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Steamwheelers Weekly Report

June 1, 2004 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Quad City Steamwheelers News Release

Recap: The Quad City Steamwheelers are coming off their “bye” week and are at the midpoint of their season. The Steamwheelers have started the season at 6-2 and are tied atop the National Conference rankings, as well as the Midwest Division.

Next Up: After taking a full week off from action, the Steamwheelers will return to action this week when the travel to take on the Louisville Fire. This game will have major implications on not only the conference, but the division as well. Both teams will bring 6-2 marks into the game with the winner taking a one game edge over the other. Both teams sit atop the conference and division. This Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on Mediacom in most of Iowa as well as western Illinois. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. EST (6:30 p.m. CDT).

Last Time: Despite jumping out to a 10-7 lead after the first quarter of play, the Louisville Fire could not hang with the Steamwheelers much longer, as the ‘Wheelers outscored the Fire 22-0 in the second quarter and added the first score of the second half to go up 35-10 in front of 6,298 fans at The MARK of the Quad Cities. The Fire would not get any closer as the ‘Wheelers pulled away for a 55-30 victory. Defensive specialist Asa Francis earned Game MVP and ADT Defensive Player of the Game honors as he recorded seven tackles, three sacks, forced a fumble and had a safety.

Curse of the No. 1 Ranking: It is the first season that the arenafootball2 league has had a weekly Coaches’ Poll. For the first four weeks of the poll, it seemed as if the Steamwheelers would hang onto the top ranking for a while. But a loss on the road at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Week 4 dropped the ‘Wheelers from the top spot. Since then, the top ranking has changed hands five times with Wichita holding the ranking for two of those weeks, sandwiched around Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s week atop the poll. The ‘Wheelers held the top spot two weeks ago, but the loss to the San Diego Riptide dropped them from the top spot. This past weekend the recently top ranked Pioneers returned to the top of the poll, only to fall 48-47 to Louisville. With the loss, and the Birmingham Steeldogs (No. 2 last week) remaining the only team in the af2 with one loss, the poll will likely see another team atop the rankings.

Vacation Time Is Over: With two weeks in between games, Steamwheelers coach Rich Ingold decided to give the team a few days off to go back to their hometowns if they chose to do so. Most of the players returned to their respective hometowns prior to returning to Saturday’s evening practice. Over the weekend, Ingold held two practices over the weekend to get back into the swing of things.

Flat on His Back: The Louisville Fire are lucky to be 6-2 entering this weekend’s game. Even quarterback Matt Sauk will admit that the Fire’s 48-47 last second victory over the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Pioneers this past weekend. "Sometimes you just get lucky, and we had luck on our side. They pretty much dominated us, but we ended up winning on a fluke throw," Sauk said after completing a 25-yard pass off of the net to Anthony Payton. No big deal, right? Not quite, Payton was laying flat on his back when he caught the game-tying touchdown. Kicker Mark Samuel added the extra point for the victory.

Upcoming Steamwheelers Appearances: With a short work week made even shorter for the Steamwheelers, who leave on Friday morning for Louisville, Ky., there is only one appearance on the schedule this week. On Tuesday, June 1, wide receiver/defensive back Tim Dodge will be speaking at a father/son banquet at Memorial Christian Church in Rock Island at 6:30 p.m.

Practice Times: Coach Ingold has given the players Monday off after the weekend sessions. They will return to practice on Tuesday and continue practice through Thursday. Practice runs from 5-7 p.m. at The MARK of the Quad Cities. Practice starts at 5 p.m. with a film session that usually runs for 20-30 minutes. Practice then runs for about an hour to an hour and a half. Most players begin to arrive at practice around 4:30 p.m. and are around after practice for at least 20 minutes. Interviews are best to be conducted before or after practice. If there are any problems, contact Steamwheelers Media Relations Manager Ryan Holtmann.

Travel Plans: The Steamwheelers will depart for Louisville, Ky., Friday morning. They will arrive in the afternoon with a tentative walk through on the slate. The team will depart Louisville almost immediately after the conclusion of the game and arrive back in the Quad Cities early Sunday morning.

On the Air: “In the Boiler Room” has returned and after a week off due to the holiday, will return next Monday night and will continue for the rest of the season on WFXN 1230 AM at 7 p.m. “In the Boiler Room” host Jim Albracht will be joined by Steamwheelers coach Rich Ingold as well as select players. You can also listen in to Q106.5’s Dwyer and Michaels every morning as they discuss the ‘Wheelers periodically on the “Mornings with Dwyer and Michaels” show that runs from 5:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Also, the “Voice of the Steam” Jim Albracht also hosts “Albracht in the AM” from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on WOC 1420 AM. Throughout the show he discusses a variety of topics as well as the Steamwheelers. Every Sunday night on NBC affiliate KWQC-TV6, following the 10 p.m. news, sports director Thom Cornelis hosts ‘Wheeler Watch” which features highlights of the previous weekend’s game and a discussion with head coach Rich Ingold.

Media Requests: Any member of the accredited media that wishes to set up an interview with a Steamwheelers player, coach or staff member may contact Steamwheelers Media Relations Manager Ryan Holtmann at 563-324-4888 (office) or 563-570-0930 (cell phone). Most players are available throughout the day, pending their other profession.

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