South Georgia Wildcats game notes
Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Pioneers (6-5)
at South Georgia Wildcats (2-9)
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2005
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Site: Albany Civic Center (8,034)
Officials: RUSTY WYNN (Referee), MIKE CULLIN (Umpire), JEFF HEASER (Head Linesman), HAROLD MITCHELL (Line Judge), RONNIE STEWART (Back Judge)
Radio: WRAK Magic 97.3 FM (Robert Hydrick)
Series Record: Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton leads the all-time series 3-1
Last Meeting: 8/14/2004: Wildcats 37 at Pioneers 40; 2nd round 2004 ArenaCup Playoffs
Streaks: Wildcats L5; Pioneers L1
SOUTH GEORGIA: Donnie Davis (0-1 1st season with Wildcats)
WB/SCRANTON: Les Moss (19-8; 1-1 postseason; 2nd season with Pioneers)
THE STAKES: The Wildcats look to snap their losing streak of five games against the Pioneers. The' Cats also look to give head coach Donnie Davis his first win. The Wildcats traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas and lost to the Twisters 59-28. The Pioneers are coming off a lost to the Macon Knights, 41-53. The Pioneers are sitting in the fourth spot in the American Conference playoff race while the Cats are struggling to stay alive at the ninth spot.
Cape Fear 41 @ W-B/Scranton 48.............................5/22/04
Cape Fear 57 @ W-B/Scranton 49.............................6/26/04
W-B/Scranton 53 @ Cape Fear 46.............................7/24/04
Cape Fear 37 @ W-B/Scranton 40.............8/14/04*
* 2nd round 2004 ArenaCup Playoffs
If SOUTH GEORGIA defeats PIONEERS, it would ...
Give South Georgia an over record of 3-9
Give South Georgia a 2-4 home record
Give Head Coach Donnie Davis his first win as the Wildcats new head coach
SOUTH GEORGIA WILDCATS (2-9, STREAK: L5)
Date Opponent Result Score
4/9 MACON L 41-52
4/15 @ LOUISVILLE L 46-48
4/23 @ FLORIDA L 35-42
4/30 ALBANY L 39-48
5/7 @ BIRMINGHAM W 69-49
5/14 ARKANSAS W 62-48
5/20 @ MANCHESTER L 21-46
5/28 RIO GRANDE L 37-39
6/4 @AMARILLO L 63-69
6/11 FLORIDA L 40-45
6/18 @ ARKANSAS L 28-59
Date Opponent Time Streak Series
6/25 WILKES BARRE 7:30 L1 1-3
7/8 @ ALBANY 7:30 L2 5-1
7/16 BIRMINGHAM 7:30 L3 2-0
7/23 @ MACON 7:30 W2 3-1
7/30 GREEN BAY 7:30 W1 0-0
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PIONEERS (6-5, STREAK: L1)
Date Opponent Result Score
4/1 OKLAHOMA CITY W 59-47
4/10 QUAD CITY W 64-28
4/15 @ ALBANY W 57-34
4/22 LOUISVILLE L 50-58
4/30 GREEN BAY L 40-48
5/14 @ QUAD CITY W 63-55
5/21 @ RIO GRANDE L 49-52
5/27 MANCHESTER L 33-46
6/3 @ GREEN BAY W 38-24
6/11 ALBANY W 43-34
6/18 @ MACON L 41-53
Date Opponent Time Streak Series
6/25 @ SOUTH GEORGIA 7:30 L5 3-1
7/8 @ MANCHESTER 7:30 W10 6-4
7/16 @ FLORIDA 7:30 L1 0-1
7/23 ALBANY 7:30 L2 5-6
7/30 MACON 7:30 W2 0-1
WILDCATS COACHING STAFF:
HEAD COACH: DONNIE DAVIS was named the Wildcats second head coach in the team's four-year history on June 14, 2005.
Davis served as the Offensive Coordinator for the Georgia Force (AFL) during the 2004 season. In his first game as Offensive Coordinator, Davis guided the Force to a 72-51 victory snapping a six game losing streak. During the remaining four games the Force averaged 58.3 points per game.
Davis began his Arena Football League career with the Arizona Rattlers in 1997 and guided them to an Arena Bowl XI championship and earned MVP honors. After three seasons with the Rattlers, Davis joined the Milwaukee Mustangs for a season and then went on to play two seasons with the Georgia Force before retiring in 2003. He finished his AFL career 701-of-1,108 passes for 8,192 yards and 138 touchdowns. He also rushed for 155 yards on 46 carries and 12 touchdowns.
