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Tennessee Valley Viper game notes

April 11, 2006 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Alabama Vipers News Release

QUICK FACTS:
Tennessee Valley Vipers (1-1)
at Memphis Xplorers (2-0)
Date: Saturday, April 15, 2006
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. CDT
Site: DeSoto Civic Center (8,444)
National Anthem:
Coin Toss:
Officials: Todd Dunaway (Referee), Chad Walker (Umpire), Lark Jones (Head Linesman), Chris Jamison (Line Judge), Chris Cockrell (Back Judge)
Radio: WUMP 730 AM, WVNN 770 AM, 92.5 FM - Thom Abraham, Play-by-Play
TV: None
Series Record: Vipers lead 6-2
Last Meeting: Memphis won 47-25 in Huntsville on April 1, 2006.
Streaks: Xplorers W 2, Vipers W1
Coaches: Danton Barto (36-30; 3-1 playoffs, Four Years)
Chris Williams (1-1, First Season)

THE STAKES: Tennessee Valley looks to go 2-1 and avenge a 47-25 setback two weeks ago at home against Memphis

THE SERIES: Tennessee Valley leads the all-time 6-2, but Memphis won the last meeting 47-25 in Huntsville on April 1, 2006. The Vipers are 3-1 all-time in Memphis.

THE IFs:
If Tennessee Valley defeats Memphis, it would ...
- Give Tennessee Valley a 7-2 series record with Memphis
- Give Tennessee Valley a 2-0 road record in 2006
- Give Chris Williams his second win in af2
- Give the Vipers a 2-1 overall record.

MEMPHIS (2-0, W2)
Date Opponent Result Score
4/1 @ Tennessee Valley 7:30 W 47-25
4/8 FLORIDA 7:00 W 78-46
Date Opponent Time Streak Series
4/15 TENNESSEE VALLEY 7:00
4/22 @ Florida 6:30
4/28 MACON 7:00
5/6 MANCHESTER 7:00
5/13 @ South Georgia 6:30
5/20 BOSSIER-SHREVEPORT 7:00
5/28 @ Amarillo 3:00
6/3 @ Stockton 9:00
6/17 BIRMINGHAM 7:00
6/24 SOUTH GEORGIA 7:00
6/30 @ Macon 6:30
7/8 @ Louisville 6:00
7/15 AMARILLO 7:00
7/22 @ Birmingham 7:00

TENNESSEE VALLEY (1-1, W1)
Date Opponent Result Score
4/1 Memphis 7:30 L 25-47
4/8 @ South Georgia 6:30 W 58-50
Date Opponent Time Streak Series
4/15 @ Memphis 7:00 W2 6-2
4/22 Macon 7:30 L1 4-2
4/29 @ Arkansas 7:00 W2 7-0
5/6 Florida 7:30 L1 3-1
5/20 Birmingham 7:30 W1 9-1
5/27 Louisville 7:30 L1 2-0
6/3 @ Florida 6:30 L1 3-1
6/10 Bakersfield 7:30 L1 1-0
6/17 @ Bossier-Shreveport 7:00 L1 5-1
6/24 Quad City 7:30 L1 3-6
7/8 @ Quad City 7:30 L1 3-6
7/15 South Georgia 7:30 L1 2-0
7/22 @ Macon 6:30 L1 4-2
7/29 @ Birmingham 7:30 W1 9-1

HEAD COACHES:
CHRIS WILLIAMS, Tennessee Valley
Chris Williams is 1-1 in his first season as head coach of the Tennessee Valley Vipers. He went 25-8 in two seasons as the head coach of the Odessa Roughriders. He has also served as an assistant coach in af2 with the Birmingham Steeldogs and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers.
He also has high school coaching stops during his coaching career. He most recently served as the Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator at Selma (AL) High School before going to Odessa.
A graduate of McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, Alabama, Williams was an outstanding running back during his high school playing days. He still ranks in the top five in all-time rushing yards at the school. Williams played the fullback position during his college playing days. He enjoyed his best year as a collegian, when as a junior, he rushed for 437 yards and 5 touchdowns at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Williams also spent one season at the University of West Alabama, rushing for over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns in 1993. Williams played professionally in the Football League of Europe. In his most productive season he rushed for 1,089 yards and 21 touchdowns playing fullback for the Munich, Germany franchise.

DANTON BARTO, Memphis Xplorers
Barto is entering his fifth season as the Head Coach of the Memphis Xplorers. His career regular season record stands at 34-30 and he is 3-1 in the postseason. He is the winningest coach in af2 over the last two seasons.

LAST SERIES MEETING: The two teams met for the season opener on April 1, 2006 in Huntsville. The Xplorers held a 26-25 lead at the end of three quarters before outscoring the Vipers 21-0 in the fourth to come away with a 47-25 win. Brian Jones completed 20-30 passes for 295 yards and six touchdowns in the win.

