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Week 18 af2 game recaps

August 1, 2005 - arenafootball2 (af2) News Release

WEEK 18 RECAPS

FRIDAY, JULY 29

MANCHESTER WOLVES 45, Albany Conquest 30 (Attendance: 8,765)

MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Manchester Wolves (12-4) swept the season series with the Albany Conquest (4-12) in a 45-30 victory at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The win clinched the East Division Championship for the Wolves and a bye in the first round with a home playoff game in the American Conference Semifinals. Albany led the game 24-19 at halftime before the Wolves outscored the Conquest 26-6 in the second half for the win. Manchester's J.J. McKelvey caught ten passes for 83 yards and three touchdowns, including two in the second half. Wolves' DS William Haith recorded 9.5 tackles to break the af2 record for tackles in a season with 121.5. Albany's Jeremiah Pope caught 12 passes for 132 yards and one touchdown.

SATURDAY, JULY 30

W-B/SCRANTON PIONEERS 53, Macon Knights 52 (Attendance: 4,503)

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers (9-7) edged the Macon Knights (8-8) 53-52 at the Wachovia Arena to earn the No. 4 seed in the American Conference. The Pioneers will host the Green Bay Blizzard next week. It was a miraculous finish for the Pioneers. They scored a touchdown with under a minute to go make Macon's lead just five points. After an unsuccessful onside kick Macon took over trying to run out the clock. After fumbling on first down and recovering, Macon fumbled on second down and the Pioneers' Jim Sodano took the ball 43 yards for a touchdown and a one-point lead. The Knights got the ball back and had a chance at a 27-yard field goal to win it, but it was no good and the Pioneers won. Rocco Forgione caught three touchdown passes for the Pioneers and Chris Johnson did the same for the Knights.

LOUISVILLE FIRE 70, Quad City Steamwheelers 56 (Attendance: 9,317)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - For their fifth consecutive win, the Louisville Fire (11-5) beat the Quad City Steamwheelers (9-7) 70-56 at Freedom Hall. Matt Sauk threw for eight touchdowns to give him 99 on the season, an af2 record. He threw for 315 yards, bringing his season total to 4,518 on the season, also an af2 record. The 'Wheelers held a 48-28 lead at halftime, partly due to a Matt Forbes 50-yard interception return for a touchdown. The Fire defense stepped up in the second half allowing only two Quad City touchdowns. Their big stop came after the Fire took the lead late in the fourth quarter. On a fourth and 13 Sam Clemons of the 'Wheelers looked deep, but Morris couldn't bring the ball in near the wall and the Fire took over on downs. After a Fire score to go up by 14 points, Nate Green intercepted a Clemons pass in the endzone to clinch the game. Travis Burns caught three touchdowns for the 'Wheelers.

Green Bay Blizzard 78, SOUTH GEORGIA WILDCATS 44 (Attendance: 8,034)

ALBANY, Ga. - The Green Bay Blizzard (9-7) topped the South Georgia Wildcats (3-13) in front of a sold out crowd at the Albany Civic Center. The win gave Green Bay their first winning season in franchise history. They play their first playoff game in franchise history next week at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Green Bay FB/LB Matt Huebner rushed for 34 yards and three touchdowns. The Blizzard defense forced four fumbles, recorded two interceptions and registered three sacks on the night to make life difficult for South Georgia starting quarterback Andrico Hines in his first start of the season. The Wildcats' Ryan Bell recorded three tackles, one forced fumble and one sack.

ARKANSAS TWISTERS 44, Amarillo Dusters 40 (Attendance 6,784)

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Alltel Arena was the site of the Arkansas Twisters' (5-11) 44-40 victory over the Amarillo Dusters (8-8). The Dusters travel to Oklahoma City to face the Yard Dawgz next week in the first round of the playoffs. The Twisters jumped out to a 27-0 lead and forced Amarillo quarterback Steve Panella out of the game. In came normal starter Julian Reese to lead the Dusters to a second half come back. Reese threw four touchdowns and rushed for one on a 45-yard rush to help lead the Dusters to a 34-30 fourth quarter lead. The rushing score gave Reese 28 on the season, to tie the af2 record for rushing touchdowns in a season. The turning point in the game came after Arkansas retook the lead at 37-34 with under a minute to go. On the Dusters' second play from scrimmage after losing the lead, Byron Mitchell-Hughey intercepted a pass and took it back 19 yards for a Twisters touchdown and clinch the game.