Davis ended his collegiate career in 1995 at Georgia Tech in fifth place on the Yellow Jackets career passing list with 3,261 yards and touchdown passes with 22. He also rushed 96 times for 390 yards and four touchdowns.
Donnie and his wife Telsie and have two daughters, Chloe and Charlee.
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR/OL/DL COACH: OSCAR STURGIS joins the Wildcats coaching staff after playing seven years in the Arena Football League. Sturgis played his collegiate ball at the University of North Carolina where he started as a tight end his first two seasons and moved to defensive end and outside linebacker his junior and senior season.
Sturgis was drafted in the 7th round of the 1995 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He saw his first action against the Arizona Cardinals. He played in four games a reserve defensive end and was a member of the 1996 Super Bowl championship squad. He has played for the Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins.
He was a member of the Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe where he totaled 26 tackles and two sacks and was in the CFL in 1998 with the Montreal Alouettes.
Sturgis joined the Arizona Rattlers (AFL) in 1998 where he played four seasons with them and joined the Georgia Force in 2002 and split time between the Force and the Los Angeles Avengers in 2003 and finished his career in 2004 as a member of the Force. In seven seasons in the AFL, Sturgis registered 38 tackles, three sacks, 26 pass break-ups, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception. He also had nine receptions for 95 yards.
LAST SERIES MEETING:
August 14, 2004: Cape Fear 37 @ Wilkes-Barre 40
Pioneers Edge Cape Fear in Thriller; Advance to American Conference Title Game
Wilkes-Barre, PA - The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers utilized their stingy defense to secure the first playoff win in team history Saturday night with a come-from-behind 40-37 victory over the visiting Cape Fear Wildcats. With the win, the Pioneers improve to 14-3 and earn a berth in the 2004 American Conference championship game against the Florida Firecats, who were victorious Friday against the Tennessee Valley Vipers. With the loss, Cape Fear finishes the 2004 season at 13-5.
Defensive specialist Jamie Hattley, who was named ADT Defensive Player of the Game, paced the Pioneers defense with 10.5 tackles and a key interception against Cape Fear's Jake Eaton (37-28-2) with 4:38 left in the game. Wide receiver/defensive back Jurron Kelly, who was awarded U.S. Army Ironman of the Game honors, iced the contest with just 14 seconds remaining by picking off Eaton a second time at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 4-yard line and returning it to the Cape Fear seven. Pioneers QB Tim Hicks then successfully ran out the clock. The game had the makings of an offensive shootout in the first half, with eight lead changes.
Cape Fear's Eaton looked sharp, connecting with four different receivers on scoring strikes and leading the Wildcats to a 30-26 advantage. The Pioneers were fortunate to keep the score close after a first quarter fumbled snap and several miscues between Hicks and the returning J.R. Thomas, playing for the first time in a month after recovering from a staph infection (despite the sub par half, Thomas did finish with seven receptions for 107 yards and a score, plus three kickoff returns for 89 yards).
The Pioneers defense took over after halftime, limiting a Cape Fear team that averages more than 50 points per game to just one touchdown in the third quarter and no points in the fourth. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took their first lead since early in the second quarter when Hicks found Kelly on a six-yard scoring toss with 10:25 to go in the fourth. That score would be the last points put up by either team, as Hattley's interception ended the ensuing drive for Cape Fear. The Wildcats, however, responded by forcing another Pioneers' fumble one the visitors one-yard line with 55 seconds remaining to regain possession and get another shot at the end zone. After moving the ball down the field with ease, Kelly picked Eaton off to secure Wilkes-Barre's victory.