SERIES NOTABLES: This will be the ninth meeting between the two teams with the Vipers holding a 6-2 advantage, however, Memphis has won the last two. The Vipers are 3-1 in Memphis.

FAMILIAR FACES:

LEAGUE TOP 10s: Players from this week's matchup who rank among af2's statistical leaders:
XPLORERS
Player Rank Category Stat
Brian Jones 1 Total Offense 311.0
Kenny Higgins T2 Scoring 36
Steven Azar T2 Scoring (kick) 15
Kenny Higgins 3 All-Purpose 154.0
Brian Jones 2 Rushing 24.0
Brian Jones 3 Rushing TDs 3
Brain Jones 1 Rushing Att 13
Brian Jones 9 Yards Per Rush 3.7
Brian Jones 3 Passing 287.0
Brian Jones 4 Completion % 71.0
Brian Jones 8 Passing Atts 62
Brian Jones 3 Passing TDs 13
Brian Jones 9 Pass Rating 113.3
Brian Jones 6 Completions 44
Kenny Higgins 1 Receptions 18
Kenny Higgins 8 Yds per catch 17.1
Kenny Higgins 1 Rec Yards 308
Kenny Higgins T1 Rec TDs 6
Steven Azar 5 PAT Kicking 83.3
Steven Azar 2 PAT Atts 18
Steven Azar 2 PAT Made 15
Terrell Adams 2 MFG Return 26.0
Domonique Dunbar T7 Interceptions 1
Terrance Quattlebaum 9 KO Return 23.8
Deon Giddens 1 Tackles 19.0
Joseph Crear T8 Sacks 1.5
Domonique Dunbar T4 Forced Fumbles 1
Terrance Quattlebaum T4 Forced Fumbles 1
Domonique Dunbar T4 Fumbles Rvcd 1
Deon Giddens 1 Passes Def 7
VIPERS
Player Rank Category Stat
Roger Linn 9 Total Offense 224.5
J.J. Barnett 8 Rushing Att 7
Roger Linn 5 Completion % 68.6
Roger Linn 4 Passing Atts 70
Roger Linn 10 Pass Rating 111.3
Roger Linn 2 Completions 48
Steven Lee 9 PAT Atts 12
Joey Robinson T2 Interceptions 2
Travis Blanchard T7 Interceptions 1
Torrey Day T7 Interceptions 1
Travis Blanchard T4 Tackles 8.0
Travis Blanchard 1 Int. Return Yds 53
Joey Robinson 6 Int. Return Yds 24
Torrey Day T9 Int. Return Yds 15
Travis Blanchard T1 Int. Return TDs 1
Joey Robinson T1 Int. Return TDs 1
Travis Blanchard T4 Tackles 11.5
Rashad Gibbs T2 Sacks 3.0
Ahmad Childress T1 Fumbles Rcvd 2
J.J. Barnett T4 Fumbles Rcvd 1
Reggie Glover T4 Fumbles Rcvd 1
Jermaine Blakely T4 Fumbles Rcvd 1
Rashad Gibbs T1 Tackles-for-loss 3.5
Joey Robinson T3 Passes Def 5

TALE OF THE TAPE: Here's how the Xplorers and Vipers stack up:
Statistical VIPERS XPLORERS
Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 16 41.5 3 62.5
Scoring Defense 11 48.5 3 35.5
Total Offense T16 232.5 2 314.5
Total Defense 10 255.5 14 271.0
Pass Offense 17 222.5 4 284.5
Pass Defense 9 232.5 11 237.5
Rushing Offense 12 10.0 4 30.0
Rushing Defense 17 23.0 22 33.5
Scoring (Non-Kick) 11 41.5 3 62.5
Scoring (Kicking) 14 3.5 2 7.5
Pass Rating 9 112.0 8 113.3
Pass Def. Rating 7 103.6 13 108.6
Kickoff Returns 16 14.5 10 19.3
MFG Returns T12 0.0 3 26.0
Turnover Margin T5 1.00 T5 1.00
Field Goals T9 0.0 T9 0.0
PAT Kicking 9 .583 2 .833
Sacks By T4 3 T7 2
Sacks Against T11 2 T5 1
First Downs 11 27 T4 38
Opp. First Downs 20 39 T16 33
Penalties 20 67.0 19 62.0
Opp. Penalties 2 65.5 7 56.5

INJURY REPORT:
Pos. Name Injury Status
OS Corvin Johnson Groin Out
QB Ryan Schneider Shoudler Questionable
WR/DB Clenton Rafe Groin Questionable
WR/LB Terrence Moore Groin Out
DS Chris Fowler Groin Out

THIS WEEK'S QUOTES:
CHRIS WILLIAMS, on playing Memphis for the second time in three weeks: "It is tough task to take on the defending champs twice in the first three weeks. They are a great team that seems to get better each week, which is evident in their impressive win over Florida last week."

