Rampage down Kats in Arenabowl

by AFL Press Release
August 19, 2001 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I)

GRAND RAPIDS STOPS KATS IN ARENABOWL XV;
SHAW LEADS RAMPAGE RECORD 64-42 VICTORY

AFL Press Release

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Offensive specialist Terrill Shaw caught 12 passes, but more importantly a game-record five for touchdowns, as the Grand Rapids Rampage combined offense with some key defensive stops to defeat the Nashville Kats, 64-42, in the championship game of the Arena Football League, ArenaBowl XV.

Shaw, named the game's most valuable player, collected 172 receiving yards as Rampage (11-3, 3-0), in only its third season in the AFL won the championship before a record sell-out crowd of 11,217 at Van Andel Arena.

"Personally, I just don't know what to say. I'm just real excited for the coaches that came in, for a player like Clint Dolezel, who was told by a couple of coaches that he'd never be able to win out here. He just might make a little more money. The fact that he was able to put us over the top says a lot about him. I'm really excited for the City of Grand Rapids and especially for our owner, Dan DeVos, who maybe as he is driving home tonight will be happy about the investment he made in the team was worthwhile," said Grand Rapids head coach Michael Trigg.

For Nashville (10-5), it was the second consecutive year they have fallen short in the championship. The Kats lost at the Orlando Predators, 41-38, on a game-ending field goal.

"Well it's like Déjà vu to us. It's like a reoccurring nightmare," said Nashville head coach Pat Sperduto. " I'm very proud of our football players. They're a great bunch of hard nose football players. We didn't play a good game and we didn't play Kats football. The Rampage is the best Arena team of 2001 and that's a credit to them."

Quarterback Clint Dolezel was 26 of 36 for 308 yards for Grand Rapids and passed for seven touchdowns, the two others to Demo Odems, who was named the game's Ironman Award winner for his play on both sides of the ball.

"This is a little boys dream," said Dolezel. "We played this whole year with players going down and then others going down. We had 17 different receivers catch balls and that is a credit to the coaches and bringing in good talent behind them."

Odems hauled in six passes for 70 yards but had a key pass deflection that helped the Rampage score the most points ever by a winning team since Orlando had 62 in ArenaBowl XII.

Grand Rapids was so efficient on offense, it score on every possession except the last when kicker Brian Gowins had to attempt a 60-yard field goal that fell short of the net with 23 seconds left in the game.

Defensively, defensive specialists JoJo Polk and Raphael Bell and two-way back Joseph Todd. Polk had four pass deflections and an interception that set up the Rampage's closing score of the first half, a Gowins' 36-yard field goal.

Nashville, behind quarterback Andy Kelly, who was 12 of 26 for 243 yards and three scores, could not hold back the Grand Rapids line who put pressure on them the entire game.

"They got out to an early lead and it was tough catching up," said Kelly. Obviously it is a lot better playing with the lead. It allows you more margin for error. It was a great atmosphere for an ArenaBowl. It was very loud and it helped them I think. They ended up making all the big plays today."

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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from August 19, 2001


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