TALE OF THE TAPE: Here's how the WILDCATS and PIONEERS stack up:
Statistical SOUTH GEORGIA WB/SCRANTON
Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 17 43.9 10 48.6
Scoring Defense 9 49.5 5 43.8
Total Offense 6 274.2 17 238.1
Total Defense 2 207.7 3 231.4
Pass Offense 3 267.3 16 228.2
Pass Defense 2 175.1 5 215.0
Rushing Offense 20 76 19 109
Rushing Defense 20 359 6 180
Scoring (Non-Kick) T-15 420 7 456
Scoring (Kicking) 19 53 7 77
Pass Rating 16 90.4 9 105.2
Pass Def. Rating 9 100.5 4 91.1
Kickoff Returns 20 13.2 3 21.9
MFG Returns 10 16.6 5 21.5
Turnover Margin 18 -9 T-14 -6
Field Goals 15 .182 6 .412
PAT Kicking 16 .723 8 .812
Sacks By T-13 11 8 15
Sacks Against T-10 14 5 9
First Downs 6 212 11 204
Opp. First Downs 3 182 14 209
Penalties 11 59.0 12 59.5
Opp. Penalties 19 48.1 2 76.6
June 18, 2005: South Georgia 28 @ Arkansas 59
Offensive Player of the Game: Kevin Feterik ARK
Ironman of the Game: Darnell Small ARK
Defensive Player of the Game: CJ McLain ARK
The Wildcats fell behind to the Twisters 18-0 late in the second quarter. Wildcats quarterback BRIAN ZBYDNIEWSKI ran for a one yard score to cut the lead to 18-7 and then with :04 seconds remaining Zbydniewski connected with OS ANTWONE SAVAGE for a 19-yard touchdown pass. With :04 seconds remaining in the half and down by four the Wildcats decided to kickoff to the Twisters and WR/DB ROBERT KILOW made them pay for it as he ran the kickoff back 54 yards for a touchdown as time expired. The Twisters then came out and started the second half on their 5 yard line and ran four plays for 45 yards which was capped off with a DARNELL SMALL 11 yard run for a score. The Twisters went up 32-14 and never looked back as they gave the Wildcats their fifth straight loss, 59-28.
One bright spot of the night was the play of Zbydniewski and Savage. Zbydniewski finished the night 24-of-45 for 242 yards and three touchdowns including a rushing touchdown. Savage, playing his second game as the Wildcats offensive specialist, had 10 catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns. WR/LB CHRIS MCKINNEY added four catches for 34 yards.
Defensively the Cats were led by DS DRAKUS LANGFORD who led the Wildcats with 10.5 tackles and two interceptions. DS ELLIOT BURKES chipped in with four tackles and one pick.
Feterik ended the night struggling on the throwing side going 15-of-23 for 99 yards and two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for 10 yards and two touchdowns. The Wildcats line did not have an answer for FB/LB DARNELL SMALL who ran all over the Cats for 57 yards and three touchdowns. WR/DB TED ALFORD caught six balls for 46 yards and one touchdown and registered six tackles on the night.
OL/DL CJ MCLAIN was named ADT Defensive Player of the Game with 5.5 tackles and 2.0 sacks. The Twisters totaled six sacks on the evening. Going into the contest the Wildcats only gave up seven sacks in 10 games.
FORWARD MOTION: The Wildcats and the rest of the arenafootball2 league will have a bye week from June 25 to July 3. The Cats will be back in action on Friday, July 8 as they will travel to Albany, New York to take on the Conquest. These two teams met in Week 5 with the Conquest defeating the Wildcats, 39-48.
OUCH!: Going into last week's game against the Arkansas Twisters, the Wildcats offensive line had only allowed eight sacks in 10 games. Last week, the Twisters sacked quarterback Brian Zbydniewski six times for a loss of 52 yards. It is the most sacks the Wildcats have allowed in one game in franchise history.
I CAN GET USE TO THIS POSITION: Starting his second games as the Wildcats offensive specialist, Antwone Savage racked up big numbers again, catching 10 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. In his last two games as OS, Savage has 19 catches for 273 yards and four touchdowns. In his first five games this season, he had just 10 catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
WHEN NOT LYING ON THE TURF, HE'S SOLID: Quarterback Brian Zbydniewski started his second straight game last week against the Twisters and finished the night 24-of-45 for 242 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 10 yards and one score. "Zeb" was sacked six times last week and twice against Florida two weeks ago. Against Florida, "Zeb" guided the Wildcats from 20 down at the half and just came up just short in the win. He finished the night 24-of-39 for 273 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 12 yards and one score.
GUESS WHO'S BACK?... BACK AGAIN: After missing six games with the Wildcats, Adrian Cockfield is returning to the Wildcats this weekend against Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton. In five games this season, Cockfield has 40 catches for 406 yards and eight touchdowns and returned 10 kickoffs for 90 yards.
CAN WE HAVE A MAKE-UP GAME?: Last week, the Wildcats traveled to Arkansas to face the Twisters and left Little Rock with a few un-wanted records. The Wildcats were defeated by 31 points, it was the biggest defeat this season and in franchise history (previous mark was in 2003, Wildcats lost to the Charleston Swampdogs by 24 points 34-58). The Wildcats also lost their fifth straight game of the season; the longest losing streak in franchise history was four games in 2003. The Wildcats also set another mark by giving up six sacks in one game, which are the most sacks allowed in a single game in franchise history.
