET RECORDS ON AND OFF FIELD
It was a record setting night on and off the field last week for the Orlando Predators. On the field, Orlando recorded the biggest blowout ever against arch-rival Tampa Bay, holding the Storm to a franchise low 13 points in the 52-13 win. It was also the largest margin of defeat (39 points) ever for the Storm. Off the field, the Predators sold every one of the 15,290 tickets available for the game and recorded their largest single-game ticket gross (more than $315,000). The team also winds down the 2006 season with a club record 11,244 season ticket holders.
ARENABOWL PACKAGES AVAILABLE
Whether the Predators make their seventh trip to the ArenaBowl remains to be seen, but the club is selling ArenaBowl packages to its fans. "Whether we make it to the ArenaBowl or not, this is a great trip for any Arena Football fan," Orlando Predators President Brett Bouchy said. The package includes round trip commercial airfare, five days and four nights hotel accommodations at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort, tickets to ArenaBall Awards Show and cocktail receptions, tickets to the ArenaBash concert featuring REO Speedwagon, an invitation to the exclusive Commissioner's Tailgate Party, prime lower bowl seating to ArenaBowl XX, as well as many other perks and benefits. Cost is $1,699 per person (based on double occupancy). Call 407-44-PREDS for more information and reservations.
JOE NEEDS 296
Predators quarterback Joe Hamilton needs 296 passing yards this week against Colorado to become the most prolific passer in Orlando Predators history. In just his third season, Hamilton has 9,381 career passing yards and now trails just Pat O'Hara (1995-2000) on the Predators all-time list.
WIN AND IN
According to the Arena Football League, it's that simple for the Predators. Win Sunday's game against the Colorado Crush (9-4) and the Orlando (9-4) will qualify for the AFL playoffs for a 15th consecutive year. Essentially, the Predators have a lot of options here, as a win in any of the team's final three games or one more loss by either Philadelphia (7-6) or Columbus (6-7) clinches a post-season spot. Still, Orlando has loftier goals as they have a one-game lead over Austin (8-5) and a two-game lead over Georgia (7-6) for the Southern Division championship and the first round playoff bye that accompanies a division championship. Orlando has games remaining at Colorado (9-4), at Kansas City (3-10) and a home game with Austin (8-5). The Wranglers are at Columbus (6-7) this week and home against Grand Rapids (4-9) before closing at Orlando; while Georgia has home games at Chicago (5-8) and Philadelphia (7-6) sandwiched around an away game with New York (7-6).
SEE GAME AT FRIDAY'S
Arenafan.com columnist Jason Lucas has put together a free Orlando Predators viewing party on Sunday at Friday's Front Row, 8126 International Drive., Orlando, FL 32819. The game is being broadcast on Fox Sports Network-Rocky Mountain and begins at 6 p.m. (E.D.T.). The restaurant has reserved a large room for Preds fans wanting to watch the game.
By posting their ninth win of the season against Tampa Bay last week, the Orlando Predators guaranteed an overall winning season for an Arena Football League-record 15th consecutive season. During that period, the Predators finished the regular season above the .500 mark 13 times and finished with a .500 record in both 1999 (7-7) and 2002 (7-7). In both seasons where the Predators finished at .500, the team won at least two playoff games to finish on plus-side of the .500 mark. Orlando's 15 seasons above .500 is three more than the second-longest string held by Arizona (11 times, 1993-2004) and four more than Tampa Bay (10 times, 1991-2001) and is the only active streak of 10 or more seasons.
FAB FOUR NEEDS 11 FROM RUBIN
In the next three regular season games, the Predators need 11 receptions by DeAndrew Rubin and three from Jerrian James to become one of the few teams in Arena Football League history to have four receivers with 60 or more catches each. Rubin currently stands at 39 receptions for 494 yards and James has 57 for 767 yards. Jimmy Fryzel (67-803) and rookie Javarus Dudley (61-800) have already hit the 60 reception mark. The most impressive display of spreading the ball around to a foursome was the 2005 World Champion Colorado Crush. Damian Harrell (122-1486), Willis Marshall (79-890), Any McCullough (71-740) and Kevin McKenzie (69-736) came one McKenzie reception short of having four players with 70+ receptions each.
SINGLE GAME, GROUP DISCOUNT TICKETS REMAIN
Single game tickets and discount group tickets (15 or more) remain for the Predators 2006 home finale against the Austin Wranglers on Friday, May 12 (7:30 p.m. kickoff). Call 407-44-PREDS for more information.
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