Florida Firecats 28, BIRMINGHAM STEELDOGS 27 (Attendance: 5,834)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - To bring their record to 14-2, the Florida Firecats defeated the Birmingham Steeldogs (2-14) 28-27 at the BJCC. It was a stunning win for the Firecats. The game winning score was a Chris Wallace to Brent Burnside 39-yard touchdown pass with just four seconds left in the contest. It was Wallace's only touchdown pass on the night after the Birmingham defense forced five turnovers, including George Williams intercepting two passes. Birmingham scored only one touchdown from a play from scrimmage, a Kamau Jackson two-yard touchdown run. Their other scores were two field goals, a net recovery off a kickoff for a score and a fumble returned for a touchdown. Birmingham held a 20-0 lead at halftime. Florida has a bye in the first round of the playoffs and hosts Semifinal game at Germain Arena.

MEMPHIS XPLORERS 47, Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings 27 (Attendance: 3,421)

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - The Memphis Xplorers (13-3) held the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings (3-13) scoreless in the second half on their way to a 47-27 victory at the DeSoto Civic Center. The win clinched the No. 1 seed in the National Conference. Memphis has a bye next week and will host the lowest seeded remaining National Conference team in the National Conference Semifinals. Memphis' Brian Jones threw for three touchdowns and rushed for two more scores. Sale Key caught two touchdowns. Kevin Prentiss caught a 31-yard touchdown pass and returned a kickoff 58 yards for a touchdown. Bossier-Shreveport quarterback Graham Gochneaur, out of Marshall, threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another. Khreem Smith recorded another sack to bring his season total to a league leading 17.0.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY DORADOS 38, Bakersfield Blitz 27 (Attendance: 5,153)

HIDALGO, TEXAS - With the 38-27 win over the Bakersfield Blitz (6-10) at Dodge Arena, the Rio Grande Valley Dorados (10-6) earned a home playoff game in the first round of the ArenaCup Playoffs. The Dorados will host the Quad City Steamwheelers on Sunday, August 7. Pierre Thomas and Kevin Brown both intercepted two passes for Rio Grande Valley. Marquis Floyd caught two touchdowns. For Bakersfield, Nick Onaindia rushed for a six-yard touchdown and returned a fumble two yards for a touchdown. Ken Haslip recorded two tackles for a loss. The Dorados jumped out to a 17-7 lead in the first quarter and both teams failed to score in the second.

OKLAHOMA CITY YARD DAWGZ 57, Tulsa Talons 50 (Attendance: 12,181)

OKLAHOMA CITY - In front of the largest crowd of the season in af2, 12,181, the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz (10-6) defeated the Tulsa Talons (11-5) 57-50 at the Ford Center. Tulsa's Donovan Morgan caught 11 passes for 123 yards and four touchdowns. He brought his season receiving touchdown total to 54, shattering the previous mark of 45. Oklahoma City's Craig Strickland threw for five touchdowns and rushed for one, including the game winning score with 21 seconds left in the contest. Al Hunt caught two touchdowns for the Yard Dawgz. Oklahoma City earned the No. 3 seed in the National Conference with the win and will host the Amarillo Dusters next week. Tulsa will receive a bye in the first round and host a home playoff game in the Semifinals.

CENTRAL VALLEY COYOTES 88, San Diego Riptide 53 (Attendance: 2,236)

FRESNO, Calif. - The Central Valley Coyotes (8-8) beat the San Diego Riptide (5-11) 88-53 at Selland Arena in the last game in the 2005 arenafootball2 regular season. The Coyotes' Juston Wood threw six touchdown passes with three going to George Williams. Joshua Robinson, DeRonn Finley and George Williams each returned an interception 30+ yards for a touchdown. San Diego's Steve Gonzalez caught 10 passes for 164 yards and five touchdowns. He returned nine kickoffs for 213 yards, but failed to return one for a touchdown, ending his streak of five straight games with a kickoff return for a touchdown. The contest was tied 27 all at halftime. The 88 points was franchise record for Central Valley.

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