PLAYERS/MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
WILDCATS OS ANTWONE SAVAGE: Savage played his second straight game at OS and did not disappoint once again. He had 10 catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns. In 11 games, Savage has 52 receptions for 574 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has 13 kickoff returns for 230 yards and one touchdown and has 14 tackles on the defensive side.
WILDCATS WR/DB CHRIS MCKINNEY: In nine games, McKinney has 43 receptions for 445 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also has 29 tackles.
WILDCATS QB BRIAN ZBYDNIEWSKI: Zeb completed 24-of-45 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 10 yards and one score last week against the Twisters. In seven games (2 starts), Zbydniewski is 58-of-106 for 672 yards and eight touchdowns with one interception. He also has rushed for 14 yards and two touchdowns.
WILDCATS DS ELLIOT BURKES: In six games with the Wildcats this season, Burkes has registered 30.5 tackles (29 solo), two interceptions and seven pass break-ups.
PIONEERS QB BRYAN SNYDER: In four games, Snyder is 35-of-67 for 393 yards and nine touchdowns with three interceptions. He is averaging 98.25 passing yards per game.
PIONEERS OS ROCCO FORGIONE: Forgione leads the Pioneers receiving squad with 72 catches for 851 yards and 20 touchdowns. He is averaging 77.4 receiving yards per game. He also has returned four kickoffs for 61 yards and one touchdown.
PIONEERS WR/DB AMEER RILEY: Riley has 35 receptions for 403 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. On the defensive side, he has 44.5 tackles and two interceptions.
PIONEERS DS JAMIE HATTLEY: Hattley leads the team in tackles with 74.5 and has one interception and 19 pass break-ups.
2005 ArenaCup Playoff Race
Position Team W L
1 Manchester Wolves 10 1
2 Florida Firecats 9 2
3 Green Bay Blizzard 7 4
4 WB/Scranton Pioneers 6 5
5 Louisville Fire 6 5
6 Macon Knights 5 6
7 Albany Conquest 3 8
8 Arkansas Twisters 2 9
9 South Georgia Wildcats 2 9
10 Birmingham Steeldogs 1 10
Position Team W L
1 Memphis Xplorers 10 1
2 Tulsa Talons 8 3
3 Amarillo Dusters 7 4
4 Grande Valley Dorados 7 4
5 Ok. City Yard Dawgz 6 5
6 Q.C. Steamwheelers 5 6
7 Central Valley Coyotes 5 6
8 Bakersfield Blitz 4 7
9 San Diego Riptide 4 7
10 Bossier City Battle Wings 3 8
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME AWARD
Week Opp. Player
2 Macon Adrian Cockfield- South Georgia
3 Louisville Adrian Cockfield- South Georgia
4 Florida Magic Benton- Florida
5 Albany Matt Burstein- South Georgia
6 Birmingham Matt Burstein- South Georgia
7 Arkansas Bobby Pesavento- South Georgia
8 Manchester Heyward Skipper- Manchester
9 Rio Grande Matt Burstein- South Georgia
10 Amarillo Matt Burstein- South Georgia
11 Florida Magic Benton- Florida
12 Arkansas Kevin Feterik- Arkansas
IRONMAN OF THE GAME AWARD
Week Opp. Player
2 South Georgia Derrick Lloyd- Macon
3 South Georgia Tony Stallings- Louisville
4 Florida Steve Gorrie- Florida
5 Albany Jeff Higgins- Albany
6 South Georgia Herman Bell- Birmingham
7 Arkansas Rob Keefe- South Georgia
8 Manchester Kelvin Fuller- Manchester
9 South Georgia Marquis Floyd- Rio Grande Valley
10 South Georgia Joe Massey- Amarillo Dusters
11 Florida Antwone Savage- South Georgia
12 Arkansas Darnell Small- Arkansas
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME AWARD
Week Opp. Player
2 South Georgia Hosea Laney- Macon
3 South Georgia Rob Green- Louisville
4 Florida Kelly Snell- Florida
5 Albany Travis Coleman- Albany
6 Birmingham Rob Keefe- South Georgia
7 South Georgia Darnell Small- Arkansas
8 Manchester Allistair Sebastian- Manchester
9 South Georgia Norman Mason- Rio Grande Valley
10 South Georgia Kendrick Walker- Amarillo Dusters
11 Florida Cainon Lamb- Florida
12 Arkansas CJ McLain- Arkansas
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