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Two former 'Birds face off in ArenaBowl XVIII

June 14, 2004 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Albany/Indiana Firebirds News Release

INDIANAPOLIS – The Arizona Rattlers will host the San Jose SaberCats on Sunday, June 27th in ArenaBowl XVIII. Kickoff is set for 3:00 PM (CT) and will feature the top two seeds in the post-season battling for the 2004 championship trophy. QB Sherdrick Bonner and the Rattlers outlasted the Colorado Crush, and head coach Mike Dailey, 45-41, earning the right to play San Jose, who got by Chicago on Saturday, 49-35, at American West Arena (Phoenix, AZ) in two weeks.

Indianapolis fans got a chance to see Bonner up close and personal during the Firebirds’, 46-43, week twelve loss to the Rattlers at Conseco Fieldhouse. The loss catapulted Arizona to win their next seven games, including two consecutive playoff wins to get to the championship game. Indiana went on to lose three of their last five and miss the playoff race by one game.

Firebirds fans who tune into the game on WTHR-13 (NBC) will see a couple of familiar faces from the orange and black record books. San Jose OL/DL Joe Jacobs was a three-time All-Arena team member playing for the Firebirds from 1997-2000. Jacobs helped the ‘Birds capture their only ArenaBowl championship trophy in 1999 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks (22.5). Jacobs won his second league championship with the ‘Cats in 2002.

Facing off against Jacobs will be Arizona kicker Nelson Garner, the Firebirds’ record holder for most extra points made (248) and most field goals made (43) in a career. Garner was with the Firebirds from 2000-02 and connected on a career-long 58-yard field goal attempts against New Jersey in 2000. Garner has converted 47% of his career field goal attempts and 88% of his point-after attempts.

Arizona is making its third straight appearance in the ArenaBowl, going 0-2 in the previous two tries, including last season’s 43-29 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Storm. Head coach Danny White has led the Rattlers to two ArenaBowl victories (1994 and 1997) in four attempts. Darren Arbet guided the SaberCats to their only win in 2002, the third time in a row San Jose went as far as the semifinals.

Firebirds’ season tickets for the 2005 season are on sale now and can be purchased by calling a Firebirds' ticket representative at 317.472.8080. Firebirds merchandise is available at Home Court Gift Shop or by visiting For merchandise information, please call 317.917.2755.

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