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Week 15: Thursday Night Matchup

July 2, 2008 - arenafootball2 (af2) News Release

FLORIDA FIRECATS (8-4) AT DAYTONA BEACH THUNDERBIRDS (2-11)

THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2008 - Ocean Center (6,396) 7:00 P.M. ET

Week 15 kicks off Thursday night when the Florida Firecats head upstate to Daytona Beach to tackle the ThunderBirds in a South Division affair. This will be the third time this season these two teams meet. Florida has won both previous matchups, including a 41-15 home victory most recently in Week 10. In that contest the Firecats defense dominated early and late while the team's offense took over in the fourth quarter. Clinging to a 13-6 halftime lead, the Firecats offense heated up as CHRIS WALLACE threw three TD passes. LB LARRY EDWARDS sacked ThunderBirds QB MATT BOHNET in the end zone for a safety. DB TONY STUBBS capped off the scoring by recovering a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. The fumble was forced by DE TERRANCE CHAPMAN who sacked Daytona Beach backup QB STEVEN MOFFETT. WR JAMES PANUI led the Firecats in receiving with seven catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. WR PATRICK ROUZARD led Daytona Beach with seven grabs for 67 yards. Wallace finished 19-of-33 passing for 185 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. Bohnet finished 17-of-32 passing for 185 yards and one touchdown with one interception. The Firecats, currently ranked No. 7 overall in the latest league coaches poll, enter this Week 15 tilt coming off a 59-56 home loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The loss was the third straight for Florida. Pioneers K David Davis booted an 18-yard field goal as time expired to complete the comeback. Florida led by 21 points in the third quarter and 14 going into the fourth quarter before collapsing in the final 15 minutes. One of the team's highlights was WR MAGIC BENTON's flawless return to the lineup. Benton, the league's second leading all-time scorer, caught 14 passes for 188 yards and four TDs. He currently has 1,044 career points. Florida's defense has been strong all season. The unit currently leads the league in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 37.0 points per game. The ThunderBirds are also coming off a loss in their last outing. South Georgia QB Cecil Lester came into the game for starter Andrico Hines and tossed eight touchdown passes to lead the Wildcats to a 62-41 road win. Moffett started for the ThunderBirds in the contest, which was the sixth time he's seen action this season. He completed 23-of-46 passes for 315 yards with five touchdowns. Another leader on the ThunderBirds was WR TORIS RUTLEDGE who caught 10 passes for 98 yards and one touchdown. WR LAMAR HUGHES also contributed two touchdowns (57-yard kickoff return TD, receiving TD). As if the loss on the scoreboard wasn't enough, Daytona Beach also lost its top two defensive backs to injury, JOCQUES RICHARDSON (31 tackles, 7 INTs) and GEORGE WILLIAMS (23 tackles, 2 INTs). If Wallace and Benton can take advantage of Daytona Beach's depleted secondary, the Firecats have a good opportunity to stop their losing streak this week.

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