Rio Grande Valley Dorados game notes
Rio Grande Valley Dorados (3-1) vs. Tulsa Talons (2-1)
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2006
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. CT
Site: Tulsa Convention Center (7,111)
National Anthem: TBA
Coin Toss: Head Official
Dorados Radio: ESPN Radio 1240 (KSOX); doradosfootball.com
Series Record: TUL 4-2
Last Meeting: 75-40 RGV win, April 8, 2006, Dodge Arena
Coaches: RGV - Marty Hammond (3-1, 0-0 playoffs, 1st Season)
TUL - David Alexander
THE SCENARIO: Rio Grande Valley jumped into a second place tie with Arkansas for the Midwest Division lead by ending the Twisters' 3-0 run with a 57-55 win at Obra Homes Field at Dodge Arena. The Dorados have now won three in a row themselves after dropping the first game of the regular season at Central Valley.
THE SERIES: This is the seventh all-time regular season meeting between the teams. Tulsa holds the advantage 4-2. The teams played three times in 2004 with the Talons taking all three contests. In 2005, the Dorados won the first game (at home) then lost on the road in the follow up meeting. At home, RGV is 2-1, but is winless (0-3) on the road in the regular season. The Dorados defeated Tulsa in the second round of the playoffs last year to advance to the National Conference Finals.
5/28/04 at Tulsa, 51-38 loss
6/12/04, vs. Tulsa, 45-35 loss
7/17/04, at Tulsa, 66-60 loss
6/11/05, vs. Tulsa, 65-64 win
7/16/05, at Tulsa, 58-49 loss
8/13/05, at Tulsa, 65-42 win (playoffs)
4/8/06, vs. Tulsa, 75-40 win
OFF THE NET
§ The Dorados set a franchise record for points in a game with their 75-40 win vs. Tulsa on April 8.
§ The Dorados have only one win at Tulsa in four tries; that win was a playoff game that sent RGV to the National Conference Finals in 2005.
THIS WEEK'S QUOTES courtesy of themonitor.com
Marty Hammond on last week's win
"I told the guys it was a big game because it was a division game, and it was in our house," Dorados coach Marty Hammond said. "They were 3-0, so I respect them for that. And they were leading the division. It was a big game in that respect."
Dwight Counter on last week's 12 reception, 3 TD performance
"(I wasn't open) every time, but just about," Counter said. "The quarterback and I are clicking, but we're still not at that point yet."
Curtis Jeter on last week's game-saving field goal block with 2.1 seconds left in regulation
"I got a good look at the holder, and when he lifted his hand off, I just took a chance and I got a block," Jeter said. "My arms are not that long, but I got a block...It was a vet move, and I got the block. It's not always ability. Part of this game is just knowing the little things to do when it counts."
Marty Hammond on the team's three wins in a row
"We're at about 65 to 70 percent," Hammond said. "There are still some things we have to correct. We found a way to win games by making plays, and that's a good thing.
WELLS RETURNS TO DORADOS LINEUP
WR/DB Donte Wells returned to the Dorados lineup in Week 4 vs. Arkansas and contributed with two carries for 15 yards and one TD. He also added five kick returns for 85 yards. Wells played nine games for RGV in 2004 and averaged 25.6 receiving yards per game with three TD's. He moved on to Albany last season, playing in nine games for the Conquest. There, he took on a defensive role, finishing seventh on the team with 22.5 tackles (19UA) while also making six catches for 54 yards.
COUNTER FALLS JUST SHORT OF TYING FRANCHISE MARK
Dwight Counter's three TD receptions vs. Arkansas in Week 4 was one short of tying his own franchise record. He hauled in four TD's on June 11, 2005 vs. Tulsa.
KELLET THROWS FOR 345 YARDS VS. ARKANSAS
Josh Kellett went 27-for-44 vs. Arkansas in Week, throwing for 345 yards and six TD's. He nearly tied two of his own franchise single-game record (390 yards, eight TD's).
LOOKING FOR RESPECT
The Dorados jumped to No. 8 in the arenafootball2 Coaches Poll after last week's 57-55 victory over then No. 2 Arkansas. With No. 1 Memphis also losing, there's a new look at the top of the poll. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (3-0) is now in the top slot, with Oklahoma City (3-0) at No. 2. Memphis dropped to No. 3, Arkansas to No. 6. The Dorados were ranked 12th last week.
Dorados offensive specialist Dwight Counter is of the belief that RGV is being overlooked because of its 65-34 Week 1 loss at Central Valley. "We didn't come out the way we wanted to the first game. We slipped up and took a loss," Counter said. "We're a better team than people projected us to be. Hopefully after (beating Arkansas) they'll see that we're a little bit better than what they have us ranked."
DORADOS CAN TIE FRANCHISE WINNING STREAK WITH A VICTORY AT TULSA
The Dorados have strung together four wins two times in the past and can tie that franchise mark with a win tonight. Both four-game win streaks came during the 2005 season (Week 5-8, Week 10-13). It was a 58-49 loss at Tulsa in Week 14 of last year that ended the team's second four-game run.
THIS WEEK'S QUICK PREVIEW
Hidalgo, Texas --- The Rio Grande Valley Dorados put their three-game winning streak on the line this Saturday at Tulsa when they face the Talons for the second time this season.
The Dorados posted a franchise-high 75 points the last time these two teams squared off back on April 8 (RGV 75, TUL 40), but the Talons are confident after last week's 72-3 drubbing of the Bossier Battle Wings.
It may seem rudimentary, but the Dorados will need to shut down Tulsa's fifth-ranked offense (52.7 points per game) while finding a way to break through and put points on the board. Tulsa allows an af2-low average of just 34 points per game, although that was helped dramatically by last week's domination of Bossier. The RGV defense has allowed 50.8 points per game while the offense has done slightly better (52.5, 6th).
Dorados QB Josh Kellett has thrown for an af2-high 99 completions while connecting on a second-best 22 TD's. Dwight Counter has been the go-to guy; he has a league-best 34 receptions, while teammate Mel Long is ninth with 25 receptions. Both have hauled in seven TD's.
Defensively, big plays have been the story. Curtis Jeter's field goal block with 2.1 seconds left sealed the Dorados 57-55 win over Arkansas last week. At Birmingham the week before, Corl Bucknor's pass break up in overtime prevented the SteelDogs from converting on a two-point conversion for the win. Quietly going about his business is Brent Withers, who is second overall in af2 with 27.5 tackles per game.
This week's game will be aired live on ESPN Radio 1240 and is also available online at doradosfootball.com and broadcastmonsters.com. Rich Bocchini has the call with the pre-game at 6:45 and kickoff at 7:00 p.m.
TULSA TOPPLES BOSSIER-SHREVEPORT IN BIG WAY
One of the most lopsided results in league history happened this past Saturday as the Tulsa Talons opened their 2006 home schedule with a 72-3 victory over the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings. Only three other af2 games have been more one-sided since the league's inception in 2000. Bossier-Shreveport's three points tied for the second-lowest total in an af2 game. BRIAN HAZELWOOD's 24-yard field goal with 8:39 left prevented what could've been just the second shutout in league history. The Talons' dominating effort included eight sacks and five interceptions. The sack stat was the fifth-highest single-game total in af2 history, while Tulsa's interception total tied a franchise record. The Talons improved to 2-1 on the season while Bossier-Shreveport fell to 0-3.
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