ROGER LINN, on the Vipers first win of the season over South Georgia: "It's big, it puts over the hump and gets us on the board. It allows us to relax a little bit and get ready for Memphis this week."

CHRIS WILLIAMS, on Rashad Gibbs being named the ADT Defensive Player of the Week: "Rashad is an excellent pass rusher who is adapting to the arena game very quickly. He is coming into his own a lot faster than I thought he would. Hopefully he can keep progressing at a steady pace."

DROPBACK: The Vipers jumped out to a 33-14 lead over the South Georgia Wildcats and held on for a 58-50 win. Roger Linn completed 23-32 passes for 237 yards and five touchdowns. Wayne Thomas caught 10 passes for 102 yards and three scores. Defensively, Rashad Gibbs recorded 3.0 sacks while Joey Robinson intercepted two passes.

FORWARD MOTION: The Vipers will host the Macon Knights on Saturday, April 22 at 7:30.

TEAM NOTES/TRENDS:

American South
Team W L Pct
Memphis Xplorers 2 0 1.000
Birmingham Steeldogs 1 0 1.000
Tennessee Valley Vipers 1 1 .500
South Georgia Wildcats 0 1 .000
Florida Firecats 0 1 .000
Macon Knights 0 1 .000

Rookies, Rookies, Rookies:
The Vipers have 14 players on the current 22-man roster that are rookies. Only Johnny Anderson, Wayne Thomas, Torrey Day, Ron Wilson and Jimmi Henson have more than one year of experience.

Red Zone Offense:
The Vipers are 19th in af2 in red zone offense scoring 63.6% of the time.
Opp TDs FGs Int Fum Downs
11 7 0 1 1 2

Red Zone Defense:
The Vipers are 3rd in af2 in red zone defense holding their opponents to a 60.0% success rate.
Opp TDs FGs Int Fum Downs
10 6 0 3 1 0

Opening Drives:
The Vipers failed to score on their opening drive last week at South Georgia after scoring a touchdown two weeks ago against Memphis. However, on the missed field goal return, the Vipers forced a fumble that Jermaine Blakely recovered for a touchdown.

TOP:
The Vipers are 13th in the af2 in Time of Possession averaging 30:24 per game.

First Downs:
The Vipers are 11th in af2 in first downs with 27 and 10th in first downs passing with 22. They have four on penalty and only one rushing.
Fumble:
The Vipers lead the af2 in fumble recoveries with 5 led by Ahmad Childress who recovered two in his only game last week at South Georgia.

Kickoffs:
Vipers kicker Steven Lee has averaged 53.4 yards on 14 kickoffs with three touchbacks. Opponents are averaged the 11-yard line to start each possession. They rank 19th in af2 in kickoff coverage at 19.9 yards per return. On the flip side, the Vipers are 14th in the league in kickoff returns averaging 14.5 per return and average starting each drive at their 10-yard line.

Turnover Battle:
The Vipers forced six turnovers last week at South Georgia interception three passes and recovering three fumbles and are now +2 on the season. They also lost four fumbles. They forced three turnovers in the loss to Memphis by recovering two fumbles and intercepting a pass. The Vipers went three quarters without a turnover before throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble in the fourth quarter.

Conversions:
3rd Down Conversions 8-16 50.0
Opponents 3rd Down Conversions 6-12 50.0
4th Down Convertions 0-4 .000
Opponents 4th Down Conversions 0-0 .000

Kicking Blues:
After converting only 1-of-4 extra points in the season opener, Steven Lee nailed 6-of-8 last week at South Georgia. He is 0-of-4 on the field goals but the shortest kick has come from 51 yards.

Safety Dance:
Rashad Gibbs had a career day last week at South Georgia. The Elizabeth City Stat Alum recorded 3.0 sacks and two resulted in safeties. He received the ADT Defensive Player of the Game and the ADT Defensive Player of the Week for the league.

Defense Scores
The Vipers defense scored 22 of the 58 points at South Georgia. They returned two interceptions for scores, recovered a fumble for a touchdown and recorded two safeties.

Interceptions=Touchdowns
Both Travis Blanchard and Joey Robinson returned interceptions for touchdowns last week. Blanchard's was the longest at 53 yards but Robinson's 20 yard return came when South Georgia was driving for the tying score with :23 left.

Interception Returns:
The Vipers lead the af2 in interception return yards with 92 and interceptions returned for touchdowns with two. They are second in return average at 23.0 per return.

Converting turnovers into points
The Vipers have forced nine turnovers in two games and converted them into six touchdowns. They have fumbled in back twice and missed one field goal.

Big Men up Front:
The Vipers offensive/defensive line averages 300 pounds over the eight players. Former Alabama defensive lineman, Ahmad Childress leads the way at 330.

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